New Plant-Based Products Enter the Market

person holding burger

Nearly a quarter of the U.S. population are trying new plant-based meat alternatives, according to a study from Herbalife Nutrition.

Since the pandemic, buying spree sales of plant-based foods are up 35% as more Americans who do not define themselves as vegan/plant-based are trying the new meatless offerings entering the market, reported The Beet (Nov. 12).

Consumers will increasingly have more plant-based options to choose from with  what seems like new product offerings each and every day .

Performance Foodservice, a division of Performance Food Group Co., launched a proprietary line of plant-based protein products, making it the last of the big three foodservice distributors to enter into this arena.

The products are being offered under the Green Origin brand and include plant-based burgers, grinds, breakfast sausages, and nuggets. Green Origin products are made exclusively by Greenleaf Foods, SPC, owner of plant-based brands Lightlife and Field Roast.

With this launch, Performance Foodservice will have one of the largest plant-based exclusive brand portfolios in the industry.

“We’re well past the point of plant-based eating as a niche trend,” said Fred Sanelli, senior vice president of marketing and sales at Performance Foodservice. “It has become a significant and growing segment in the foodservice landscape. We know that the number of consumers committed to a cleaner, more sustainable, healthier, and great tasting culinary lifestyle is increasing rapidly, and we are thrilled to add our expertise to the pursuit of a ‘greener way of life.’ Our Green Origin line delivers a premium eating experience that will give our customers exciting menu options.”

The products are 100% plant-based, free of artificial colors, flavors, and additives.

Meanwhile, Beyond Meat will launch two new lean burger lines in 2021, reported Forbes (Nov. 16). One of the varieties will have 55% less saturated fat than 80/20 ground beef, and the other 35% less.

“We’re trying to deliver more juice and more of that savory, mouthwatering taste. And you can do that by making the fat that you use simply work harder,” says Beyond founder and CEO Ethan Brown, adding that this advancement has been in the works for years. The new offerings are made possible by new processing that helps Beyond better distribute the fat it uses to bind its pea and brown rice protein together.

“The promise to our consumers is really to try to give them products that not only taste great, but also are very good for their bodies, and often good for the planet,” said Brown. “That’s the no trade-off promise that we’re trying to make.”

A study from Stanford University published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who switched to Beyond Meat lost 2-lbs. on average and saw bad cholesterol levels drop. However, the burgers are still highly processed and loaded with saturated fat—showing that just because faux meat products are made from plants, they aren’t inherently better for you.

The Beyond burger that is currently sold also has 350 milligrams of sodium—four times more than a traditional beef patty. Brown noted that this is because it’s already seasoned, compared to beef burgers which are seasoned on the grill.

Decreasing sodium is something that is still in the works for Beyond. “That is something that we’ll be folding into future iterations. More to come on that front,” said Brown.