Meeting the needs of plant-based consumers

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

The key challenge for brands has shifted from gaining acceptance to achieving optimization. Pic: Getty Images/AnastasiaNurullina
The key challenge for brands has shifted from gaining acceptance to achieving optimization. Pic: Getty Images/AnastasiaNurullina

Related tags: plant-based, Dairy alternatives

A new white paper sponsored by Amano Enzyme discusses the quickly evolving market for non-dairy milk alternatives and how manufacturers can differentiate their products to meet the discerning taste of their customers.

In the US, plant milk has surpassed $2bn in annual sales and accounts for 40% of the total plant-based food market, with 41% of US households buying dairy milk alternatives,”​ said Ken Iritani, vice president of technical sales for Amano, a supplier of specialty enzymes for the food industry.

The paper​ discusses the impact of the coffee industry on encouraging use of plant-based dairy alternatives. It notes consumers may get their first taste of the products at their local coffee shops, and the experience has encouraged use of these milks at home.

“While consumers are drawn to clean-label, they aren’t willing to sacrifice taste,”​ Iritani added.

As an example, he pointed to Mintel research, highlighted in the white paper, which showed “52% of consumers listed ‘taste’ as the most important factor when choosing plant-based products, compared to 39% who listed ‘health’.”

Iritani said now plant-based products have entered the mainstream, the key challenge for brands has shifted from gaining acceptance to achieving optimization.

He noted that, for centuries, enzymes have played a role in many types of food preparation, and they can be an important tool for non-dairy manufacturers. These natural substances act as catalysts in food that fuel chemical reactions impacting such characteristics as texture, color, and consistency.

Recently, Amano introduced the enzyme, Protein Glutaminase ‘Amano’ 500, (PG 500), derived through a fermentation process. It can be used to increase the solubility of proteins and improve their emulsification properties, which has been demonstrated to create a smoother mouthfeel.

“PG 500 allows plant-based milk brands to go one step further with their clean-label positioning, thereby living up to the highest standards which discerning consumers increasingly desire,”​ Iritani said.

“It provides a smart, label-friendly solution for a better sensory experience, which blends in nicely with the ethos and messaging championed by plant-based milk industry leaders.”

Related topics: Manufacturers, Emerging Markets

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