Progressive Grocer

JAN 2017

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Page 82 of 117

January 2017 | | 81 Plant Power Of course, whether it's meat or dairy, the growing health-focused trend involves consumers seeking to eat fewer animal-based products altogether. Meg Carlson, president and CEO of Prosper- ity Organic Foods Inc., a Boise, Idaho-based manufacturer of plant-based "but- ter," notes that with 38 percent of households now following "flexitarian" eating regimes, it should be no surprise that people are growing more inter- ested in healthful fats — specifically plant-based ones — as well as plant-based alternatives to traditional animal-based products. Dairy, for instance, is a major category for plant- based alternatives, and Denver-based WhiteWave Foods is one CPG expanding its presence here. Lau- ren Tankersley, WhiteWave's director of marketing research, notes that her company is launching various plant-based products such as Silk protein-enhanced nut-based milks, featuring a blend of almond and cashew milks, and containing 10 grams of soy-free, plant-based protein per serving. On the retailer side, Natural Gro- cers' Clinthorne sees not just cashew and almond milks hitting shelves, but also coconut, flax and hemp varieties. Technological advances today are even allowing for better-tasting butter alternatives. Carlson notes that Prosperity's Melt organic butter substitute, made from a blend of beneficial fruit- and plant-based fats, not only sells in stick and spread for- mats, but also has the same melt and smoke points as traditional butter, making it suitable for cooking. As for meat, animal protein alterna- tives continue to grow as more shoppers reduce their overall meat consumption, according to Beena Goldenberg, CEO of Cultivate Ventures, a division of the Lake Success, N.Y.-based manufacturer Hain Celestial Group that invests in smaller, innovative businesses. Specifi- cally, its line of Yves Veggies Cuisine, now Non-GMO Project Certified, offers veggie alternatives to everything from breakfast meats and lunchmeats to taco filling and hot dogs. Similarly, 301 Inc, the new busi- ness development and venturing unit of Golden Valley, Minn.-based processor General Mills, recently launched its first refrigerated meat al- ternative through e Beyond Burger, a plant-based burger that looks, cooks and tastes like fresh ground beef. Austin, Texas-based natural grocer Whole Foods Market partnered with Beyond Meat to be the burger's exclusive seller between its fall 2016 debut and the end of that year, stock- ing the product in both the meat department and in the dairy/alternative food section to appeal to both carnivores and non-meat-eaters. Prosperity's Carlson anticipates that an increas- ing interest in ethically, sustainably sourced and minimally processed foods and beverages that deliver multiple nutritional benefits will continue, encourag- ing manufacturers to continue innovation in plant- based alternatives to animal-based foods. But in the end, she stresses, it's up to retailers to give these emerging products the attention and time needed for success in their respective categories. PG For more about better-for-you refrigerated foods, visit Giorgio Fresh Co. 347 June Avenue, Blandon, PA 19510 800.330.5711 | Equal Opportunity Employer Giorgio is America's favorite mushroom because of our quality and the vast choices we offer in fresh mushrooms from our whole and sliced fresh mushrooms to organics, specialty items like our portabella caps, and much more. Giorgio Fresh is a family-owned, third generation company, focused on meeting consumer demands. Giorgio is truly the mushroom of choice. you can't pick a better partner than

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