With more than half of all U.S. consumers eating more plant-based foods and beverages, plant-based diets are here to stay. But there’s still plenty of room for growth. If your consumers are putting up road blocks on jumping aboard the plant-based diet bandwagon, it’s probably because they have heard some, or maybe all, of the biggest myths and misconceptions about a plant-based diet. With more than 250 dairy-free flavors, Edlong flavors can play a significant role in dispelling those myths, improving taste profiles while imparting richness in better-for-you applications. Share these truths with consumers who may be hesitant to join the worldwide dietary shift:
Myth 1: “I’ll Have To Give Up Great-Tasting Foods and Snacks.”
The plant-based food sector grew 20% in retail sales, as compared to a mere 2% growth for all foods (according to the Plant-Based Food Association). But taste is still cited as the top reason U.S. adults who eat plant-based proteins do so (52%), outranking concerns about diet, animal protection and even health. Many product developers are rising to the challenge. They better: fully a quarter of 25-34 year-old Americans now claim to be vegan or vegetarians, which is why the Economist has named 2019, “The Year of the Vegan.”
In response to demand, vegetable and fruit options are continuing to increase, as are varieties of beans, nuts, seeds, legumes, pastas, noodles, rice, cereals, grains, spices and herbs. Better-for-you indulgent foods are also now easier to find. According to Jaime Athos, President and CEO of the plant-based alternative company Tofurky, it is the high-quality alternatives that are pushing the category forward. “The quality and broad availability of plant-based foods has really been the turning point,” he says. “Consumers are showing us that if they are presented with the option to choose healthier and more ethically produced plant-based foods without sacrificing taste, they will jump at it.”
Myth 2: “A Plant-Based Diet is Too Expensive.”
A plant-based diet incorporates lots of beans, legumes and whole grains, all of which cost less than meat or fish. Many of these foods are packed with protein, vitamins and minerals, which means some consumers may be able to save even more money by reducing their vitamin supplements. Smart consumers can also save by purchasing fruits and vegetables that are in-season and from a local farmer’s market. Shopping for some items in bulk (such as grains or legumes, or even frozen fruits) can also reduce overall grocery bills.
Myth #3: “I Won’t Get Enough Protein in My Diet.”
Eating enough protein isn’t as hard as many people think because most U.S. consumers eat far too much of it. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein for most people is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of healthy body weight. This should only account for about 10% of someone’s daily diet (the average American consumer, however, gets 16% of his or her daily calories from protein). Most consumers can get enough protein by eating beans, whole grains, tofu, lentils, nuts, seeds and whole-grain foods; all are packed with protein and yet are compatible with a 100% plant-based diet.
Myth 4: “A Plant-Based Diet is Too Time Consuming.”
Eating a whole food, plant-based diet may take more time than always microwaving a frozen meal, but there are plenty of whole food, frozen foods available. Edlong flavors are an exceptional, easy way to ensure ready-to-eat foods are packed with the authentic taste consumers expect.
Still, preparing even fresh, healthy whole food meals doesn’t have to mean hours in the kitchen. Vegetables like broccoli and squash can be steamed in minutes, and salads can be quickly cut up, spun, tossed and consumed. Many consumers create a weekly menu and stack their freezer with foods they can eat all week, meaning a plant-based diet doesn’t require more time, just better planning.
Myth 5: “A Plant-Based Diet Means I’ll be Hungry All the Time.”
Whole food plant-based foods are often packed with fiber, and fiber fills up your stomach and stabilizes your blood sugar levels to prevent cravings. Legumes in particular are composed of hunger-satisfying protein and have uniquely high levels of fiber and resistant starch which are not broken down by the digestive system.
Plant-Based Diets are Here to Stay: No Myth The numbers speak for themselves: nearly two-thirds (65%) of consumers worldwide are eating more plant-based foods. The objections to a plant-based diet are dwindling, as more and more consumers are becoming better educated. As that education continues, plant-based diet myths will be replaced by plant-based diet truths. Edlong flavors in particular can help by delivering the true impact of culinary indulgence in plant-based and vegan applications, proving that plant-based and delicious are not exclusive to each other.