The launch, paired with the simultaneous introduction of Pacific Foods Creamy Plant-Based Broths featuring the almost equally popular pea protein, expands the company’s already sizeable footprint in the fast-growing plant-based food market.
“The plant-based food market is expected to grow 12% from 2020-2027, so it is important to us that we continue to give soup fanatics a new way to incorporate oat milk, and other nutritious ingredients, into their plant-based diet,” Jenna Gavin, senior brand manager, soup & broth, at Pacific Foods, told FoodNavigator-USA.
At the same time, she added, consumers are looking for new ways to follow a plant-based diet, and both oat milk and pea protein offer versatility and nutrition without compromising taste.
“We saw an opportunity to bring versatility and innovation to the space by creating the first-ever Creamy Oat Milk Soup and the first liquid broth to incorporate pea protein with our Creamy Plant-Based Broths,” she said.
She explained, “The decision to use oat milk was also driven by Pacific being a pioneer in bringing oat milk to shelves for the last 25 years.”
Gavin added that the oat milk in Pacific Foods’ Organic Creamy Garden Tomato Oat Milk Soup and Organic Creamy Cumin Carrot Oat Milk Soup makes the finished products “so creamy that you wouldn’t believe they’re not made with dairy milk.”
As for the choice of using pea-protein in the Creamy Plant-Based Broths, Gavin explained that Pacific Foods wanted to meet demand for more protein, which 60% of consumers said they are seeking to add to their diets. But it also wanted to offer an alternative to soy.
The company “explored quite a few plant-based proteins in the early development of these products and found that pea protein was the perfect option to get us the right taste and texture, while delivering our goal of six grams of protein per 8 ounce serving” without adding in soy, sugars or extra calories, Gavin said.
In creating the Plant-Based Creamy Broths, the company wanted to “create bold, delicious flavors that would be enjoyable as a sipping broth, yet still provide broad versatility as a culinary broth to create simple meals,” Gavin said.
The Zesty Ginger & Turmeric and Herb & Roasted Garlic pairings met both these requirements.
The new products will begin hitting store shelves this month with the Creamy Oat Milk Soups launching in Kroger, Whole Foods, Albertsons, Wakefern and Meijer for a SRP of $3.99 for 32 ounces, and the Creamy Plant-based Broth appearing in Meijer, Shoprite, Sprouts and Amazon for $5.99 for 32 ounces.