As consumers worldwide become increasingly concerned by the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from food production, they look to the brands they consume to help reduce their carbon footprint. Naturally, this has had a notable impact on the alternative meat industry, where plant-based proteins continue to experience growth in popularity.
In the run up to this year’s Food Ingredients Europe, we caught up with Dr Brian Surgenor, Senior Category Manager for Global Chemicals, to get his take on what it takes to win in this competitive sector.
We’re seeing more and more brands highlight their carbon footprint, as well as their emissions and climate compensation initiatives on their packaging – all designed to appeal to the growing cohort of environmentally conscious consumers.
But being better for the planet alone is no longer enough to keep consumers coming back. It takes more than that to get that all important repeat purchase as this market becomes more crowded.
Hitting the right price point
Inflationary pressures are encouraging consumers to explore lower cost options, and plant-based proteins are seeing tailwinds from this shift. In the UK, 34% of meat substitute consumers say they are looking for a low price when shopping for plant-based products. The perception that these products are cost effective is seemingly integral to their consumer appeal.
Supporting the need for convenience and versatility
We’re seeing a growing number of products launching with shelf-stable claims, as well as messaging around the ease and speed of preparation. The increasing education around how plant-based products work helps to demystify them and add to their accessibility.
Doing more for one’s health
As with countless other food and beverage categories, there is a growing expectation that products in this space must go beyond being better for the planet. More products are being developed with claims around additional vitamin content, supporting the immune system, or improving gut health. This will become increasingly important as brands compete to differentiate themselves.
Delivering on taste and texture
Consumers ultimately want the most authentic experience possible, irrespective of the product they’re buying, which means that the flavour is still paramount to a product’s appeal. Products positioned as meat alternatives must deliver a meat-inspired flavour if they are going to perform well.
This isn’t straight-forward and addressing the challenge requires a comprehensive understanding of the reactions and processes involved in cooking meat. That’s where we come in.
Our expert team has developed a portfolio of more than 300 molecules that represent the key components that are developed when cooking meat. They have been created and curated in partnership with Endeavour Speciality Chemicals over the past 30 years and seamlessly answer the challenges faced by those developing products in the meat alternative space. Treatt and Endeavour Speciality Chemicals are the only independent, specialist European ingredients companies to have developed an extensive portfolio of high impact chemicals that are manufactured in the UK, providing formulators with the necessary tools to exceed customer expectations and deliver consistent quality to build brand loyalty.
Experience it for yourself
Book a product demonstration with our highly experienced team HERE.