Perhaps as an unintended consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are focusing more on our health as well as the planet. When it comes to food, things like plant-based foods, super foods, probiotics and prebiotics, fermented ingredients, functional ingredients, and adaptogens are increasingly in demand.
If you make it through, or even just contemplate Veganuary, you already know that these things are good for you. But in our busy lives, we also seek comfort in the kitchen, and food manufacturers take notice.
For example, Meat Free Livestock is a British plant-based food company recently launched in the US, aiming to make meat substitutes tastier and more widely consumed. Their current line meatless land and burgers Gluten-free, made from high-quality non-GMO ingredients like pea protein, and has a healthy 21g of protein and 3g fiber per serving.
The Meatless Farm has recently added new products including Chik’n hot dogs and cutlets and nuggets. The taste and texture is just right, sure to satisfy diverse tastes and even the pickiest of eaters. For inspiration, the company’s team of chefs and nutritionists has grown recipe to guide you.
Plant-based dairy products are also gaining popularity, and are leading the way in the category Planet Oats. “With so many innovations and choices in the plant-based milk category, consumers are looking for what best suits their needs and uses,” said Chris Ross, the company’s senior vice president of marketing, research and development.
“Planet Oat milk is delicious, creamy and excels in coffee, smoothies and more, so it’s no surprise to us to see oat milk sales volume tripling in 2020, with Planet Oat holding a 36% volume share as the market leader,” he said, adding that they had recently expanded their portfolio of brands to include unsweetened oat milk, coffee cream makers, and frozen desserts.
“This is truly an exciting time to be part of the plant-based revolution,” said chef Dave Anderson, creator of Beyond Meat and a line of plant-based snacks for Great Food. “What we’ve seen so far is just the beginning because meatlessness continues to be mainstream. The ever-increasing demand for plant-based foods, better for you, and better for the planet opens the door to endless possibilities for innovation. “
Last year, inspired by take-out food, Anderson developed it Take, the first nutritious food in the form of a puff. Blending a blend of nutrients and plant-based protein, TakeOut packs 30% of the recommended daily value including iron, calcium, vitamin D and more, into one 3oz bag. The puffs are available in four flavors that won’t stain your fingers and will satisfy your craving for a crunchy snack while still providing take-away nutrition.
Anderson also appeared PigOut Pigless Bacon Seasoning, plant-based products that are free of gluten, GMOs, cholesterol, calories, carbohydrates, and fats. Sprinkle with popcorn, avocado toast, french fries, pizza, or whatever else you like. It comes in four bacony flavors, packed in an adorable pork-shaped whisk. With every purchase, customers will receive a free e-book with 100% plant-based recipes from renowned chefs. “I am very excited to share what Outstanding Foods has in store for this ongoing meatless movement,” he said.
Health-conscious parents also demand plant-based products for their children. Once Upon a Farm, the largest and fastest growing plant-based nutrition company, pioneered the first cold-pressed organic fruit and vegetable mix for babies. Using cold pressure (also known as high pressure pasteurization or HPP) to keep products safe and free from harmful bacteria while locking in nutrients, they create non-dairy fruit and vegetable mixes, smoothies and dairy-free yogurt without added sugar, flavor, coloring or artificial preservative.
Multi-benefit diets are also on the rise, with people looking for convenient alternatives that are more nutritious. As an example, RightRice is a whole grain mixture packed with nuts to provide more protein and vegetable fiber as well as less carbohydrates. It is shaped like a rice grain and made from lentils, chickpeas, peas and rice, providing more than twice the protein, five times the fiber, and nearly 40% less net carbs than a bowl of white rice. This delicious innovation is shelf stable, cooks in about 10 minutes, and is super easy to make on a busy work night.
Low-carb, keto-friendly, and gluten-free alternatives to bread continue to be in demand, and companies continue to ship them. Outer AlleyA thin sandwich made from cauliflower and pizza crust is convenient and versatile. Made with four simple Non-GMO ingredients – cageless egg, Parmesan cheese, nutritional yeast and over 63% fresh cauliflower, the taste and texture are satisfying for endless use.
For a healthier organic alternative to regular pizza, Great Sourdough Alex is a sourdough-based frozen pizza brand, offering flavors of delicious mushrooms, sunflower pesto and mozzarella that go from freezer to crispy crust in just 10 minutes. The dough is naturally fermented which makes it gut-friendly, increases the bio-available nutrients in the dough and lowers its glycemic index. Plus, they’re customizable – you can add whatever toppings you choose to make them even more delicious.
Based in Austin Siete Family Food, a health-conscious Mexican American food brand, launches 10 new products by 2021, including Churro Strips and grainless pastries, kettle-cooked potato chips, and cooking spices. Praised for its innovative products, the company is expanding across multiple categories and product lines, which range from grain-free tortillas and tortilla chips to enchilada sauce and cashews.
“More than ever, consumers are aware of what they are eating and what is in the food they consume,” said Miguel Garza, co-founder and CEO of Siete Foods, which is one of the three fastest growing natural brands in the industry, and is a natural tortilla brand, taco shell brand, cold cheese sauce brand, and the number one cooking sauce brand on the market.
Better for you, snacking is also at an all-time high. California’s Mooney Farms, maker of sundried tomato products since 1986, recently added Plant-Based Tomato Jerky Bella Sun Luci to their list. Containing all the goodness of healthy tomatoes and the smoky taste and texture of jerky, this delicious snack offers 6g of protein and is a great source of lycopene, potassium and fiber and tastes like Teriyaki & Cracked Pepper, Sriracha and Hickory Smoked. They’re perfect right out of the bag but go great with salads, as pizza toppers or cut and added to trail mixes.
Satisfying a sweet treat is perhaps the most challenging while trying to eat better, especially for kids. Enter Clio Snacks, A stick of Greek yogurt that tastes like a cheese cake covered in chocolate. They are keto-friendly, provide 8 grams of protein and only 100 calories and 1 gram of sugar, and have flavors like mixed berries, peanut butter and espresso. Their Less Sugar bars are the newest, in flavors like açaí and coconut, which might be perfect for those looking to clean up their diet a little.
Mochi fans must see it Bubbies, maker of a vegan plant-based touch on the novelty of classic Japanese. This rice dough-based food is made with natural non-GMO ingredients and real fruit puree, and comes in individual, sustainable packs, using 75 percent less plastic than top competitor’s one-serving mochi packs. Their coconut-based vegan flavors include chocolate and strawberry.
Kosterine has created a 100% pure, ultra-premium line extra virgin olive oil chocolate bars rich in antioxidants thanks to the high polyphenols (430mg / kg) in the brand’s extra virgin olive oil. Made with 70% organic cocoa dark chocolate, organic cocoa butter, organic coconut sugar, the bars are topped with sea salt and blended with Mediterranean ingredients including almonds, honey, vanilla and figs. Available in Nuts, Cinnamon & Honey, Almond Butter & Vanilla, and Fig & Balsamic, customers have the option to purchase Subscribe to the Chocolate Box or a la carte Mezze Box.
What if your heart wants candy that isn’t loaded with sugar and other dubious ingredients? Stu Davidoff found himself yearning for such an alternative, so he created one Giant, a new vegan candy bar. “I felt that substitutes for candy bars were boring, so I started making them aimed at more mature, sophisticated tastes, and a more health-conscious consumer who still provides the old school experience, should have them,” he said.
Made with fair trade dark chocolate, 69% less sugar than leading candy bars and unsweetened alternatives, Gigantic comes in flavors like Salted Peanut, Almond Horchata, Banana Pecan, and Hazelnut Café. Even the caramel is vegetable, made from coconut milk.
“Giants are cute, but in a controlled way. It’s a balanced sweetness that can coexist with other nuanced flavors, without stealing the eye, “said Davidoff, who described the bar as a kind of sweet. “This is the real sweetness,” he added. “We don’t use artificial sweeteners or alternatives like erythritol, stevia or monkfruit. It’s not for me. “
No doubt, food companies will continue to innovate to meet the increasing demand for better products for you, providing nutrition and benefits without sacrificing the pleasure of enjoying a delicious meal or snack.