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When it comes to plant-based foods, no one is hungrier to learn more about this blossoming industry than the Bolt PR team. In September, we visited the Plant Based World Expo in New York City for an unforgettable expedition filled with discovery and a bite or two (or three, but who’s counting?) of delicious food.
The Keynote Speaker of the event, Author and Food For Climate Change Executive Director Eve Turow-Paul put it perfectly when she said, “plant-based is not just the food on your plate, it’s everything around it– community, values, and environment.” We couldn’t agree with her more, especially as the plant-based foods industry is poised for enormous growth in the coming decade from 29 billion dollars in 2020 to 162 billion dollars in 2030. It was especially evident how much of an impact plant-based brands are making as we strolled the many booths hosted by business owners excited to make a positive impact with their brands and products.
Our team met up with a few rockstar foodie brands at the expo, and we learned about how different attributes of plant-based foods are evolving for the better. Let’s dig in!
Say goodbye to the age of cardboard-textured bread and rubbery cheese. The plant-based industry dealt with a few texture-based obstacles in the early years, but those days are long gone. Bolt PR President Caroline Callaway caught up with the innovative minds behind Wicked Kitchen to sample some of their sweet plant-based flavored ice cream, and her review was, well, sweet. “They came out with an ice cream, a vegan ice cream,” she said, “And it has the creamy texture and taste of real dairy ice cream. It was phenomenal! You can tell they spent a lot of time and effort in perfecting the ingredients.”
Of course, the Bolt team had to have a little dinner with their dessert, so they sampled some alternative meat options like Be Leaf’s plant-based shrimp and salmon, Tofurky’s plant-based pepperoni, Asanté’s plant-based filet asada and bacon from Miami Foods. Senior Account Executive Hannah Henderson pointed out how Miami Foods’ bacon “looks and feels exactly like bacon. That was such a standout for me.” According to research, 20 percent of Americans are turning to plant-based brands because of animal welfare reasons. We love seeing how companies like Miami Foods are striving to match every aspect of meat in their products so that consumers get the same taste and texture as pork or beef without harming any animals.
Another way that plant-based brands are transforming the industry is through the indulgence of flavor. Lactose intolerant? That’s no problem for growing brand Miyoko’s Creamery, where the rich and creamy flavor of cheese can be enjoyed by all. “Their cheese was so good!” Caroline commented. “You wouldn't even know that it was vegan, and they just launched a liquid mozzarella product so that when you put it on pizza, it melts and browns just like dairy cheese.” With one in four Americans saying they made the switch to plant based because they think it just tastes better, brands like Miyoko’s gave us a taste of why! If it was possible for cheese to taste better than actual cheese, we think these brands did a ‘grate’ job…too cheesy?
Brands like Nowadays and Shicken are also paving the way to superior taste and we enjoyed learning about how they are matching legendary flavor with nutrient power. We sampled Nowadays’ protein-packed plant-based nuggets with all the flavor of chicken nuggets and Shicken’s authentic kebab and curry dishes. When we sampled their tasty morsels we couldn’t help but realize that plant-based alternatives can actually taste better than real meat!
GrownAs* Foods is another brand making huge strides in providing easy, on-the-go meals for busy professionals – and parents. When there’s little time to cook, it’s way too convenient to run to the nearest fast food joint. But with its plant-based version of the classic mac and cheese, brands like GrownAs* Foods are paving the way to easy and affordable vegan meals that you can quickly prepare at home… and not regret later.
When it comes to satisfying that sweet craving on the go, we came across the brand Acai Exotic that features super fruits to fuel the body and Southern Roots Vegan Bakery where shoppers can add an assortment of mouthwatering vegan donuts, and so much more, to their online carts for convenient home delivery. Who says plant-based dessert can’t hit that sweet tooth craving better than any processed delight? We certainly don’t, because we tried some amazing foods that we’ll be purchasing online and at our local stores.
With a wide range of plant-based options in stores across the country, we’re seeing a big movement on the part of local stores to pack more green products on shelves and have larger health food sections in general. One such brand stocked in many stores is Ripple Milk, which features a well-trusted clean protein milk. Caroline notes her personal experience with the brand: “My son has had a milk allergy from the day he was born, so he really grew up on Ripple Milk and we were able to avoid the things that are not good for a young child such as soy, and he loved it.” Ripple Milk is just one of the many green brands that are lining store shelves and providing families with easy access to plant-based milk alternatives.
Now, for those who are working toward fitness goals and desire plant-based options to support a healthier lifestyle, we chatted with the folks at Clean Machine who offer science-based health and fitness supplements that help people focus on being both healthy and physically fit. With products that are natural, vegan, non-GMO, and gluten free, consumers don’t have to sacrifice health to reach their physical goals. And when it comes to clean ingredients, Green Boy supports manufacturers with plant-based ingredients and consumers with versatile protein powders.
While this expo lasted just a few days, we’re thrilled to continue focusing on green brands to elevate their missions, share their messaging and promote the delicious flavors and benefits to the world. At Bolt PR, we put the POW in powerful plant-based marketing. With a proven recipe for success, we’re supercharging digital strategy, content development and public relations while simultaneously building mission awareness. It’s time that your plant-based brand takes a bite of the market share. The revolution of green eating has only just begun, and we’re ready to grow your brand in fresh new ways.
Are you ready to take the next step in sharing your story with the world? We’re ready, too.