How will the new Plant Based Foods Association affect your restaurant?

Various food industries have been lobbying in Washington for a long time… it’s about time that plant-based foods get a seat at the table with their own trade group!

In March 2016 the Plant Based Foods Association launched and is on a mission to “ensure a fair and competitive marketplace for plant-based foods intended to replace animal products” (Food Navigator USA).

“The deck is stacked against plant-based foods because they cost more and people can’t find them,” Simon told Quartz. The new association, she says, is aimed at “leveling the playing field.” To do that, the organization will educate retailers and foodservice companies about these products. – Quartz

With more Americans looking to eat healthy foods, awareness of animal welfare growing, and increasing interest in fighting climate change, now is the time for the Plant Based Foods Association to shine.

“At the highest level, we’re seeing a pretty substantial shift in consumer interest in plant-based diets,” said Jeff Dunn, president of the fresh division of Campbell’s Soup. “That’s manifesting itself in lots of interest in plant-based protein among companies like us and how it can be used in production.” – New York Times

Learn more about the Plant Based Foods Association via Food Navigator USA and the Plant Based Foods Association website.

What does a plant based foods association mean for small, locally-owned restaurants?

Easier and more affordable access to specialty vegan food. Customers ask for speciality products, but if your food distributor doesn’t offer the brands customers want, pleasing them is tricky. One of the goals of the Plant Based Foods Association is to “eliminate policies and practices that place plant-based meats, milks, eggs, and butters at an economic disadvantage”. Over time, purchasing plant-based items for your restaurant should become easier.

More demand for specialty vegan food. The number of Americans eating plant-based meals is growing, however the growth is stunted because US Government food subsidies benefit animal-based foods, not plants. The Plant Based Foods Association will have the power to get plant-based alternatives into more grocery stores and schools, introducing even more people to the food and beverages. It’s now more important than ever to offer plant-based menu options.

This news is especially exciting for me because I recently launched my business for consulting local restaurants on offering and marketing vegetarian and vegan options. Learn more about Vegan Business Consulting here.