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The Plant Based World Expo Is Back: Here Is Why You Should Attend

 This week the Plant Based World Expo returns to New York City. We had a chance to chat with Benjamin Davis, VP of Content at Plant Based World Conference…

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This week the Plant Based World Expo returns to New York City. We had a chance to chat with Benjamin Davis, VP of Content at Plant Based World Conference and Expo to learn more about why you should attend and the trends he is seeing in the plant-based food market!

 
   

What can we expect from Plant Based World Expo in New York this year?

We are so excited to be back in NYC! We will have more than 200 exhibitors and 20 educational sessions featuring some of the most influential thought leaders in the plant-based and food industries. Plant Based World Expo on December 9-10 is a must-attend event for the foodservice industry and anyone interested in working in the plant-based space. 

Our programming this year has been carefully curated to meet the evolving needs of foodservice and retail industry professionals who are looking for the best ways to meet enormous consumer demand. We will have speakers from Kroger, Compass Group, GoPuff, SPINS, Progressive Grocer, Store Brands Magazine, Greenleaf Foods, Miyoko’s Creamery, RangeMe, PURIS, The Good Food Institute, and the Plant Based Foods Association along with master and celebrity chefs.

Attendees will get to network with a 'who's who' audience of investors, brand developers, and other business professionals and experience real-world case studies. We will have thousands of truly ground-breaking plant-based products and an expo hall that is twice the size that it was in 2019. We’re expecting about 3,000 attendees this year!


What trends are you seeing in the plant-based food space?

  • Next-generation plant-based meats. Texture, taste, and variety continue to blow our minds. Plant-based burgers were just the beginning. In 2022, we will see dramatic innovations in plant-based pork, chicken, and of course, seafood.

  • Mainstreaming plant-based menu options. It’s becoming more and more normal to see menus featuring an even distribution of meat and plant-based options, rather than relegating plant-based to the sidelines.

  • Dairy alternative innovations include cutting-edge plant milk fermentation and an ever-expanding selection of plant-based milk. Grain-based milks made with barley or oats are also on the rise as a more sustainable option.

  • Sustainable packaging and manufacturing. We all need to do much more to reduce our dependence on plastics. The good news is that technological advances are helping companies be more sustainable at every stage of the supply chain.

  • Flexitarianism: More and more consumers are self-selecting as flexitarians, and that means even more opportunity for not only plant-based companies but also traditional food manufacturers, retailers, and foodservice companies to serve this growing consumer segment.

  • Non-GMO, organic, and natural clean label flavorings. A growing number of companies are offering natural, organic, and plant-based flavors and extracts to meet the growing consumer demand for healthier, cleaner labeled foods.

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How has Covid-19 impacted retail and foodservice strategies for plant-based brands?

People now more than ever are aware of the importance of a healthy immune system and are seeking out ways to regain control of their own health and wellbeing. Demand for plant-based foods has skyrocketed over the past two years and shows no signs of slowing down. Companies are leaning into these benefits in their marketing and messaging in an effort to reach the flexitarian marketplace. 


What advice do you have for new brands looking to get their start in today’s competitive CPG landscape? 

Do your research. Understand who you are competing against and the industry landscape both from a consumer perspective as well as a social and economic perspective. Read industry/trade publications so that you are as well-informed as possible. The plant-based CPG space is very competitive but there is opportunity as well. Talk to other entrepreneurs who have been successful in this space. What challenges have they had to overcome? What have they learned? Conduct your own research and get as much feedback as possible on the product you’re trying to launch. Is there demand? Can you differentiate yourself? Would it make more sense to partner with an existing brand? These are just a few of the questions you should be able to answer.


Anything else you’d like to share?

This is an extraordinary time to be a vegpreneur! We are at the crossroads of an enormous business opportunity and huge social responsibility. Plant Based World is where social impact and financial opportunity come together and where you can experience the future of the plant-based industry. We can’t wait to meet you there!

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