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Plant Based Proteins Fad or are they here to stay?

July 8, 2021
Author : Bill McGinley

Plant Based Proteins, everyone is talking about them. The question is, are they a fad or are they here to stay?
With the big change in the Canada Food Guide in 2020 telling Canadians to add more plant base proteins to our diet we all quickly realized that Plant Proteins are here to Stay, and the category will only GROW!

As North Americans, we have been taught, trained, and I would go so far as say impressed upon us, to have some sort of protein on our plate. Whether it be Fish, Chicken, Pork or Beef at the plate centre. Yes, let’s not forget the side of Veg, and the staple (Potato, Rice, Pasta) on the side. The Foodservice industry has fallen into this believe. Then the New Canada Food Guide in 2020 was published!

What have we learned since the first talk of Health Canada adding this to the Canadian Food guide?

I think we all quickly learned about the Mediterranean Diet, which is defined as:

“a way of eating based on the traditional cuisine of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. While there is no single definition of the Mediterranean diet, it is typically high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nut and seeds, and olive oil”

The Food Industry had to do a pivot. That small segment of the market, often not thought about by the major industry players/manufactures had to look in the mirror and decide how to react to the new Canadian Food Guide. I am referring to the “Vegetarian”; at this point “Vegan” was not a common term. This all changed when restaurant chains like A&W launched the Beyond Burger® and the power of advertising. Make no mistake about it, A&W will be remembered for educating the Canadian people about Plant Based Proteins. I know it did for me.

Canadians are now looking for smaller traditional “Proteins” portions (beef, chicken, pork,) and now looking to the ‘other’ side of the plate, vegetables, whole grains, and even protein packed plant based pastas. The question is, now that the major players are investing Millions of dollars into new plant protein manufacturing faculties, what is next?
Stay Tuned. This segment is only going to grow in the foodservice market.

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