With more and more consumers making a switch to plant-based diets, ingredients for plant-based food & beverages have become key products in the food market over the years. This ever-increasing population of health-conscious consumers is now actively looking for products that ensure sustainable production and good taste, as well as offer added value for the body.

According to the AHA (American Heart Association), the consumption of foods that contain cheese and other sources of saturated fats is linked with high cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of stroke and heart disease. Chronic diseases are also responsible for $3.8 trillion in annual healthcare costs in the U.S., as per the CDC’s data. Such factors could influence consumers to increase their inclination towards a vegan diet and consequently fuel the development of ingredients market for plant based food & beverages.

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Due to the growing practice of veganism and the escalating number of consumers with a preference for healthy diets, various plant-based food providers are focusing on introducing products that suit these evolving needs of consumers.

Following are some factors augmenting the growth of the ingredients industry for plant-based food & beverages:

Launch of meat alternatives for vegan consumers

The onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the advent of varied healthy eating options and witnessed the introduction of a range of vegetarian and vegan protein products. Over the years, the global population has also been changing lifestyle choices, which could bolster plant-based protein production.

According to a survey, 30% of the Indian population is vegetarian, making it a sizable market for plant-based food and beverage ingredients. To cater to this vast consumer base, multiple plant-based food producers are launching new meat alternatives, asserting a positive influence on the food ingredients business. To cite an instance, in December 2021, Evolved Foods introduced a meat replacement, Evolved Plant Meat, and a plant-based protein, Evolved Plant Protein, to deliver a healthy diet with a rich protein source.

Development of e-commerce platform for plant-based foods distribution

Plant-based food sales have been witnessing a significant increase over recent years, with PBFA (Plant Based Foods Association)’s data revealing that the sales surpassed $7 billion in 2020. To meet the increasing demand, sustainable food products manufacturers have been undertaking innovative measures and introducing new business strategies, thereby supporting the manufacturers of plant-based food ingredients.

For example, in September 2021, Above Food Corp. announced the launch of its direct-to-consumer e-commerce platform. This new business platform was intended to provide North American consumers the opportunity to purchase above 40 plant-based food products with qualifiable sustainability, unparalleled traceability, and superior nutrient density from their homes.

High consumption of probiotic beverages and non-dairy products

The use of probiotics has been on the rise in recent years. According to a survey conducted by Kerry, 24% of the surveyed global consumers claimed to use products containing probiotics over the past 6 months, up from 21% in 2019. This factor could generate growth opportunities for the ingredients market for plant-based food & beverages, with a Global Market Insights Inc. report suggesting that the industry is set to depict a CAGR of nearly 20.3% through 2027 from the probiotics ingredients segment.

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When plant-based non-dairy matrices are concerned, beverages like purees and juices are identified as an ideal source of probiotics for humans. As a result, demand for non-dairy products or dairy alternatives has been witnessing substantial growth over recent years. Manufacturers are also emphasizing the launch of unique beverages featuring probiotics. A notable example is the launch of plant-based Yoi Probiotic Nut and Seedmilks by Yoi in August 2021, which is contributing to the overall ingredients business for plant-based food and beverages applications.

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