The year 2020 will forever remain one of the most, if not the most, challenging times the world has ever seen before. The COVID-19 pandemic threatened and even claimed so many lives and brought a lot of fear, sadness, and confusion to the whole universe. Businesses went down, and people lost their livelihood. There were no more handshakes or social gatherings of any kind, even the religious ones. And life became so difficult.
But it wasn’t all that bad for everyone, especially the companies in the alternative protein food industry. To them, 2020 was a good year to grow and expand beyond their limitations. Indeed, this has come true as the alternative protein industry is now prevailing.
Below are 7 alternative protein food trends you must watch out for in 2021 –
The Increasing Demand for Plant-based Meats
People are now more concerned about their health than ever before and changing their eating habits. They are continuously searching for healthier alternative plant-based foods. These products are less processed. They are much cleaner, have fewer fats, and do not contain so many spices. Examples include
Plant-based chicken, Plant-based bacon, Plant-based meat snacks, Plant-based seafood
We already have a few product-based companies in play, and more are yet to join the market as the demand for plant-based foods increases.
2. Increased Affordability for Plant-based Products
The demand for plant-based products is on the rise and so is the supply. It follows then that the price should come down. That’s what we expect to see in 2021.
3. Increased Focus on Plant-based Dairy Products
The demand for plant-based cheese has been far much lower than for conventional cheese, but this is about to change. The sector has been improving to become more reliable and attract more customers. Few products have already launched, and new companies are joining the market. Similarly, more people are now shifting their focus from conventional cheese to plant-based cheese. We expect this trend to continue.
The dairy-based ice-cream sector is also evolving, with the most excitement coming from the idea of producing cow-free dairy proteins through fermentation.
4. More Eco-Friendly Packaging of Plant-based products
If you decide to go green, you need to go all in. Going green is not just about eating well like most brands like to assume. They focus on minimizing toxic emissions during production but then they package their final products in non-recyclable plastic bags. That is counterproductive when all is said and done. But this will change.
Consumers are demanding more from plant-based companies. They want their favorite plant-based foods to come in compostable, refillable, reusable packing. Few companies have already begun, and more will have to join the movement.
5. More Protein-based Ingredients
To satisfy the high demand for alternative proteins, companies have been looking into more alternative protein sources. As a result, ingredient development has been on the rise in 2021.
Companies are gunning for nutrition, flavor, sourcing, price, functionality, among other attributes. Some emerging plant-based protein sources include mung bean, duckweed, sunflower, potato, oat, fungi, navy bean, rice, and chickpea.
6. Veganic Farming on The Rise
According to a food and beverage advanced analytics company, we have to rethink our agricultural practices if we are going to have any chance of succeeding in our fight against climate-change-induced food insecurity.
Veganic farming, also known as vegan organic or stock-free, or plant-based farming, is a type of farming that takes animal, environmental and human health into consideration.
It allows farmers to use animal-based fertilizers such as manure, eggshells, fish emulsion, and bone meal. Most people might not have heard about this kind of farming, but it has been on the rise this year.
7. More Online Selling and Distribution of Alternative Protein Products
Due to the pandemic and the social distancing rules, food companies across the universe had to turn to the internet to continue distributing and selling their products. You can expect this trend to continue in 2021 and even after as long as the predicament does not change.
You also have to remember that many AI-backed technologies are now employed by the food and beverages companies to monitor farming and consumer preferences.