More consumers are shifting away from meat and seeking more eco-friendly proteins that are plant-based, which also have health benefits. While meat has some advantages and tends to have the highest concentration of protein in most naturally occurring food products, plant-based proteins can be added to CPG snack products in high enough amounts to rival meat's protein counts.
Here are some of the bestselling plant-based proteins currently on the market.
One of the healthier nuts, almonds are lower in fat than others and contain high levels of antioxidants and vitamins. They're considered heart healthy as they contain a moderately-high amount of monounsaturated fats. Almonds are used to make almond milk, almond flour and almond butter (alternatives for some who have allergies to other nuts or are gluten or dairy intolerant).
Low in fat and high in protein with moderate carbs, beans have long been a go-to substitute for meat. Rice and beans are staples of most plant-based diets and are considered heart healthy alternatives to artery-clogging meats.
Thought of as a healthy grain, quinoa is a seed that can be cooked in water. Unlike rice, however, quinoa contains a health amount of protein, along with fiber, and it's lower in carbs. Toasting the quinoa before cooking it removes the saponin coating that can give it a bitter taste.
Tofu has dwindled in popularity from a few decades ago when it was one of the only widely available plant-based options but it's still a recognized plant-based food. Some on plant-based diets were so reliant on the soy-based food they affected people's hormones but in moderation, tofu provides a complete protein for those who need it.
5. Chia Seeds
Another favorite of the health food set, chia seeds are used in smoothies, chips, and desserts. They're also sprinkled on salads and other dishes. These little seeds are so powerful they can make a diabetic person's blood sugar go down too quickly in some cases and must be used with caution when combined with medications that have effects on one's blood sugar levels.
This meat substitute is made with wheat gluten and spices, then formed into strips so it has the consistency of meat. Its protein content rivals meat, and it's also low in carbs compared to most grains. It's most commonly used for stir-fries and other dishes that contain sauces and similar ingredients.
While a typical serving of vegetables doesn't contain a large amount of protein, some vegetables have more protein per calorie than meat. As vegetables are so in calories, a large amount must be eaten to gain significant protein, but they're still an important source of protein and other nutrients without adding many carbs, especially when concentrated and added to packaged snack foods (CPG items).
These protein-rich items are great additions to any diet and can be found in many CPG foods on the market today. CPG marketing can highlight these natural and health ingredients as part of a CPG brand voice to appeal to health-conscious snackers looking for alternatives they can throw into their briefcase or backpack when they're away from home and can't prepare fresh food.
For more help with your CPG marketing and to stay on top of all the latest trends, subscribe to our blog.