You can expect to see even more plant-based foods in your local retailer‘s thanks to a new initiative called the PBFA Research and Education Fund, started by the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA). The PBFA is a trade association that represents 90 of the leading plant-based food brands in the U.S. The organization, though fairly new, is already making strides in the promotion of plant-based alternatives and this newest initiative is another vital step in the right direction.
We’ve all heard the phrase “knowledge is power, but applied knowledge is even better.” Well, PBFA’s initiative will help retailers not only learn more about how offering or expanding their plant-based options will increase their bottom line but they are also helping them to implement the strategies needed to make the shelf space.
According to Michele Simon, executive director of PBFA, “It’s an exciting time for the plant-based foods industry. This new initiative will allow us to apply best practices to support this growing sector and reach more consumers.” Simon will also be leading the new non-profit in its mission.
Board members of the new organization also include (PBFA board members) Jaime Athos, the CEO of The Tofurkey Co and Martin Kruger, COO of Follow Your Heart. Joining them is Julie Mann, the global protein program manager at Ingredion Incorporated. Another strategy the team plans to make in the longer term is conducting research that will give insight into the best ways to merchandise plant-based foods and figuring out what drives consumers to buy more plant-based alternatives.
With the plant-based sector’s tremendous growth over the last few years, this initiative will help retailers keep up with consumer demand. According to a recent study by SPINS, the leading retail sales data company for the natural and specialty products industry shows the total market for plant-based sector well over $5 billion. As Simon stated, “The steady growth of the plant-based foods industry shows that consumers continue to shift away from animal products towards plant-based options.”
There is no doubt that the increased demand is a direct result of consumers awareness of health, animal, and environmental concerns surrounding the consumption of animal products. Now, with a combination of large food processing companies like Tyson, Pinnacle Foods, and Maple Leaf taking leadership roles in adding and expanding their plant-based offerings, along with PBFA’s new program, more people will soon have access to a healthier, plant-powered diet.
To find out more about the new initiative to push the growing plant-based foods sector, visit the PBFA website here.
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