Why 2022 could be a breakout year for plant-based startups
The plant-based food industry has seen tremendous growth in markets across the globe in the past year, and Canada is no exception. I believe that 2022 will continue to see major growth in the industry, especially in a few key areas.
Some of the trends I’m are seeing are the emergence of new and innovative product categories, clean ingredient lists, and a continued shift toward online ordering of not only grocery staples, but also other items.
The plant-based food industry catapulted into the mainstream with plant-based burgers that were developed to imitate meat. The depth and breadth of product categories that are available has since proliferated tremendously. Small and medium-sized companies have been responsible for launching innovative products, such as plant-based seafoods and plant-based eggs that are versatile enough to be used in scrambles and omlettes.
Consumers are also looking more closely at the ingredient lists on their plant-based products, and are wising up to the idea that plant-based doesn’t necessarily mean healthy. There is growing demand for products with simple ingredient lists. There is decreasing interest in overly processed products.
Lastly, the pandemic has habituated consumers to shop online, as it is convenient and offers more product options. Retail is very limited and expensive for startups and small food companies, which limits options for consumers on their local shelves. Increasing availability of plant-based marketplaces has helped to get these products into the hands of more consumers, and interest seems to only be growing.
As 2022 begins to unfold, we expect to see yet another big year for plant-based foods in Canada. A record number of new plant-based food products were launched in Canada last year. Most of these products came small businesses that are developing products to fill market gaps. The best innovation often comes from the bottom up, and we look forward to witnessing the continued growth of this sector.
Darren Gill is the COO and co-founder of Vejii, a marketplace for plant-based products.