Plant-Based 3.0 webinar: Tune in May 29 to discover what consumers want from meat alternatives, how to deliver on their taste, texture, appearance & nutrition demands

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

Source: William Reed
Source: William Reed

Related tags plant-based

Nearly two-thirds of Americans are willing to swap meat for plant-based alternatives, and more than half have tried an alternative protein – but of those that have tried, nearly a quarter have not done so a second time, according to research cited by sponsors of FoodNavigator-USA’s free webinar May 29 at 11:30 CT, Plant-Based 3.0 Emerging from the trough of disillusionment.

Sixty-three percent of American are willing to replace animal protein with a plant-based option, and 57% have tried an alternative protein, according to handouts available to webinar​ registrants from the event’s sponsors Lycored and Cargill, respectively.

But according to data from Cargill, 22% of consumers who tried a protein alternative have not consumed one again, which the ingredient supplier hypothesizes is because products do not meet consumer expectations.

So what do consumers want? According to Lycored, 68% want plant-based meat to look and taste the same as its animal counterparts.

This means many products need to step up their taste, texture, appearance and nutritional value, according to materials from Lycored, Cargill, and the other sponsors of FoodNavigator-USA’s webinar, including AyanaBio, Manildra Group USA and T. Hasegawa.

Improving the appearance of plant-based meat

Considering most people eat first with their eyes, Lycored advises plant-based meat manufacturers “start with a beautiful color that mimics its animal-based counterparts raw, then maintains that color throughout it production, storage and shelf life,” before changing to “align with expectations during the cooking process.”

For beef alternatives, this means a pink hue before cooking that remains in the middle while the outside browns during and after cooking, according to Lycored, which says it can deliver this with its ResoluteRuby color.

Delivering on taste and texture

Looks alone are not enough, which is why sponsors T. Hasegawa, Manildra Group USA, Lycored and Cargill offer solutions to boost the taste and texture of plant-based meat.

Lycored’s Sante – a taste component extracted from tomatoes – can help boost consumers’ umami and kokumi perceptions of plant-based meat, while T. Hasegawa says it works collaboratively with food manufacturers to improve the overall taste experience with its “extensive” and “globally-inspired” flavor portfolio, which also includes flavor modulation.

Manildra Group USA says its range of plant-based wheat protein products and egg replacements can help with texture ranging from “highly elastic to highly extensible” and offer “resilience and tenderness” in sweet goods.

Cargill also offers texture solutions that it says can reinforce nutrition through its PURIS textured pea proteins, which includes options with 85% less sodium and which have enhanced solubility compared to other pea protein options.

AyanaBio can also boost nutrition profiles of plant-base offerings with ingredients developed using plant cell cultivation, such as its Sage PCA, which it says supports cognitive function, encourages healthy inflammatory response and is a “powerful antioxidant.”

Speakers share real-world advice on merchandising, fundraising

In addition to consumer insights and technical expertise provided by event sponsors, event attendees will hear first hand from two brands (Jack & Annie’s and MyForest Foods) that are bucking the category trends and growing – both in volume and dollars.

They will also hear in-depth industry analysis, including where there is growth and where there is room for improvement, from the Plant Based Foods Association. Finally, an active investor in the space will share what he finds attractive – and alarming – about the segment.

Learn more and register for FoodNavigator-USA’s free webinar Plant-based 3.0: Emerging from the trough of disillusionment​, which broadcasts May 29 at 11:30 CT.

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