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Tuesday, September 10, 2019
Consumer Demand for Plant-based Products Is At A Tipping Point
Consumer Demand For Plant-based Products Is At A Tipping Point
From extensive interviews and the combing of statistics, Plant—based Food, News and Lifestyle Expert, Elysabeth Alfano, discusses the breaking headlines in the plant-based space over the last few weeks.
1. Spoiler Alert: It’s Animal Agriculture! In the wake of on-going youth climate change strikes lead by vegan Great Thurnberg, consumers are slowly making the connection that science has made for a long time: animal agriculture is a leading cause of climate change. With climate change ramifications such as hurricanes and floods increasing, more information connecting animal agriculture and the environment will continue to make headlines. The recent U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report suggests switching to a plant-based diet as one of the ways to positively affect climate change.
3. “It’s A Brave New World,” according to plant-based expert, Elysabeth Alfano. “While covering the Good Food Conference this month in San Francisco, it became readily apparent that the current protein supply system is ripe for full-scale disruption. The inefficiency of raising meat on mono-culture crops, and processing and transporting them for food coupled with ground-breaking innovation will render our current system, including the supply chains, obsolete in the foreseeable future.”
4. You Dropped The Bomb On Me, Baby. Live from the red carpet at the Hollywood Premiere of The Game Changers Movie, nine-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul explains how he dropped the bomb on LeBron James that he is now vegan. The Game Changers movie documents the growing number of successful plant-based athletes and is in theaters nationwide on September 16. For the Chicago After Party, click here.
5. The More The Merrier. Competition grows as consumer demand grows for plant-based items. In fact, 228 Millions servings of plant-based burgers sold at Quick Serve Restaurants last year. Chinese-owned Smithfield announced that it will also be selling burger patties in the fresh meat aisle alongside Beyond Meat. Many grocery stores are now doing private label with items like Simple Truth’s plant-based hot-dogs, deli slices and yogurts (Kroger) and 365 cheeses (Whole Foods.)
6. Less Is More. Gearing up the Reducetarian Summit in Washington, D.C. on September 27-29, founder Brian Kateman shared this quote in a private conversation just before the Good Food Conference. “Very few people are vegan or vegetarian. And a false dichotomy of all or nothing isn’t realistic. If the typical American eats 200 or so pounds of meat a year; but, starts to incorporate plants and alternatives like Beyond Meat and the Impossible Burger, and reduces that to 180 pounds of meat a year, then we can impact real change on a global scale.” Further, new plant-based products from both plant-based companies and meat companies are overwhelmingly focused on this segment of the market.
7. It’s Poppin’. KFC sells out in five hours in Atlanta of vegan nuggets and wings made with specially formulated chicken by Beyond Meat. According to VegNews, customers bought the equivalent of what KFC sells of its popcorn chicken in one week in the five-hour time frame.
8. No Kidding. Opinion Columnist Farhad Manjoo notes in his New York Times article, “Stop Mocking Vegans” that, while he isn’t vegan, he has reduced his meat intake and realizes that what he eats has an impact on the environment and animals. “For the good of the planet, put down the [fried-chicken] sandwich. But if you won’t do that, at least refrain from putting down the people who are trying to light a path to a livable future. The vegans are right [on ethics and the environment.]”
9. Nothing Fishy About It: Tyson invests in plant-based shrimp company, New Wave Foods and Perdue launches a new product, Perdue Chicken Plus, which is a blend of vegetables and meat. While it remains to be seen if blended products make any sense for and to consumers, the shift of the meat-eater to begin including plant-based options is clear. As Upton’s Natural’s VP Nicole Sopko said on the Awesome Vegans with Elysabeth Alfano Podcast and Video Series, “Most companies are part of the problem. We are part of the solution.”
10. What The Health? Executive Chairman of Beyond Meat, Seth Goldman, conveyed a clear message at the recent Good Food Conference: Beyond Meat seeks to make its products as healthy as possible and is looking at reducing both fat and salt content.
Elysabeth is available for interviews to discuss the changing zeitgeist of consumer habits, growing business trends and important plant-based voices and leaders that are forming the future of food.
Short bio: After completing an MBA and spending many years with Fortune 500 companies, Elysabeth turned to journalism. With 9 years in radio, TV, podcasting and print journalism, and winning awards for same, Elysabeth Alfano launched the Awesome Vegans Podcast and Video Series on WGN Radio. She is also a plant-based news, food and lifestyle expert and consults to businesses and restaurants looking to enter the plant-based market to grow market share, profits and goodwill PR.
In addition to guest hosting for WGN Radio, Elysabeth does plant-based reporting for the #JaneUnChained News Network while also spicing things up on The Silver-Chic Chef on-line cooking series. She has done plant-based cooking demonstrations on WCIU-TV, Good Morning LALALand and WGN-TV and is a public speaker at food festivals and summits on the physical, mental, business, political and environmental benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. Elysabeth is a guest plant-based expert on radio stations around the nation including iHeart Radio's The Fork Report, WCPT Radio, WGN Radio and 870AM The Answer. Occasionally, Elysabeth writes for VegNews and contributes to NPR's KCRW (Los Angeles) as a plant-based reporter.
Awesome Vegans Podcastand Video Series: Host Elysabeth Alfano interviews the nation’s most important plant-based influencers (doctors, entrepreneurs, politicians, athletes, celebs, chefs, economists, environmentalists) who are forming the future, making the world better for people, the environment and animals. Past guests: CEO of Beyond Meat, Ethan Brown, Nutrition Facts’ Dr. Greger, CEO of Lightlife and Field Roast, Dan Curtin, Chicago Bear's Pat O'Donnell, Billy Corgan, NBA Legend John Salley, Dr. Neal Barnard, Moby, IL Senator Linda Holmes and many more.