Understanding The Kosher Plant-Based Market

The Birth Of Plant-Based Products

In 1971, author Frances Moore Lappe published “Diet For A Small Plant” which can be credited as the source of the plant-based movement. Now the plant-based industry is thriving and OU Kosher supports this revolution, as its kosher stamp can be seen on a diverse array of products in this food market.

 What Does Plant-Based Mean?

Plant-based foods use proteins from vegetable-based soy to garner products that have similar protein intakes as their counterparts yet remains purely vegetable-based.

Why Kosher Certification Is Necessary for Plant-Based Products

Kosher certification is necessary for plant-based products as all of the ingredients need approval. Also, the equipment between runs must often be cleaned.  For instance, if a company makes products with non-kosher ingredients on the same line as it’s making the plant-based product, or combines dairy and meat (according to kosher law, meat and dairy may not be cooked or eaten together so there must be separate preparation areas) on the same line, then even if all the ingredients in the plant-based item are kosher pareve (prepared without milk or meat), it would be considered non-kosher. Kosher supervision allays all these concerns.

The Current Market For Plant-Based Products

Plant-based food items have become a mainstay in the food industry and companies producing them are looking to go kosher. Caroline Bushnell, associate director of corporate engagement for the Good Food Institute, said, “It really feels like the tipping point, but it’s just the beginning. We’re in the early days of a major shift.’’ Plant-based companies offer products attractive to the vegan and vegetarian crowd, but also to those who want more choice. The plant-based alternative has become popular among millennials who are now bringing it home to their families and has also gained traction with the younger generation. Attaining kosher certification means your consumers will have even greater confidence to purchase the plant-based items.

Advantage Of Eating Plant-Based Foods

By incorporating a plant-based diet into your regimen you are also helping the planet by reducing greenhouse gases. Currently factory farming comprises approximately 8% of all U.S. emissions. These come in the form of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane. OU Kosher believes in the importance of supporting companies that aim to address global warming.

OU Kosher Certifies Plant-Based Meat 

Impossible Foods Inc., an OU Kosher certified company, introduced the Impossible Burger, and has so far raised $1.3 billion in furtherance of expanding their business. It is one of the dominant forces in this market. It has contracts with major fast-food chains and can be found in leading supermarkets.

OU Kosher Certifies Dairy-Free Plant-Based Items

WWF Operating Company, a leading OU kosher certified worldwide company, now offers dairy-free products in the forms of soy, oat, coconut and almond milk. These products are being used by those who want protein intakes other than from cow-based milk, but don’t want the possible allergies and lactose that comes from regular milk. The dairy-free milk market is projected to reach $38 billion by 2024.

OU Kosher Certifies Plant-Based Snacks

Hershey’s, a global company that carries the OU symbol, has just introduced non-dairy snacks, one of them being Vegan Creamy Chocolate Confection with Almonds and Sea Salt, under its Greenr brand. Another company involved in the production of plant-based snacks is Meir Beigel, an Israeli based company that has rolled out numerous plant-based pretzels that have gained worldwide appeal.

The Future Of The Plant-Based Market

When examining the numbers and forecasts for the U.S. plant-based industry, it becomes evident that there is huge potential for growth. The Plant Based Foods Association and The Good Food Institute value the current market at $4.5 billion and UBS predicts that its value will grow to $85 billion in 2030. Numbers like these are only possible because the plant-based movement is catering to the U.S. population as a whole. OU Kosher certifies many plant-based products and  remains excited about the future of this industry.

Conclusion

The plant-based market is expanding more than ever as its audience is uncapped as it appeals to most consumers looking for more choice. It offers alternatives to conventional meat and dairy products and is filling the gap in the snack market. Large companies that have attained OU certification which is necessary for plant-based items are making their mark, and this is partly because a kosher symbol adds a new element of trust for the consumer.

 

 

 

 

Steven Genack
Steven Genack has worked in the OU Kashrut Division for nearly ten years with a specialty in ingredients. Before that he was a practicing attorney. He was the previous editor of a Newspaper and continues to contribute articles to numerous Jewish publications. During college, he took a summer session at Harvard University where he studied journalism and screenwriting. He is the author of an upcoming book relating to his family’s Torah. He has a wide array of interests including playing tennis, golf and basketball and reading biographies and memoirs. He has worked with special needs children in the past and feels passionate about their causes. He is currently working on a few books.