In recent years, there has been a significant surge in interest and adoption of plant-based diets.
For some the switch to a plant-based diet is for the potential health benefits. For others, it’s about environmental concerns and reducing one’s footprint. And for others, the move to a plant-based diet is driven by ethical concerns due to growing awareness of animal welfare issues.
With so many people looking for alternatives to animal-based food, manufacturers and restaurants have had to move quickly to meet the demand. The place where the industry comes together to learn how to successfully develop, source and distribute plant-based products is Plant Based World Expo North America, which will take center stage at the Javits Center in Manhattan on September 7–8, 2023.
“As the only 100% plant-based expo for retail and foodservice, this is where buyers learn about the better-for-you options that consumers are craving, where the companies creating the next wave of innovative and accessible products find their big breaks, and where the roadmap to sustainability evolves,” says Ben Davis, Content Chair of Plant Based World Expo.
Davis explains that the growth in plant based food options is significant, and that the plant based world is much more than “plant-based chicken nuggets and burgers—although they are great too. “With the growth of plant-based diets, there is now a wide variety of delicious and nutritious plant-based alternatives to traditional animal-based products,” Davis said. “For instance, plant-based meat substitutes made from ingredients like soy, pea protein, and jackfruit offer a meat-like texture and taste, appealing to both vegetarians and flexitarians.” Plant Based World Expo showcases new ingredients and ground-breaking plant-based products.
With all the product and culinary developments coming from all corners of the globe, PBW is expanding its International Pavilions this year. “We are excited to bring international companies to the Javits in order to expand the reach of plant-based options, and bring new flavors and cuisines to the plant-based community,” Davis said. “Plant Based World Expo helps to create a whole new way of thinking about the different types of foods and ingredients available, and can help inspire new ideas for restaurant and foodservice menus.”
“Every generation can appreciate the benefits of a plant-based diet, yet the younger generations tend to be more driven by animal welfare and the environmental impact of eating less animal products,” says Davis.
Ethical concerns also play a significant role in the rise of plant-based food consumption. As awareness of animal welfare issues increases, many individuals are choosing plant-based diets to avoid contributing to the suffering of animals raised for food. Factory farming practices often prioritize efficiency and profit over the well-being of animals. Animals are often confined in small, overcrowded spaces, and subjected to stressful and inhumane living conditions. Some are given growth-promoting hormones and antibiotics to increase production, all of these leading to ethical concerns about their treatment.
This year’s Plant Based World Expo North America will feature around 250 companies displaying their latest offerings. Multiple conference sessions will also take place over the three-day event, including business presentations, educational classes and plant-based cooking demonstrations.
For manufacturers and business professionals, there is a separate industry summit to discuss the trends and challenges manufacturers are facing, as well as the Hosted Buyer Program, which has been described as a “speed dating” type meeting where buyers can find the types of products they are looking for from manufacturers. In a world seeking change, Plant Based World Expo is helps restaurateurs and foodservice operators create a strategy to add items to their menus that can help satisfy growing consumer demand.
To learn more and register for Plant Based World Expo North America, visit their website.