The food space has been experiencing a monumental shift in recent years. Processed and mass produced foods that are pumped with artificial ingredients, hormones, antibiotics, treated with pesticides, and largely devoid of real nutrition are rapidly losing their appeal. As consumers learn more about how food is directly tied to our health and well-being, as well as the health of the planet, they are shifting away from meat and dairy and seeking better options, and the rapid growth of the plant-based food sector is indicative of this trend.
“A whole new conscious food economy is rising, consisting of companies that are working to disrupt our food system by offering healthier, more sustainable foods. We’re undoubtedly at an exciting point in history where concrete steps are finally being taken to focus on solutions that have the power to shape the future of food.” ~ Nil Zacharias, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief, One Green Planet.
A whole new food ecosystem is rising, driven by startups that are not only responding to consumer demand by offering more plant-based options but are in fact accelerating this shift in food habits by introducing innovative new products to the market. The first page in the story that will propel us into the future of food, dominated by sustainable, plant-based products is being written today.
The New Food Ecosystem
There was a time when meat substitutes and dairy-free alternatives were created to cater to a specific segment of the population, namely people who ate a vegan or vegetarian diet. Those days are long gone. A report from global market research firm, Mintel identified meat and dairy alternatives as one of the 12 key trends set to impact the global food and drink market in 2016. The plant-based food sector specifically has reached $3.5 billion with an 8.7% growth rate in the past two years. The growth in this space is being driven by two key factors: an accelerated shift in consumer behavior and rapid product innovation.
Welcome to the new world where plants are going beyond the produce section, and meatless and dairy-free options are dominating grocery store aisles as well as refrigerated and frozen food sections of the biggest retailers across the nation.
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