What’s next for Plant Based?

After more than two years without taking to the skies it was with some trepidation that I fastened my seatbelt on the bright red and white Virgin Atlantic aircraft, destination USA. As the hours passed speeding above the Atlantic Ocean, trepidation turned to anticipation as I wondered what’s next for plant based? Strange question.. well not really, I was heading for the 2022 Natural Product Expo West in Anaheim, CA.

Acclimatising from cold and wet Heathrow to sunny, warm LAX was easy but walking towards Anaheim Convention Centre and not diverting to Galaxy Edge in neighbouring Disneyland Park was more difficult. I stayed strong, used the force and WOW! I wasn’t prepared for the pure energy, excitement and thousands of people attending the show.

I had visited the previous show but this year was different the place was a buzz with new products, new ideas and New Hope. The next three days were going to be interesting, just wish I’d brought some comfortable shoes.

Why am I here?

We at Kreglinger pride ourselves on providing quality on trend product solutions for our customers and attending events like Natural Products Expo West is a great way for us to understand what’s happening in other markets. We look at products, trends, meet with existing suppliers and importantly source new innovative products and suppliers from around the world.

Spoiler alert: This event did not disappoint.

What did I see?

Before I even set foot in one of the numerous vast exhibition halls it was evident that plant based was going to be big, really big.

Sunscreen- applied, reusable water bottle- filled, visitor pass-checked, I walked onto the showground and was immediately greeted by a wonderful aroma emanating from a fleet of promotional food trucks parked on campus, further investigation was necessary. At first I thought it’s a bit early for a burger or slice of pizza, however, I hadn’t realised that these vehicles were all showcasing plant based products, really tasty alternatives to, beef, chicken and fish.

In the name of research I tried them all WOW! If other products at the show were going to be as good as these, I’d need to pace myself and be prepared to hit the hotel gym later.

Over the next three days I did indeed need to hit the gym on numerous occasions as the show was a plant based nirvana. The number of great meat and fish alternatives was truly astonishing and it was great to see some products from the UK and Europe.

One trend that was more prevalent than I had expected was dairy alternatives. This market has exploded since my last visit to this show, from barley milk to vegan cookie dough bars. So many lovely desserts, drinks, ice creams.

If anyone was previously in any doubt, plant based meat and dairy alternatives are here to stay and as products evolve and become healthier and tastier this is a future I’m happy to be a part of.

What’s in it for you?

It was great to see that the opportunities in plant based products continue to grow and evolve into new categories and Kreglinger have a range of ingredients that fit perfectly in this market space. If you need a textured wheat protein for your vegan chicken nuggets, sustainable soluble barley protein for a dairy free beverage or even a natural vegan beef flavour to give your plant based burger that authentic taste and smell, give us a try.

This trip really was an insight to the future of our business and our world. We are working hard to bring onboard even more new and exciting partners so watch this space.

Me, I’m off to buy some “sensible” shoes before IFE in London.