OU Kosher certifies some of the newest and most innovative companies in the plant-based food market. Impossible Foods which has had tremendous success with its Impossible Burger is moving forward with a multibillion IPO. Nestle has already debuted its Awesome Burger. ADM manufactures pea proteins to mimic meat flavors and Cargill has gained a strong presence in the production of pea proteins as well. New Wave, who received a large investment from Tyson Foods, now offers plant-based shrimp. Hershey’s, Califia Farms and Chobani all have options in the plant-based dairy-free area and Meir Bagels has offerings in the plant-based snack arena.
Plant-Based Foods and Its Benefits
Plant-based foods utilize proteins from vegetables to garner products that have similar protein intakes as their meat, fish and diary counterparts yet remain purely vegetable-based. Advocates for the plant-based moment note that in can cut down on the carbon footprint produced by factory farming. A great advantage to the plant-based movement is the crossover appeal for vegans. Dairy-free plant-based items are a good option for the lactose intolerant and those fearful of developing milk allergens. Perhaps, the greatest contribution that the plant-based market offers is choice. Consumers can now have options on how to fill their pallets.
CNBC reports that today the market for plant-based is meat is $20 billion. According to MarketWatch, Impossible Foods, an OU kosher certified company, is moving towards an IPO that would give it a market value of $10 billion. Using soy as their primary ingredient, Impossible Foods has enjoyed enormous growth over the years. Rabbi Yitzchak Gutterman, the Rabbinical Coordinator who handles the Impossible Foods account, confirmed that currently the burger is “wildly popular and the demand is constant.”
Nestle, an OU kosher certified company, under its Sweet Earth brand offers the Awesome Burger. Their commitment to the plant-based arena was proven by their $300 million investment in Nestle’s Plant-Based Protein Center of Excellence in Moss Landing, California. Nestle is also investing in China in terms of infrastructure and plant-based products. Regarding their plant-based focus, Mark Schneider, chief executive officer of Nestle said, “As a company, we have set ambitious climate goals. This is part of our promise to develop products that are good for you and good for the planet.”
Cargill, another OU kosher certified company, is active in the plant-based arena as well. Their product, Puris Pea Protein, serves as just one example of the kinds of plant-based products they are bringing to market.
ADM, an OU kosher certified company, is heavily invested in the plant-based market and recently introduced a line of pea proteins that can make meat alternatives. In this category, among other products, they introduced Prolite MeatXT(6009-C). Regarding the company’s plant-based vision, Jacquelyn Schuh, ADM’s product marketing director for alternative proteins, said, “The key to winning over consumers with plant proteins is fine-tuning the product for optimal sensory appeal. It is essential to get aspects like taste and texture just right.”
New Wave Foods, an OU kosher certified company, now offers Plant-Based Shrimp. A company press release noting their expansion of Plant-Based Shrimp into the market said, “Plant-Based Shrimp is virtually indistinguishable from ocean shrimp in terms of taste, texture and bite.”
In the dairy-free plant-based arena, oat milk is enjoying popularity. It can be consumed on its own or serve as an ingredient for other products, especially in yogurt which is trending. Oat milk is simply a mix of rolled oats and water that is blended and strained with a mesh pad. Oats are full of fiber and nutrients
In the area of oat milk and oat milk based yogurt, there are many choices. Califia Farms, an OU Kosher certified company, offers it as a drink called OAT – Oatmilk. WWF Operating Company, an OU Kosher certified company, under its popular Silk brand, offers many oat milk and oat milk-based yogurt flavors. Chobani Inc., an OU Kosher certified company, offers as a beverage, Chobani Oat Drink Plain and if you want to mix it up, they have Chobani Pineapple Turmeric Plant-Based Drink along with a lot of other flavors.
Hershey’s is going to be offering dairy-free chocolate selections. Currently, they have four vegan products under its Greenr brand. In a recent press release they announced, “Hershey’s will expand its future portfolio to deliver more reduced sugar, organic and plant-based alternatives while also continuing to build its classic array of beloved products.”
Plant-based snacks have become very popular as well. Meir Bagels, an Israeli-based OU kosher certified company, offers Plant-Based Protein Pretzels with Salt and with BBQ, all under their Dream Pretzels brand.
The plant-based movement is now a mainstay in the food industry. They have put a strong emphasis on presenting products that taste and feel like their counterparts. It has many attractive elements as it considers the environment, offers health benefits, caters to the vegan population and gives more choice to consumers. Whether you’re seeking plant-based alternatives in the meat, fish, dairy or snack sector, it is now easily attainable.