Not only has spending on groceries increased overall, but specific food categories have seen remarkable e-commerce growth as consumers stock up their pantries with shelf-stable items. Of the top 15 product categories that saw the highest e-commerce growth in the year since March 2020, one-third are food items, the most common change, by far, is that people are c
ooking more than before, as well as snacking far more than before.
[su_highlight background=”#eff1eb”]The food sector is increasingly turning toward sustainability issues. A sustainable food system should provide sufficient, nutritious food for all within limited planet and the natural resources. Plant-based food and proteins are a recent, growing trend setting out to contribute to this challenge.[/su_highlight]
What is a plant-based diet?
Plant-based eating patterns focus on foods primarily sourced from plants and not limited only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans. It doesn’t mean that you are vegetarian or vegan and never eat meat or dairy. Rather, you are proportionately choosing more of your foods from plant sources.
Vegetarian diets have also been shown to support health, including a lower risk of developing coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and increased longevity. Plant-based diets offer all the necessary protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals for optimal health, and are often higher in fibre and phytonutrients. However, some vegans may need to add a supplement (specifically vitamin B12) to ensure they receive all the nutrients required.
Vegetarian diets come in lots of shapes and sizes, and you should choose the version that works best for you.
Semi-vegetarian or flexitarian includes eggs, dairy foods, and occasionally meat, poultry, ﬁsh and seafood.
Pescatarian includes eggs, dairy foods, ﬁsh, and seafood, but no meat or poultry.
Vegetarian (sometimes referred to as lacto-ovo vegetarian) includes eggs and dairy foods, but no meat, poultry, ﬁsh, or seafood.
Vegan includes no animal foods.
Here are some tips that would help in getting started on a plant-based diet.
1. Eat lots of vegetables. Fill half your plate with vegetables at lunch and dinner. Make sure you include plenty of colours in choosing your vegetables. Enjoy vegetables as a snack with hummus, salsa, or guacamole. Mother Nature has provided us a array of vegetable and fruits of various colour and flavours we need to enjoy the gift of nature.
2. Change the way you think about meat. Have smaller amounts. Use it as a garnish instead of a centrepiece.
3. Choose good fats. Pure ghee, Fats in olive oil, olives, sesame, mustard, nuts and nut butters, seeds, and avocados are particularly healthy choices, if consumed in moderation.
4. Cook a vegetarian meal at least one night a week by creating new recipes using the blend of ingredients available around us. Build these meals around beans, whole grains, and vegetables.
5. Include whole grains for breakfast. Start with oatmeal, quinoa, buckwheat, or barley and dishes made using multigrain. Then add some nuts or seeds along with fresh fruit.
6. Go for greens. Try a variety of green leafy vegetables such as Methi (fenugreek), amaranth greens (cholai), Mustard greens, spinach, and other greens each day. Steam, grill, braise, or stir-fry to preserve their flavour and nutrients.
7. Build a meal around a salad. Mixed greens and lettuce are now a days readily available in market, a bowl with salad greens such as romaine, spinach, or red leafy greens. Add an assortment of other vegetables and make a rainbow salad along with fresh herbs, beans, peas or tofu.
8. Eat fruit for dessert. A ripe, juicy peach, a refreshing slice of watermelon, or a crisp apple will satisfy your craving for a sweet bite after a meal.
There is change in our diets that has changed temporarily, if not permanently?
This change is the new normal in the eating habits. The large corporates are particularly curious about the increased interest in, and consumption of plant-based and alternative protein products. In fact, some experts believe that the pandemic has accelerated growth in the adoption of vegan diets.
It outlines the global drivers, market trends, market data observations, and consumer behaviour factors of relevance, and pinpoints the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) for food sector companies. Findings suggest that the policy and market context is favourable in the near future, but that consumer beliefs, perception and understanding has to change further for the business opportunity to grow on a larger scale.
More innovations are needed, in particular in the direction of meat-replacements that are healthy as well as clean label.
In various surveys and the trend in the past few month it’s observed that 28% of consumers had increased their consumption of plant-based proteins and 24% had increased their intake of plant-based dairy at that point in time, as compared to a year ago.
The younger generation and individuals who were following a diet or were under the age of 35 were more likely to have increased their consumption of either plant-based proteins or dairy this past year. This highlights an interesting opportunity for companies in this space to develop products for and target individuals that follow diets, in order to achieve greater traction and increase customer loyalty. There is a huge potential and demand for the plant based and clean label products.
The corporates and large food manufactures and producers now see a huge potential in the development of the sustainable eating trends in the young generation and are working towards developing a sustainable offering which is good for people as well as planet.
According to the survey of restaurant experts the plant-based proteins would be the most important trend in the restaurant industry over the next ten years.