Plant based protein is one of the breakout trends of 2020, with various food and beverage companies seeking to use plant based ingredients as supplements or the main attraction of their new product development. Much of the discussion on plant based protein has often been focused on younger consumers, such as millennials, who tend to be concerned about the sustainability of the food they eat and are often eager to try new foods and dietary concepts.
Products with a plant based claim are perceived as healthier and as having a better taste compared to products with a vegan and/or vegetarian claim. Plant based, vegan, and vegetarian all show strong growth, with plant based having the lowest penetration but fastest growth.
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SMEs are responsible for a major part of plant protein based innovation, accounting for nearly 80% of all food and beverage launches (Global, 2019). All forms of soy protein are declining as a result of the availability of a broad array of plant protein ingredients and as a response to the consumer movement away from soy. While the use of soy proteins is declining, it remains the top plant protein ingredient, followed by pea protein. Pumpkin seed protein, pea protein concentrate, and sunflower protein are among the fastest growing plant protein ingredients in F&B.
Plant based proteins
Top market subcategories as a percentage (%) of overall F&B launches tracked with plant protein ingredients (Global, 2019).