Nelson-Jameson represents more than 850 vendors and distributes more than 55,000 products in a broad range of categories, from packaging and ingredients to laboratory and quality assurance and control. The partnership will allow for LSC and Vaess to expand its product offerings and portfolio and offer custom solutions through Nelson-Jameson’s distribution network.
“The new relationships with Vaess and LSC strengthen the company’s commitment to deliver the exceptional to the dairy industry and beyond,” Nelson-Jameson wrote in a statement.
Tapping into biotech solutions for plant-based food
New York-based Lallemand offers microbiology and fermentation capabilities for dairy, meat and plant-based solutions for food and beverage, cosmetics, pharma, animal and human nutrition, among others.
“Based on the many ingredient sources, plant-based foods offer a wide range of possibilities for consumers. Our know-how in microbiology and fermentation as well as our long-standing experience selecting the best cultures for dairy and meat applications is a strong asset for the development of plant-based cultures,” Julia Plateau-Gonthier, category product manager for dairy, meat and plant-based cultures, Lallemand, said in the press release.
Vaess works across categories, providing solutions for plant-based meats and its animal counterparts to baked goods and pet food. Last year, the Netherlands-based company released VascoPrime, an alginate casing for plant-based sausages, addressing binding challenges in vegan sausage formulation.
Vaess also developed a nitrite alternative for bacon using bacterial cultures, while maintaining bacon’s signature pink color. The company collaborated with another biotech company to replace the conventional preservative with a brine compound made up of protein sources and bacterial cultures, as previously reported by FoodNavigator.
“This collaboration is part of Vaess’ mission to create a responsible food chain for future generations. As we continue to explore ways to meet changing consumer preferences, it is becoming increasingly important to consider the benefits of plant-based alternatives. By offering plant-based options, we can cater to a wider audience and ensure inclusivity so that there is something for everyone,” Coen van Oorschot, director, Vaess, said in the statement.
U.S. plant-based retail sales fell slightly, global retail sales on the rise
The partnership highlights the rising demand for meat alternatives due to consumers’ varied preferences surrounding health, environmental awareness, accessibility and affordability.
While U.S. plant-based retail sales in 2022 fell slightly by 1% and unit sales declined by 8% compared to the previous year, global retail sales grew eight percentage points in dollar sales and five percentage points in weight sales to $6.1bn in the same period, according to an analysis from the Good Food Institute.
Good Food Institute also attributes plant-based foods’ growth to an increase in product development across categories, expanding the consumer base beyond vegetarian and vegan consumers.
“These industry developments, combined with genuine consumer desire to eat more plants and less conventional meat, have succeeded in bringing meat-eaters to the category—today, 93% of households that buy plant-based meat also purchase conventional meat,” the report noted.