– Leanne Lutomsky | Regulatory Affairs
Almond Milk and Oat Milk and Rice Milk, oh my!
When it comes to milk alone, the has never been as many choices as there are today. And milk is just one small sector of the rising trend in plant-based foods. It’s becoming impossible to visit the grocery store without seeing a new product on the shelf, and these days it’s a lot of plant foods. From consumer allergies to milk or soy, to general health concerns, there are many reasons why food manufacturers are jumping on the plant-based food & beverage trend.
One reason for this movement toward plant-based foods could be the upcoming changes to Canada’s Food Guide. Over the next couple years, Health Canada will release the new food guide and guidance policy for professionals. This new food guide highlights more nutrient-dense foods and warns against the harmful fats- saturated and trans, which are commonly found in dairy products and meat. Although this new guide is not finalized, there are rumours that it has completely eliminated dairy as a food group. Knowing that Canada’s own government will be advertising for foods from plant-origin could be the push driving food manufacturers to start thinking differently about certain ingredients.
Another reason for these new food and drinks could be the growing multiculturalism of our country. We have influences coming in from all over the world and this is adding to our range of options at the grocery store. Ingredients that were not well known to Canadians as little as ten years ago are now becoming all the rage. Ingredients like coconut, which must be imported from foreign countries, has now become an essential part of many Canadian’s diets in the form of milk, oil, beverages and other foods.
What can we expect to see in the upcoming year? There are many plant sources of protein that are only starting to be explored now. Ingredients like quinoa, flax, peas, hemp and barley may make their way onto our shelves in new forms you might not expect. Manufacturers willing to experiment with these ingredients to replace traditionally animal-based foods, like milk, yogurt, burgers or cheese, could join in on this new trend.