9 Trends from Plant Based World Expo 2022

    Trendspotter Nancy Trent explores how the Plant-Based Industry continues to evolve in a mainstream market.

    Plant-based burgers

    The plant-based food industry gathered for Plant Based World Expo 2022 in New York in September. We saw how the growing trend of plant-based foods has gone mainstream. The global plant-based market will grow from U.S. $30 billion in 2021 to a staggering U.S. $160 billion by 2030, making up to 7.7% of the global protein market by 2030, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. Traditional legacy brands are adding to the mix by introducing new products, while newcomers to the market launch innovative technologies and practices. We are seeing more plant options in all categories as well as in food service and in retail. Below were some of the major trends we noticed at the show as well as in the industry.

    The Convenience Factor

    Crepini Egg Wraps, the makers of the original carb-swap, is on a mission to get its craveable, carb-free options to more people, no matter their dietary preferences. For the first time ever, the small business with a big reach teamed up with America’s fastest-growing plant-based egg, JUST Egg. This innovative recipe makes Egg Wraps eggless with a delicious recipe that’s vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and carb-free while being low in calories and full of protein.

    Plantasia Foods is revolutionizing the plant-based world by offering perfectly pre-cooked, chef-inspired, and convenient plant-based products for everyone. Using only clean ingredients that you can actually recognize while delivering 22 grams of protein, you can have a mouth-watering, plant-based burger that is ready to eat in only 60 seconds.

    Pure Vegan Pantry offers quick and easy vegan and gluten-free pantry staples. From a Classic Chick’n Salad Mix to a must-have Cream of Mushroom soup, they provide the essentials to ensure an easy vegan lifestyle. Their mixes are vegan, non-GMO, and free of gluten, soy, dairy and egg. They are quick and easy to prepare by simply adding a few ingredients such as water, dairy free milk or your favorite oil.

    Great food begins with great ingredients. Each batch of Verdun’s veggie pates, quiches, and crusts are prepared using the highest quality, locally sourced ingredients. Their goal when creating Verdun’s was for as many people to be able to enjoy it as possible. That is why their product carries multiple certifications and is naturally vegan.

    Chef-Crafted & Global Culinary Creativity

    Founded by chefs, Blackbird Foods started by making seitan for local restaurants. As more customers started to request the option to cook with it in their homes, they opened a dedicated facility in NYC to create the best pizza and seitan in the world, and have now expanded to wings. They use only natural, non-GMO ingredients that are 100% plant-based, cholesterol-free, vegan, and kosher.

    Make easy, healthy, and delicious Indian food in minutes with Masala Mama sauces. All natural, with real ingredients and real homemade taste, they are a fresh take on Indian cooking. Founder Nidhi Jalan created the sauces with fresh ingredients she would use if she was making them at home. They offer a shortcut to dinner with a sauce that’s made without shortcuts.

    PLNT, the plant-based burger restaurant chain that prides itself for bringing people joy and celebrating the beauty of life on our planet in the most delicious and fun way possible, has a new retail line of products. They now offer their indulgent, chef crafted, plant-based burgers and an uplifting dining experience in the comfort of your own home.

    Finally, a gluten-free pizza that tastes like traditional pizza. Still Riding Foods has developed a New York Style crust that is thin, crispy and compliments all your favorite toppings. They produce and keep their crust fresh by vacuum sealing each one and their crust is never frozen. They are one of the only crusts in the marketplace that is free from the big 8 allergens and is vegan, kosher, and Non-GMO.

    Elevated Dairy Alternatives

    Three Trees is an innovative plant-milk company with a dedication to sustainability as well as quality, only using organic ingredients straight from nature in order create the most delicious, creamy almond milk in a variety of unique flavors. They are committed to sustainability by using 100% recycled plastic (rPET), so they are never creating new plastic.

    The Nutr is the ultimate nut milk maker that lets you make your own in minutes! This nut milk maker is perfect for a variety of drinks—including nut and plant-based milks, coffee creamers, hot drinks, smoothies, and more! With just three easy steps and a push of a button you will have homemade nut milk. It creates a more sustainable planet for the future.

    Nuttin Ordinary is founded on the idea of creating clean, simple ingredient-based foods that taste great and have nutritional value. They use a proprietary probiotic blend and production process to culture their cheese, achieving the taste and consistency customers know and love. As a zero WHEYste manufacturer, they take pride in creating foods that are both earth friendly and sustainable.

    Selfish Cow is dedicated to creating amazingly delicious plant-based, dairy-free cheese. It is their goal to provide the finest tasting vegan cheese in the food service industry, and they firmly stand by the texture, melty-ness and extraordinary flavor of our product. They have truly created a plant-based cheese that will have you missing nothing about old fashioned dairy cheese.

    Functionality First

    I Amaranth says it is the first company to create a food using the plant amaranth, which is packed with benefits. Amaranth is a native ancient super seed that has been a staple food since the time of the Aztecs who believed it was a symbol for “enduring strength.” They turned what was a street food into a gluten free, vegan, and healthier version.

    Chlorophyll Water is a purified water beverage enhanced by nature with the addition of chlorophyll, a key ingredient and the vital green pigment in plant life. Chlorophyll Water is a refreshing introduction to the many benefits of chlorophyll along with the added health benefits of vitamins A, B12, C ,and D for enhanced hydration.

    Wildbrine makes raw, vegan, and naturally fermented kraut, kimchi, sriracha, and salsa flavors that are bold, savory and pack lively probiotics. They also have a wildCREAMERY label that are plant-based alternatives to products you traditionally associate with a dairy creamery. All products in the wildCREAMERY line are cultured (flavored) with cultures they produce themselves via wild fermentation.

    Revolutionizing Plant-Based Meats

    VECAN is VAN HEES new product line for plant-based meat alternatives and is based on extensive investments in research and development. This is apparent in their innovative new manufacturing processes, new application scenarios for existing technologies and new procedures. For each product, everything is supplied from a single source.

    Miami Foods creates great tasting food without the bad stuff. Gone are the crazy high levels of saturated fat and calories. Their products are 100% plant-based, using beans, grains and veggies to satisfy taste buds. All of the ingredients they use are sustainably sourced or reusable and they freeze their food to reduce the need for plastic waste. Their products have no cholesterol, zero palm oil and use soya from Europe not the Amazon.

    Sundial Foods uses a unique macro and microstructural engineering approach to create an ethically and environmentally friendly plant-based meat alternative for conscious consumers of all ages. Their crispy chicken wings are made for plants so you can have the bone-in, juicy wings you crave. No need to compromise when you can have it all.

    UNLIMEAT a plant-based meat company with no limits on its appearance, taste, or how it’s cooked. They offer various types of plant-based meat – Korean BBQ, Mince, Pulled-Pork, Meatballs, and Mandu dumplings. Their products are made from textured soy and pea protein, cacao powder, coconut oil, and other natural ingredients and are further enriched with super foods such as lentils, chickpeas, and quinoa. Even the red coloring of the patties is derived from beet roots, while the juicy flavor comes from coconut oil.

    Sustainable Practices for a Better Planet

    Blue Evolution breeds, farms, and processes the Earth’s most beneficial products. They are the global leader in regenerative seaweed ingredients for a sustainable future! By farming seaweed, they sustainably source nutrition from the ocean, reduce dependence on freshwater for crop production, and mitigate ocean acidification. When seaweed is responsibly harvested, it’s not only delicious and incredibly nutritious, but it also has the power to literally change our climate equation.

    Planetarians is a planet-friendly food technology company and they know food is the best way to mitigate climate change. They deliver versatile, plant-based food ingredients and make it affordable to provide great tasting, highly nutritious food. The company does this by taking brewers spent yeast to create plant-based meat blocks of fermented proteins without its costs. They work with you to make the world a better place to live and thrive.

    Mega Meatless is reimagining the Mediterranean diet by promoting a healthy diet that respects the environment’s natural resources. They are passionate about what they deliver. They are bringing your favorite Mediterranean dishes made in an entirely green, healthy and innovative way with the highest certified quality in the vegan food market.

    Upgrades to the Deli Counter

    Plantcraft is disrupting one of the least developed categories in plant-based alternatives by making the most delicious and cleanest deli meats in the world. Csaba and Kati founded Plantcraft to lead a transformation and move people away from a reliance on animal products. They use their groundbreaking food tech to create delicious plant-based deli meats that make the right choice so easy.

    The BE-Hive started as a vegan deli & market in Nashville and got such a great response, they started making products for food service. From seitan-based sausage and pepperoni, they have a wide range of products. They continued to expand into retail and now products can be found on GTFO It’s Vegan and in a variety of smaller markets.

    Plant-Based Indulgences

    VEGO’s whole hazelnut chocolate bar is a huge and delicious chocolate bar that is 100% plant based. It is made of the finest Italian chocolate and whole hazelnuts, the bar is completely vegan and gluten free.  At VEGO, vegan does not only mean bringing an end to animal cruelty but also, producing in an environmentally conscious manner.

    Trupo Treats is veganizing your childhood favorites. Indulge yourself with their creamy Vegan Wafer Bars, that are a delicious and better-for-you MYLK chocolate covered wafer bar. Their stone ground chocolate is creamy and tastes just like your favorite childhood milk chocolate. Coming in chocolate, hazelnut, and peanut butter, each bar is delicious in its own way.

    Nutty Bunny handcrafts delicious, award-winning organic, vegan ice cream. Made with the purest ingredients on the planet. They offer 7 original flavors in two sizes: single serve cups and pints. Nuts are the base of their products, not only because they taste great, but also because they are bursting with nutrients. From cashews to almonds, you can have a nutritious yet delicious treat.

    Protein Comes in Many Forms

    Green Boy is a single ingredient bean protein naturally rich in amino acids, iron, and antioxidants for lower blood pressure, improved digestion, appetite control, and blood sugar stability. Their ingredient label is truly one ingredient, just the bean they are using to create the versatile protein powder for smoothies, shakes, baking, and cooking. Add nutritional value to everything you eat without filler.

    The Protein Brewery are fermentation experts. They develop plant based and highly nutritious food ingredients which contributes to the transition to alternative food sources across the globe. They integrate versatile food ingredients that successfully deliver on multiple future-proof criteria, without compromising on taste or performance. Meet: Fermotein® – containing proteins, fibers and all those essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals which a healthy, balanced diet needs.

    The newest addition in plant-based protein powders we saw was Onset World Wide’s watermelon seed protein powder. It is a pale white color, very fine, high in protein and low in fat. Watermelon seed protein powder is popular in baked goods, bars, snacks, and baking mixes. Due to its consistency, it is also a popular additive in protein mixes, drink mixes and nutraceuticals as a protein boost.

    Victory Hemp Foods creates highly functional, great tasting hempseed ingredients for super-nutritious, plant-based, vegetarian and vegan foods. Their hemp heart protein and hemp heart oil help manufacturers create delicious, easily digested, allergen-free, high Omega-3 beverages, foods, and skin care products. And their transparent sourcing from North American farmers gives you full peace of mind.

    One thing for certain is that the ingredients companies use in their products matter. Being plant-based isn’t enough anymore. With so much competition on the market, consumers want to know what they’re eating, know it’s good for the environment and good for them.
    There is a big emphasis on quality and sourcing with plant trends leaning more towards clean and natural products.
    We look forward to seeing how these trends evolve by next year’s Plant Based World Expo in New York on September 7-8, 2023.

    For more trends, read the latest from trendspotter Nancy Trent