Food Trends: Plant-Based Ingredients
The food trend of the plant-based diet is a welcome challenge to be more health-conscious, sustainable and to be a more innovative business. If you don’t practice a plant-based diet, it’s likely you’ve heard of it, or one of it’s sub-trends. The stats are piling up:
- 31% of Americans now practice meat-free days.
- The number of vegans has increased six-fold (600%) in the US in the last 3 years.
- US non-dairy milk sales grew 61% over the last 5 years.
One of the most common questions from our foodservice customers this year, regardless of the channel, was how to incorporate our ingredients into their daily menu. Before we answer on how, let’s talk about why you should be looking into adding plant-based ingredients.
What exactly is plant-based? A plant-based diet is a diet based on foods derived from plants. Plant-based does not mean you are vegetarian or vegan and never eat meat or dairy. Rather, you are choosing more of your foods from plant sources. You can see its rise in trends such as “Meatless Mondays” and “#DairyFree” on social media.
The Plant-Based Consumer
More important than the definition of the diet are the interests of the plant-based consumer. The plant-based diet has generally become popular with people who are very invested in their health. These people also care about the world’s sustainability and high-quality ingredients.
Indeed, recent studies have shown that a plant-based diet has been proven to help maintain a healthy weight and improve one’s overall health. Factors including lowering rate of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. It’s no wonder that the U.S. Plant-Based Foods Industry topped $5 billion in sales just a couple years ago.
Circling back to how a business can incorporate already the plant-based ingredients a coconut has to offer. To answer this question, a whole coconut can provide substitutes for meat, dairy and gluten. With that being said, incorporating a naturally plant-based ingredient like a coconut may be in your foreseeable future.
Want to see how versatile our coconut meat is? Here a few examples: