Consumer demand for plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy is rising rapidly, but so should scrutiny over companies’ claims on health and sustainability, writes GlobalData.
Dean Best, Food Editor at GlobalData, writes:
“There are health and environmental benefits from eating less dairy and meat – and the markets for plant-based alternatives are growing as a result.
“However, that is not to say every plant-based alternative to meat and dairy should be without reproach when it comes to the impacts those products could have on health or on the environment.
“Rightly, there is growing attention being placed on, for example, the amount of salt in meat-alternative products, and the level of sugar in plant-based dairy foods.
“Amid growing consumer interest in ingredient lists, there is also growing scrutiny of the full ingredient lists of products such as plant-based milks.
“Moreover, as demand for products made with soya or almonds rises, there is building concern about the environmental impacts of the increased cultivation of these crops.
“Plant-based food manufacturers, riding a wave of demand in many countries, should review the nutritional make-up of the products and their sourcing strategies.
“As the plant-based market develops, nutrition and the environment could provide companies with an edge against growing competition.
“Businesses such as UK dairy-alternatives firm Plenish, with its emphasis on ‘three natural ingredients’ and meat-free supplier Quorn Foods – touting its sustainability credentials – are already looking to stand out from the crowd.”