Plant-based revolution

February 16, 2018By Behind the Shelf Blog, Industry Intuition

by Jen Johnston, CHHC

I had seen Forks over Knives, and I knew about the rising popularity of vegetarian restaurants like our local Café Manna, but it wasn’t until we worked with PlantPure last year on a redesign of their frozen food packaging that I really began taking note of the plant-based revolution happening in this country.Plant

Then at Natural Products Expo West last year, my eyes were opened to the enormity of the movement and how far it extends beyond food products into supplements, skin care, personal care, and more. Here are a few of my observations about the current state of the plant-based movement:

  1. Vegan is downplayed. The vegan movement is often associated with animal welfare, however plant-based products are casting a wider net to engage more mainstream audiences on health and environmental issues. The vegan symbol is typically small, but “plant-based” is large.
  2. Health benefits are emphasized. Books such as The China Study and movies such as PlantPure Nation brought the health benefits of plant-based diets into the spotlight. Plant-based products are following suit.
  3. Vegan & Paleo co-exist. Whether snacks or toothpaste, I observed brands that touted the fact they are suitable for both vegan and paleo diets. How is this possible? They don’t contain animal products (vegan) and also have no sugars, sugar alcohols, or grains (paleo).

Savvy retailers such as Target have already added a plant-based protein area to their refrigerated section. What kind of signage could a retailer use in store to point out plant-based items, including OTC and personal care items? If you’re a brand, what changes can you make to your recipe or formulation to capitalize on the plant-based movement? Are you familiar with the vegan certification organizations? Reach out on LinkedIn to let me know what you think!