Planteneers created Plantbaser, a digital shopping tool that helps businesses of all sizes find alternative meat, cheese, deli, dairy, and fish ingredients. The tool is especially helpful for smaller companies, which may not have R&D or equipment access.
A recipient of the Plant-Based World Expo’s Plant-Based Innovator Award, Plantbaser addresses common challenges customers face when selecting ingredients for these categories by customizing ingredients for commercial blends. Users can select categories to customize a product by texture, taste and color, as well as nutritional content based off Planteneers’ ingredient portfolio.
“If you are working on a meat or dairy product, it will ask what kind of product you are working on. What's your base? What are your challenges? It will ask you a plethora of questions and walk you through it [similar to] a flowchart,” Kindle explained.
“Using the Plantbaser with our customers can actually help narrow in on how to really solve their problem in a way that is quick and easy,” she added.
After a user selects their ingredient credentials, Planteneers sends a sample of the application where they can “jumpstart the product development cycle…instead of starting from scratch with different raw materials. The Plantbaser wraps everything into a nice, neat package,” explained Kyle Borkovec, technical manager, Planteneers.
He added that the initial sample is an opportunity for Planteneers and its customers to optimize the formula and “tailor it to their specific needs.”
Additionally, Plantbaser offers the option for users to select raw materials to formulate with, allowing flexibility for customers with limited R&D or equipment.
“It allows them to look at the product and [determine] if it is worth the equipment investment. Or if they already have the equipment, they can order the raw materials for their own R&D,” he explained.
New pilot facility set to open in summer 2024
The company will expand its customer service and applications technology team with the opening of its pilot plant facility in Aurora, Illinois in summer 2024.
The facility will allow for hands-on service with Planteneers’ applications team to “better meet the expectations of American consumers,” according to the company’s press release.
“Plant-based is more and more important on the North American market. New, innovative products that are increasingly similar to conventional animal products will be easier for consumers to integrate into their daily lives, since they fit existing habits. At our new location with production, R&D, and the upcoming customer center, we can address customer-specific requirements for the US market even better,” noted Gretchen Moon, vice president of commercial operations for North America.