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Flexitarianism and the opportunities it provides

Flexitarianism and the opportunities it provides

01 June 2017
Flexitarianism, or semi-vegetarianism, is a diet which is growing in popularity at a fast rate.
 
 
The growth rate of meat substitutes, in volume terms, was 8% in 2015 and it will be 97% in 2017. 

In the past, a niche market (with the brands BjorgSojasun and Cereal in France), the trend has now spread to own brands and big national brands.
The products which are the most successful are those inspired by meat – meatballs, escalopes, burgers, steak. 
Monitoring the development of new consumer tastes, replacing animal protein and putting full vegetarian dishes (gratins, salads, pasta and so on) on the market, these are the three trends you need to keep tabs on to take advantage of the boom in flexitarianism.

 

 

An agreement regarding the development of the French protein sector was signed, at the end of 2016, between the “Protéines France” consortium and the French State. Since flexitarianism is taking off, the demand for protein sourced in France is also increasing – vegetable sources of protein are of great interest to food manufacturers (peas, soya, quinoa, lentils, and so forth).
 
Providing dishes in which meat is an essential factor requires extensive R&D work. Intermediary food products (i.e. semi-finished food products) in this case play a very useful role. Food manufacturers are also already developing vegetable Bolognese, in which potato protein and textured peas are used as ingredients. When creating formulas for meat analogues, it is important that food manufacturers reproduce the appearance of meat, get the texture right and create harmonious flavours.

 
To ensure that the flexitarianism trend is not a shot-lived one, promising projects have already been initiated.
The “Proveggas” project (which aims to produce gastronomic-standard vegetable protein) ferments legumes to make them more digestible.
The public-private research project “Plant Meat Matters” reproduces, as for it, a fibrous texture which is similar to that of meat.

ActiMeat is developing a new tasty vegetable offering, to cater to the trend for vegetarian dishes and for vegetable alternatives which contain meat.


 
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