More people are seeking plant-based alternatives and the options are getting tastier. Leading retail data company, Nielsen, reports plant-based food sales topped $3.3 billion last year. About 125 plant-based brands exhibited at Plant Based World Conference & Expo (PBW), June 7-8 in New York’s Javits Center, an exciting new industry event catering to the hot new plant-based food market.
“Attendees traveled from all 50 states and countries throughout the world to be a part of this first-of-its-kind event. A healthcare conference, a business conference, an expo open to the general public all rolled into one epic gathering of humans with the common belief that what we eat, how we feel and the world we share are all integrally connected,” said Ben Davis, Content & Communications Director, Plant Based World Conference & Expo.
Keynotes included leaders from the Plant Based Foods Association, Kroger Merchandising Consulting at 84.51 and Restaurant Associates and Seth Goldman, Executive Chair of Beyond Meat.
One insight from the show: Every biome around the world has a plant that produces protein–it’s not just pea protein anymore. Goldman said he believed some of the original plant-based burgers on the market tasted like a conspiracy by the meat industry to keep people eating meat! What started out as a mission has actually become a movement. In the plant-based industry, you can do the right thing and still please your investors. The IPO for Beyond Meat started at $25 in May and is now valued at $158.
We spotted some newcomers and caught up with some of the original innovators. Here is a rundown of seven innovations and brands making it easy to make healthier choices.
Growing sustainable seafood – Good Catch is the first to introduce a tasty tuna-alternative grown from plants, mastered by chefs with long-term impact on our health and the environment. Like many plant-based products, you will be fooled into thinking it’s the real thing.
Meaty mushrooms – Pan’s has turned mushroom into jerky with a meaty treat that wouldn’t quite trick a carnivore, but it gives a herbivore a satisfying snack. We think mushroom jerky is a hearty, healthy snack and an emerging category to watch.
Eating cheesy – There are so many new and novel ways to enjoy plant-based cheeses. A newcomer we tried is Pleese Cheese, which uses white bean to get its creaminess on.
Worry-free pastries – Abe’s introduced us to the original vegan muffin that never compromised on taste and flavor and continues to delight our palate with an expanded line of healthy cakes that are safe for people with allergies.
Healthy Power – Clean Machine uses innovative, first-to-market ingredients such as Lentein, Ahiflower and BCAA in it’s plant-based protein products that are healthier for the body and the environment.
Familiar Fusion – Khazana from the SLT Group makes eating healthy more exotic and easy with microwaveable lentil-based simmering sauces and meals featuring adjustable spices that you can identify.
A natural place to rest your head – Plants are not just for eating. The plant-based, chemical-free, hypoallergenic Skinny Pillow is filled with authentic Kapok, seeds of Ceiba trees, sourced directly from Indonesia, making it more durable as well as a soft and comfortable spot to rest your head.
The 2020 Plant Based World Conference & Expo will be held June 5-6, 2020 back at the Javits Center in New York City. For information about Plant Based World Conference & Expo, visit www.plantbasedworldexpo.com/.
Note: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author(s) and contributor(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher and editors of WholeFoods Magazine.