Following part one from yesterday, in this second part of our 2023 predictions series, leaders from JPG Resources, MyForest Foods, and ISH Foods share their thoughts on what 2023 will bring to the vegan sector.
Many in the food industry wonder what the future holds after a mixed year marked by food innovations and market uncertainty driven by inflation and supply chain disruptions.
JPG Resources: Glenn Pappalardo, Managing Director
- Allulose: According to Pappalardo, health and sustainability will continue to drive trends forward. JPG Resource‘s MD says that sugar substitutes will be in high demand. “Historically, other ingredients have done a decent job of giving people an alternative to sugar, but allulose appears to be the next evolution with fewer side effects.”
- Vegan versions of traditionally non-vegan snacks: Pappalardo says that new dehydration technology allows manufacturers to turn vegetables and fruits into versions of traditional animal snacks, such as jerky, puffs, and chips. “We could see an expanded roster of dehydrated ingredient bases hit shelves like carrot jerky and mushroom crisps.”
- Ingredients shortages may lead to recipe changes: According to Pappalardo, there are still ingredient and packaging material disruptions. He says that supply chains cannot adapt quickly to sudden spikes in demand. “The vegan sector has to tackle issues with fruit harvests, grains, and vegetables.” “For items like soups, which contain multiple ingredient sources, recipes may need to change constantly,” he predicts.
Alternatives proteins – Fermentation
MyForest Foods: Eben Bayer, co-founder and CEO
- Next-gen plant-based products will accelerate the market: MyForest Foods co-founder says that the plant-based market will see the next evolution of meatless options. Products made from fungi-derived ingredients and mycelium will be nutritious substitutes for animal proteins. “Fungi is rapidly gaining steam, and we’re only scratching the surface of its capabilities,” he states. “Taste will remain king, but a trustworthy label is a hands-down priority in addition to that delicious, satisfying taste.”
- Biotechnology will heal the planet: According to Bayer, advancements in biotechnology will replace traditional agriculture in a new farming and food production revolution. Biotech will transform food and create a new wave of products that “ultimately will shift global consumer culture to better align with the planet’s health,” he says. Mycelium meat factories are an example of that production transformation because they are “clean indoor farms using very little water, and emitting clean air vapor, delicious mycelium meat, and compost. The models of the factories of the future.”
Alternative proteins – Plant-based seafood
ISH Foods: Christie Fleming, president and COO
Europe and US plant-based diet adoption will increase: ISH Food‘s president considers that Europe is leading the way in the adoption of plant-based diets. In 2023, the US will follow Europe “as more and more consumers become aware of the climate crisis and begin to make the switch,” she says. “Technology allows products to have improved taste and texture, and they’re becoming more and more like their real-life counterparts.”
Awareness will motivate change: More awareness around fishing practices will lead to more people choosing plant-based seafood over the animal analog, says Fleming. “2023 has a huge opportunity for interest and consumption of plant-based seafood, similar to the takeoff of plant-based beef products in recent years.”
Consumer demand for seafood will be met by plant-based seafood: According to Fleming, seafood supply is decreasing due to overfishing, bycatch issues, climate change, and habitat destruction. At the same time, the global demand for seafood is expected to double by 2050, she states. “To keep up with seafood cravings without causing more damage to the ocean and its population, plant-based seafood will make a bigger splash next year to satisfy consumer demand.”
“Biotech is all about studying and working with living systems. Implementing new technologies to age-old fermentation applications unlocks a new realm of innovative products with clean, nature-centric ingredient labels. Bio-based technology and manufacturing offer many opportunities to meet human needs sustainably, worldwide, and in harmony with nature,” concludes Eben Bayer.