New Survey Reveals Why Consumers Buy Plant-Based Dairy Alternatives

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Comax Flavors introduced survey last summer to better understand consumer perceptions around plant-based dairy alternatives. Comax surveyed 1,000 adults in the United States last July that said they used plant-based dairy products at least three days a week.

Why are Consumers Buying Plant-based Dairy Products?

This question about purchase behavior was at the center of Comax’s survey. They found that for most (48%) consumers, the flavor was the top reason why the purchased the plant-based alternatives. The most frustrating takeaway for the dairy industry was that 36% of consumers bought plant-based dairy products because of the perceived health benefits. Dairy industry veterans are annoyed because they believe that cow’s milk is nutritionally superior.


The survey also took a look at health and wellness as well as animal welfare to understand better why the rapid growth in plant-based dairy products. They found that the younger generations (millennials and Gen Z) were more concerned and influenced by animal welfare. As a result, they are purchasing more plant-based products all around.

The Plant-Based Category Continues to Soar, and Dairy Fights Back

Non-dairy milk sales have soared over 61% in the past five years to an estimated market size of $2.11 billion in 2017. In that same period, regular dairy milk sales have dropped by 15% to $16.12 billion in 2017.


The dairy industry is not going down without a fight and is pursuing a variety of options to challenge the new plant-based dairy alternatives. They are taking plant-based beverages to court over the word “milk” much like how Unilever challenged Just Mayo over the use of “Mayo” in the name. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

The dairy industry is also trying to diversify with innovative products including carbonated or fizzy milk products. The new products have a longer shelf life than traditional milk which hits on one of the plant-based dairy’s competitive advantages.

Plant-based dairy products are not going anywhere anytime soon. It’s interesting to see why consumers are buying them and it turns out the flavor is the significant factor. The dairy industry will have their hands full trying to slow down this plant-based boom.

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Top 7 Food & Beverage Industry Predictions for 2018

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What can we expect for the year 2018? What do you think the food and beverage industry will bring to our dining tables this year? You may have a lot of questions, but one thing is for sure, delicious and healthy improvements are in the forecast. Concentric, a leading marketing and branding agency, curated the top seven food and beverage industry predictions for 2018. Let’s take a look!

1 – Instagrammable Food Packaging

Is it “Instagrammable?” If it is, then most likely the food or beverage product will be shared by thousands, if not millions, of people on social media. Free and instant exposure—and this makes it a good selling point for manufacturers. Concentric expects to see an upsurge of carefully organized breakfast bowls that may be too appealing to destroy. And of course, brands would delve into the heightened aesthetics of their packaging.

2 – Light Snacking

Small, frequent feedings have been a slogan of a lot of diets which has led to the rise in snacking. Shoppers’ search for light snacks has been in full swing for the past few years. This year will be a bit different with food manufacturers rolling out “light” snacks and drinks, instead of the outdated and overpowering flavors. Food and drink producers are now geared for lighter tasting options like floral enhanced waters, less sweetness, less alcohol, and lighter ABVs as a whole.

3 – Exotic Flavors

More and more US consumers are embracing various ethnic flavors. As the American palate becomes more and more accustomed to International dishes, newer flavors are being introduced in the market. Think in the lines of za’atar, harissa, tahini, falafel, and pita to name a few.

4 – Plant-Based Still Going Strong

While this trend is nothing new, the innovation and technology behind this growth are evolving. The direction of going plant-based is growing by leaps and bounds with introductions like plant-based egg substitutes and veggie burgers. Also, think of foods in the lines of jackfruit and zoodle pasta dishes.

5 – Natural Processing


A lot of diets debuted in the past few years totally eliminated processed foods in the diet. So, this may not be new but naturally-processed foods will be a big hit in 2018. We are slowly evolving into the mindset of “less is more.” And this is the niche where smaller companies can explore and seize opportunities by being able to deliver naturally-processed, no-preservative, and higher quality food.

6 – Sustainability and Sourcing

We’ve heard a lot of phrases like farm-to-fork, farm-to-plate, sustainable sourcing, local sourcing, fair coursing, etc.—all these means sourcing and sustainability practices. The food industry is reducing their footprint while making food fresher longer and saving money. It is seen that the food industry is looking into kelp and seaweed for a more nutrient rich and sustainable food option.

7 – Transparency

This has been an age-old fight between consumers and producers, but it is seen that in 2018 food manufacturers are more than ever going to strive harder for brand and food transparency or else risk losing their market. 2018’s consumer is more probing and meticulous when it comes to their food than ever.

Final Thoughts on Predictions

2018 is going to be an important year for the food and beverage industry. Many of the new products and reformulations have been in the works over the past 18 months and their launches will be critical. Be on the lookout for products utilizing multiple trends mentioned above to attract consumers. A variety of products with GrandFusion launching in 2018 will pair plant-based and light snacking trends together. These superfood snacks will pack a nutritional punch from GrandFusion’s plant-based vitamins without impacting the flavor or texture. Interested in learning more? Download our GrandFusion R&D Resource Kit.

Bizarre Food Trends to Watch in 2018

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The food and beverage space has been rapidly changing over the past five years and 2018 looks to be no different. In this post, we will look at some of the Daily Mail’s bizarre food trends to watch in 2018.

Meat Like Veggie Burgers

Veggie burgers have come a long way in the past few years. Anyone with experience eating veggie burgers knows that they have often been dry and bland. Companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have developed juicy veggie burgers that mimic the texture and taste of real meat burgers. Impossible Foods’ burger even bleeds! Watch out for these burgers near all your genuine beef products in 2018.

It’s 2018, and we are Drinking Mushroom Lattes

Mushrooms have been getting a lot of hype in 2017, and that looks to continue in 2018. New mushroom enhanced coffee is focused on giving you the caffeine kick without the jitters. Four Sigmatic is selling arabica coffee blended with fungi including Lion’s Mane and Chaga. Be on the lookout for coffee bars and mushroom lattes next year!

Bizarre Veggie Bread

Companies are looking for ways to make products healthier especially bread manufacturers. Over the past five years, bread manufacturers in the U.K. have seen sales decline by 12%. They have developed a high protein, low carb veggie bread to lure customers back. These loaves of bread are being made out of beetroot, courgette, and red pepper.

Sweet and Sour Super Fruit

Superfoods and more specifically superfruits have been buzzing for years now. Jackfruit is the latest superfood to pick up steam and demand. In 2018, you can eat it raw, so it tastes sweet like a mango or cook it for a sour taste. The jackfruit is full of calcium and iron.

High Protein Ice Cream

Yes, ice cream is trying to be better for you! Brands are hopping on the protein train and packing it into every spoonful. Be on the lookout for new products from Breyers to compete with protein-infused ice cream originator, Enlightened.

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Flexitarian Diet Could Decrease Chance of Obesity by 50%

Obesity is one of the most pressing health problems affecting many countries. With the wrong food choices and lack of activity, it has become a worldwide epidemic that is associated with different diseases like strokes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. While many types of diets claim to be useful in letting people shed off their unwanted pounds, none are as efficient as a pro-vegetarian diet.

A study conducted in Spain noted that a flexitarian diet could help reduce the risk of obesity by as much as 50%. A flexitarian diet is pro-vegetarian, but it encourages people to consume fish and meat occasionally and favors the consumption of more fruits, vegetables, and grains. The flexitarian diet is similar to the Mediterranean diet that encourages dieters to consume more grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables instead of red meat.

The Flexitarian Study

The study involves 16,000 individuals who were tracked for ten years on their diet preferences. The survey asked the participants to complete food questionnaires where they were scored on how flexitarian their diets were. Based on the studies, participants get more points for eating plant-based foods than meats. The points were deducted for the animal products consumed.

Based on the study, 20% of the respondents consumed more animal products while the others are leaning towards the vegetarian diet. Researchers found that those who consume mostly plant-based foods were 43% less likely to develop obesity.

How Much Is Too Much?

While consuming a few animal products is good for maintaining a healthy weight, the question is how much meat is too much? The study revealed that those who consumed 200 grams of red meat a day have higher chances of becoming obese. Consumption of fish was also noted, but it had little impact on the obesity rates.


According to one of the authors of the study, Professor Maira Bes-Rastrollo, the study recommended people to consume less red meat and opt for increasing the consumption of plant-based foods. The dangers of too much meat consumption are that it has been associated with higher intake of fat, calories, and less consumption of fiber from vegetables. This increases the risk of developing chronic lifestyle diseases.

Limitations of The Study

The study may encourage people to switch to a more pro-vegetarian diet, but the study has its weaknesses and limitations as it is conducted as an observational study. Researchers could have recruited people to eat a vegetarian diet to compare it with the other group – the one who ate mostly meat. To get the most benefits out of the flexitarian diets, nutritionists and health experts recommend cooking your own food instead of eating out to keep track of the ingredients used.

Although this may be the case, choosing to follow the flexitarian diet can bring a lot of benefits to the body. In fact, it is considered by many health experts as one of the most balanced diets anyone who wishes to stay healthy should follow.

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Video: Best Sources Of Plant Proteins And Why You Need To Eat Them

People have a good relationship with meat. This is the reason why animal protein consumption has risen immensely compared to 50 years ago. But because animal protein has been linked to various diseases, there is an increase in the number of consumers who opt to consume plant-based proteins.

The Benefits Of Consuming  Plant Proteins

In research conducted at Harvard University, people who consume plant proteins have a better metabolism than those who consume just animal proteins. This led people to have a lowered risk of developing obesity. In fact, increasing your consumption of plant proteins is associated with as low as 10% risk of premature death.

Unlike animal proteins, plant proteins do not come with added nitrites and nitrates. This is particularly the case for processed meat. Opting for organic plant proteins that are chemical-free, helps reduce inflammation in the body.

Another reason why it is crucial to consume more plant protein is that they contain a lot of fiber.  Plant sources of protein are namely chickpeas, legume, lentils, grains, and beans. These contain a lot of fiber that can help keep the digestive system functioning optimally. Shifting towards plant protein is good because studies have noted that an average Western diet is deficient in natural fiber. Fiber is also necessary because it serves as fuel for the good bacteria living in your gut.

But aside from fiber, plant proteins also contain high amounts of vitamins and minerals like folate, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium. They are also cholesterol-free making them good for the heart.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of eating plant protein is that it is very affordable. If you buy animal protein, it typically costs two to three times as much as plant sources of proteins. Lastly, it is also good for the environment as the carbon footprint in maki a plant-based protein is less compared to growing animal meat.


How To Eat Plant-Based Proteins And The Best Sources

Eating plant proteins can be fun. Unfortunately, some people do not eat them because they do not know how to prepare them. One of the most effective way to prepare plant protein is to sprout them especially if you have beans. Sprouted legumes have benefits as they increase the absorption of nutrients in the intestines. Another way of preparing plant protein is to take them in powder form. However, make sure that you avoid powdered plant proteins that contain additives and artificial sweeteners.

If you are planning on introducing more plant-based proteins to your diet, then there are good sources of plant proteins that you can choose from. You can get your daily protein needs by eating at least a cup of black beans, chickpeas, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, edamame, lentils, pumpkin seeds, lima beans, green peas, spinach, brown rice, kale, quinoa, and Brussels sprouts. Other sources of plant proteins can come from all types of leafy green vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

Consuming plant-based protein has a lot of benefits not only to your health but also to the environment. Make sure that you incorporate them in your diet as often as you can.

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CytoSport Eyes Plant-Based Proteins In New Product Line

Protein drinks are growing in popularity among multiple generations of people. Athletes are using drinks to improve their performance when playing sports. Protein drinks are believed to improve performance and increase muscle mass. But while dairy-based protein shakes are still popular, there is an increasing trend of people who opt for dairy-free protein beverages. Muscle Milk Maker, CytoSport, released a line of vegan protein shakes, powder, and bars to meet the demands of its vegan and vegetarian customers.

CytoSport Launches Evolve Brand to Compete in Plant-Based Protein

Dubbed as Evolve, this new CytoSport product is made from non-GMO, plant-based protein. Derived from peas, this new line of vegan protein products come in flavors like chocolate, toasted almonds, and vanilla. With this move, CytoSport is expecting to expand their customer reach to vegans and vegetarians, who naturally do not buy their products because they are dairy-based.

Greg Longstreet, the CEO, noted that the company needs to expand their market and they predict that plant-based proteins will dominate the market ten years from now. Although this is not the first time that the company has made innovations, launching Evolve is a very bold move by the corporation as it is well-known for making conventional protein shakes and powders. The move is beyond what the company is usually used to making.

Why Plant Proteins?

But why plant proteins? There is a premise that plant proteins are better sources of protein.  In fact, it is not only CytoSport that is now developing products using plant-based proteins. Even companies like Hormel, General Mills, Kellogg’s, and Tyson Foods have invested in plant-based proteins.

Aside from increasing revenue and improving their market reach, Evolve is also a way to introduce healthy drinks to women. The thing is that while the Muscle Milk brand is preferred mostly by men, Evolve was launched with female consumers in mind. It contains fewer calories than normal dairy-based protein shakes.

The Future for CytoSport

But while plant-based protein products are gaining traction in the market these days, CytoSport is facing a significant barrier as there are still many people who believe that consuming eggs and milk are the best sources of protein, instead of plants. Although this may be the case, the company is still banking on the belief that people will have a change of heart in the coming years. This is the reason why the company is developing other plant-based proteins. As a sampler, the company is going to launch its line of protein bars this coming spring.

The company is hopeful that the plant-based proteins will be embraced by the consumers of the future a.ka. Millennials. Aside from CytoSport, even Hormel is confident with this particular line of product. In fact, Hormel CEO Jim Snee noted that the company is projected to increase its sales by 2020.

Mainly, plant-based products will dominate the market as more and more people are now embracing the trend of eating clean and healthy foods. As consumers, we should expect to see a lot of food companies following suit to meet the demands of consumers who have converted to eating clean, organic and healthy foods.

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U.S. Plant-Based Food Industry Sees Boost In Annual Sales to $5 Billion

The plant-based food and beverage industry is seeing a vast improvement in sales this past year. According to the retail sales data company SPINS, the total market of the plant-based industry was $5 billion in total sales last year. The executive director of Plant Based Food Association, Michele Simon, noted that that the growth of the plant-based food sector is stable and it is all thanks to the shift of consumers from animal products. In fact, the total sales of meat alternatives grew by 15.9% last year.

This is the reason why products like plant-based milk and refrigerated products have shown growth over the last few years.  It seems that there is a steady increase in milk and cheese alternatives with 31.4% sales increase observed. Aside from plant-based cheeses, the market is also dominated by smaller categories of meat options like meatless jerky, mayonnaise and other types of condiments.

What Factors are Growing Plant-Based Food Sales?

So what are the factors boosting plant-based food products? One of the factors influencing sales was the bill introduced by Congress that imposed non-dairy alternatives to omit the milk, yogurt, and cheese on the label. The proper labeling has resulted in less confusion and the public embracing plant-based food choices.

But more than the proper labeling, the change was driven by health, animal, and environmental concerns. While there is still a significant number of people who eat a predominantly carnivorous diet, there is an increasing number of individuals who want to eat more plant-based foods.

The Market: Vegans, Vegetarians, and Flexitarians

This lifestyle movement has caught the attention of many leading food brands. They have incorporated plant-based products to cater to the needs of the growing population of vegans, vegetarians, and flexitarians. Today, many food companies believe in the mantra that catering to the health of the customers is also essential to the health of the enterprise. But aside from people who have embraced the plant-based lifestyle, the plant-based food industry is also popular among people who follow certain strict diets such as the Paleo diet. Plant-based food products are catering to a broad spectrum of consumers.

This is the reason why companies like Daiya Foods, maker of non-dairy cheese substitutes like cheese and yogurt dominated the plant-based food industry. In fact, they sell their products in over 35,000 stores in the country and make more than $100 million in sales each year.

Many people are becoming more aware of the benefits of a plant-based diet, and they embrace it because it is not only good for the health but the environment too. Unlike other food trends, the plant-based diet will never go out of style. It is a significant shift in people’s lifestyle.

Plant-based food products are currently enjoying consumer acceptance. With the rise of the plant-based foods in the United States, consumers are finding healthier options and manufacturers are finding healthy profits.

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The Transformative Food Trends of 2017

While we are still in the middle of the first quarter of the year, food analysts have already determined different food trends that will become popular throughout the rest of the year.

#1: Perfectly Imperfect Whole Foods

People used to be so obsessed with perfection when it comes to their food. They want their carrots to be free from blemishes, and their spinach must have uniformly sized leaves. Today, however, the perception of perfection has changed. To achieve perfect produce, they need to undergo a lot of agricultural treatments. For carrots to be blemish-free, they need to be sprayed with nematicide so that their roots can grow perfectly without being eaten by nematodes.

This year, many customers want imperfect whole foods. For them, foods with cleaner labels are more important than perfect produce. Customers prefer foods that are unadulterated and has undergone minimal processing.

#2: All Smart Everything

You have your smart appliances so expect to see all smart everything in the food scene this year. Multiple companies that manufacture kitchen appliances have developed smart devices to provide more convenience to users. For example, the company Flatev has made kitchen appliances that will allow you to make homemade tortillas or bread with just a few clicks of the finger.

#3: Plant-Based Movement

Another trend this year is the plant-based movement. Consumption of plant products is increasing this year as more people are becoming aware of the health and environmental benefits of eating a plant-based diet. In fact, many companies have jumped on the bandwagon of producing plant-based food. Almond milk, for instance, is a billion-dollar industry that is constantly increasing its revenue as more people are looking for dairy alternatives. Other companies have also created plant-based meats to meet the demands of people who prefer not to eat meat.

#4: Internet Retailing

Big retailers like Walmart, Safeway, and Kroger have typically expanded by building a larger store or opening more distribution all over the country—or the world. Building a business through traditional retail may still be popular today, but it is being replaced with internet retailing.

Today, most millennials prefer convenience, which is why online shopping is a very attractive option for buying things. In fact, we can buy anything on the internet. From ready-to-eat meals to groceries, you can simply purchase anything with just a few mouse clicks.

But aside from internet shopping, the use of technology is also implemented in brick and mortar stores. Amazon launched its Amazon Shop where people can shop for items without having the need to go through a checkout counter as their payments are already deducted through RFID.

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