Food & Beverage

Plant-Based Foods for Back-to-School Lunchboxes: What do Parents and Children Want?

In today’s fast-evolving food industry, meeting the diverse needs of consumers is essential for success. One segment that’s rapidly growing is the demand for plant-based products that appeal to children and are convenient for parents and caregivers.

With the back-to-school season in full swing, now is the perfect time for food industry professionals to explore innovative solutions for creating plant-based products that kids will delight in when opening their lunchboxes. How to go about it?

In its latest New Food Hub article, NGO ProVeg International discusses the growing demand for plant-based products catering to children’s needs and caregivers’ convenience. ProVeg also provides insights that focus on creating appealing plant-based options for kids by focusing on:

  • Taste and texture
  • Nutrition
  • Allergen-friendliness
  • Convenience
  • Sustainable packaging
  • Kid-centric marketing.
Fry Family Food, image courtesy ProVeg International

Give them something tasty, but make it nutritious

Mimicking traditional favourites

When it comes to winning over young consumers, the key is creating plant-based products that mimic the taste and texture of their favourite traditional foods. Think, plant-based ‘chicken’ nuggets with a crispy exterior and tender interior, or alternative seafood products like fresh, flaky ‘tuna’ made from pea protein.

It’s worth mentioning variety, here, too. Children who follow flexitarian or plant-based diets want to enjoy the same variety of foods as their omnivorous friends. So, ensure that your product offerings are not only tasty and familiar but wide-ranging – don’t let parents send them to school with the same sandwiches day in, day out!

Nutritional considerations

Balancing taste and nutrition is crucial. Use nutritious ingredients from the get-go, as well as during any continued R&D improvement and recipe revisiting. Focus on fortifying products with essential nutrients like calcium, vitamin B12, and iron to support growing children’s needs.

Children in school canteen
Image courtesy of ProVeg International

Support the next generation of plant-based eaters

By prioritising taste, texture and nutrition, you can produce plant-based products that kids love to eat and their carers love to pack into their lunchboxes!

Read the full article on the New Food Hub to learn the importance of allergen-friendliness, convenience, and sustainable packaging in creating successful plant-based options for kids.

With these factors, the food industry can meet the evolving needs of consumers, contribute to healthier diets, and make a positive impact on the planet while filling every child’s lunchbox with delicious and nutritious plant-based choices.

For support on your plant-based product strategy, get in touch with ProVeg’s experts, at [email protected].

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