Nutrition & Wellbeing
Consumers have spoken: they are keen to explore more plant-based protein options, yet there are significant tensions preventing them.
Firmenich & Campus have brought together a multidisciplinary team led by our Chef Designers to create the future in plant protein dishes to address these tensions in order to expand and create new markets for you.
Addressing the Tensions of the Flexitarian Consumer
Firmenich conducted a comprehensive qualitative digital ethnography study to unlock the tensions that consumers face when aiming to reduce their meat intake. Food & Beverages companies must help people overcome these challenges before a change in diet and a flexitarian lifestyle can become mainstream. Below is an introduction to what we learned:
Resolve Social & Family Pressures
More than 75% of the households we studied included meat-eaters who did not have the same aligned goal as the flexitarian living there.
This pressure to cater to everyone else's needs, especially in social situations, leads to creating multiple meals, going without eating, or simply giving in and just consuming meat.
Capture the Sting of Meat
Meat is something loved, not just liked, by many. The familiar sounds and smells of bacon sizzling, the crisp sear of a steak hitting a hot grill. We refer to these moments as the “sting” of meat as it interrupts and causes sudden powerful emotional flows–like a pleasant sting or rush of dopamine.
Flexitarians’ desire to revisit those cherished eating experiences that haven’t yet been recreated with plant-based foods.
Avoid the Rut
New Flexitarians quickly find themselves running out of ideas, inspiration and options, cooking the same thing over and struggling to replace the “sting” of meat.
The solution often lies in the discovery of new spice & seasoning combinations and exploring new and exciting recipes inspired by cultures, rather than trying to recreate traditional meat-centric meals.
Move on From Imitation to Imagination
Although replicating meat eating experiences is an important part of the overall offering to consumers, we need to look beyond this. Instead, it is time to re-imagine plant proteins and their role in the kitchen.
Firmenich uses the principles of Culinary Anthropology, putting our chefs at the forefront of exploring and identifying new ingredients, cooking techniques and possibilities across regions and cultures that address unmet consumer needs of the future.
Health and nutrition remain the driving concerns and motivators for Flexitarians. However, when meat is eliminated it, can create concerns about nutritional deficiencies with iron and B12 as a particular focus.
These issues along with the cost difference between plant-based solutions versus meat create easy excuses for Flexitarians to lapse.
New, Yet Familiar Eating Experiences
While much attention has been given to meat analogs such as burgers and nuggets, there are many dishes which can be re-envisioned using plant proteins. Here are just some examples of how you can help consumers "avoid the rut":
Soy | Eryngii | Roast Onion | Panela | Farofa Crust
Rich creamy vegetarian panela cheese based on our Viva Veg texture technology flavored with our SmartProteins® vegetarian meat and dairy solutions. Wrapped in a crisp crust of manioc flour with hints of fried garlic and onion. Protected by Thermarome, our unique fry-stable encapsulation technology.
Vegetarian Linguica & Cheese
Soy | Mushroom | Black Bean, Sesame, Flax, Chia Crust
Viva Veg Hi Melting Mozzarella paired with mushroom & soy linguica. Authentic Linguica spice blend supported by our unique SmartProteins™ taste technology to provide juiciness and succulence.
Vegan Al Pastor
Soy | King Trumpet Mushroom | Ancho | Morita Iron Skillet Morita Salsa | Avocado Chimichurri
A sliceable texture as you would expect from this classic Mexican street food is achieved through a proprietary Viva Veg blend of fibers. Authentic and Succulent from the first bite through our consumer validated SmartProteins® flavor approach.
Smart Solutions for the Future of Protein
We are constantly working with global experts, chefs and our customers to advance innovative green protein solutions that are nutritious, tasty and sustainable. We are promoting alternative proteins and putting them center of plate, catalyzing a shift toward more sustainable protein production and consumption to enhance wellbeing for all. Our solutions offer limitless possibilities in creating vegetarian and vegan alternatives to traditional meat and dairy based products in savory, sweet and beverages. We focus on the total eating experience to address all product development needs holistically, which we feel is the “smart” way.
The Culinary Anthropology experience allows you to directly collaborate with forward-thinking chefs to accelerate innovation through creative ideation and rapid-prototyping.