The importance of pulses and grains in plant-based food

According to FoodNavigator, multinationals Nestlé, Tesco and Unilever are the best prepared companies for a booming plant-based market. But why is it important for small and medium suppliers of protein ingredients to prepare for this trend?

The first reason is that the plant-based food segment in Europe is expected to gain importance. High-protein grains and pulses, such as quinoa, soybean and field peas, are increasingly used as ingredients to satisfy consumer demand for vegetarian and vegan food products. Germany is the most innovative vegan market, while in the United Kingdom veganism was considered the biggest food trend in 2018.

Second, plant-based food is part of the healthy diets that many consumers are looking for these days. It shows that plant-based food is not a passing fad, but part of an actual change in consumer mindset that will help stimulate innovation and production of pulses and grains, which are high in protein.

Finally, Europe is not self-sufficient in pulses and grains. Despite local sourcing being much preferred, especially for organic pulses, food companies remain dependent on suppliers from non-European countries, such as China or the USA. Alternative sources are often welcome.


Opportunities and responsibilities for suppliers

Growing demand for plant proteins, health-oriented consumers and limited local production provide opportunities for suppliers of pulses and grains. But it also creates a big responsibility for suppliers to provide high-quality products, offering transparency throughout the supply chain. Read more about this topic in the CBI trends for grains, pulses and oilseeds, to identify which developments can be interesting for your business and what it takes to participate in the European craving for plant-based food.

This news article has been written for CBI by ICI Business.

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