Plant Based Food Certifications
The popularity of plant-based foods has become a global phenomenon. Global sales are projected to top $74B by 2027 growing at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.9% from 2020.[i] Plant-based sales in Canada hit $1.7B for the 52-week ending September 15, 2018.[ii] Plant-based proteins in Canada growing 250% faster than animal proteins (+7% vs +2%).[iii] The top 3 reasons why consumers are following a plant-based diet:[iv]
- Improve overall health and nutrition.
- Weight management.
- Want to eat clean.
Yet, are plant-based foods healthy? CNBC’s August 21st, 2019 headline: “Whole Foods CEO on plant-based meat boom: Good for the environment but not for your health.” His criticism lies with his claim many plant-based foods contain highly processed foods. Alissa Rumsey, a registered dietitian, told CNBC in July, “that both plant-based burgers and traditional beef burgers have the same amount of sodium and saturated fat”. Dalhousie University recently identified the top reasons why consumers are not interested in plant-based foods. The number 2 reason with 34% – plant-based foods are too processed.[v]
Welcome to Plant Based Food Certifications!
In lieu of the demand for plant-based foods, the Plant-Based Foods Association (PBFA) and NSF International launched a Certified Plant-Based seal program, the first plant-based food certification. Plant-Based Foods of Canada has partnered with (PBFA).
To be eligible, “food products must meet specific criteria in order to be able to make a plant-based claim. PBFA defines plant-based food as, “a finished product consisting of ingredients derived from plants that include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and/or legumes.” [vi]
Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are members of PBFA that carry their seal. Yet, we know their product contains processed foods (#2 reason why consumers are not interested in plant-based foods) and certain brands contain Soy (top 10 food allergen in Canada).
What if there was a certification that eliminated these concerns? Well, there is. This past month I had the pleasure to be introduced to Paige Ohliger, CEO and founder of Plantricious LLC, a company whose mission it is to make plant-nutritious choices easy. “We worked with the nation’s leading healthcare experts, to define a set of guidelines and seal that provides the food industry and the public with a trusted and transparent way to identify the plant-nutritious foods the healthcare community is prescribing. The Plantricious Difference:
- Certification is based upon nutrition guidelines backed by science
- Endorsed by over 300 healthcare professionals & organizations – including The American College of Lifestyle Medicine.
- Provides brands access to a curated healthcare ecosystem.
In today’s crowded plant-based market brands are seeking a unique point of differential their competitors may not be able to offer. Plantricious provides that difference. Visit their website www.plantricious.com to see if your products qualify for the Plantricious certification or contact Paige directly, firstname.lastname@example.org.
[iv] Why Plant-Based Protein, Yves Cuisine, Grocery Business Strategic Leadership 2019
[v] Why Consumers are Not Interested in Plant-based Foods, Agri-Food Analytics Lab, Dalhousie University, December 2020