With the ever-widening base of vegetarians and vegans consumers, there is absolutely no doubt that plant-based foods and beverages have become the talk of the town. Sustainability and nutritional attributes continue to remain the top reasons that drive the consumer base for plant-based products. It has also been reported that culinary engagement has emerged as one of the most sought-after category drivers. However, the taste has remained the most crucial factor determining the demand for a food product. Almost 63% of the consumers choose to not opt for a product that doesn’t taste good, despite having its nutritional value.
With anxiety and stress on the rise amid the pandemic, consumers across the world are turning more and more towards classic dishes and comfort foods for their mood improvement and transporting themselves back to the less stressful and joyful times in their lives. As a result of this, it has become critical for the Global Plant-Based Food & Beverages Alternative Market to overcome the texture and taste challenges that have hindered their growth in the past. It includes meeting the level of juicer textures found in meat products and addressing the beany, earthy, or bitter flavors that come off some plant proteins. The goal can only be achieved when plant-based foods succeed in replicating an entire eating experience of a meat dish, not just one particular element. The umami, modulation aspects, proteins, and so much more come together to provide the desired finished dish or product.
Meat-alternatives space requires huge innovations such as replicating the sizzle and smell of cooking bacon even before the consumers take their first bite. Global and regional profiles have been trending overall on the flavor front, especially the ones that are zesty, bold, and spicy. Flavor trends in marinades specifically include smoky and charred flavors featuring caramelized and sweet notes. Beyond texture and flavor, consumers also prefer plant-based foods that offer a ‘clean’ label and beneficial nutrients such as high-quality protein.
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