The One Ingredient Project paves the way for climate-friendly, customer-driven innovations
Sonja Hennen 23 March 2021
Growing consumer demand and the rising awareness of the detrimental environmental impact of animal-centred diets are increasingly motivating companies to reformulate their existing products in favour of plant-based alternatives. ProVeg’s One Ingredient Project is able to guide them through the process.
A common solution
Many of the world’s most pressing problems, including climate change, biodiversity loss, world hunger, and the rise of food-related diseases have a common root cause in our dietary choices and the animal-based food system. However, a growing number of consumers are basing their purchasing decisions on sustainability, health aspects, and animal welfare, all of which motivate them to eat more plant-based diets. Additionally, the events of the past year have revealed the supply-chain fragility of animal-based production and shown the urgent need for systemic change. As such, it’s not surprising that the growth rates of plant-based products are rising to unprecedented levels.
However, as recent research shows, many consumers are still unsatisfied with the current selection of plant-based options, particularly in terms of baked goods and confectionery products. Rather than throwing new products at the market, changing your existing portfolio can be a quick and easy alternative. This is where One Ingredient comes into play.
Certain human activities strongly increase the likelihood of zoonotic diseases.
The One Ingredient Approach
The One Ingredient Project was originally established with the idea of veganising existing products by replacing a single ingredient. While the project has subsequently expanded to include multiple ingredients, the directness and simplicity of that initial approach continues to be a guiding principle, and ProVeg now offers businesses full support for the conversion of products to a completely plant-based formulation.
Conceived as a response to the growing number of companies that want to satisfy the demand for sustainable food options through the replacement of animal-derived ingredients, the One Ingredient approach is specifically aimed at guiding companies along each step of the product-transformation process.
From product analysis to product reformulation and implementation, our team of food-industry experts and product developers can provide the tools and insights required for a timely change process. This includes identifying those products among the existing range which can easily be transformed to plant-based through a reformulation or simple omission of animal-derived ingredients, without any loss of quality or taste. This is made possible through our ongoing evaluations of the most innovative and promising plant-based ingredient solutions on the market, as well as close cooperation with leading product developers.
To this end, we connect interested companies with suppliers who can provide the functional ingredients needed for a successful product reformulation. The range and quality of plant-based solutions are growing rapidly, as companies enter the market with new value propositions which challenge the status quo in terms of taste, affordability, availability, and ease of use.
A reformulation of products to a plant-based version helps to achieve a better ecological footprint (and hence an improved CSR profile), can protect against price and market volatilities, and open up the space for a broader target group.
The market data for Europe’s plant-based sector is being published for the first time in a collaboration between Nielsen MarketTrack and Proveg International. The results reveal the true extent of the acceleration of plant-based consumption over the past three years.
Successful examples of reformulated products
To date, ProVeg’s One Ingredient team has worked with companies such as Hema, Madame Coco’s, and Donny Craves1 in the Netherlands, as well as a host of major retailers in Germany, to assist with the conversion of existing products to plant-based formulations. Companies that have already taken the plunge and adapted selected products to plant-based formulations have reported overwhelmingly positive results. Rob van Erven, the director of Donny Craves, confirms that the change of their recipe to an egg-free and butter-free formula has allowed the company to make delicious cookies that are loved by consumers just as much, but now have a far-smaller ecological footprint.2
“A cookie gives you energy, but the production of cookies also requires energy. I saw how much energy it takes to be able to produce everything, what impact this has on our environment, and how much waste is caused. I thought: ‘we can do better.”
With more and better plant-based ingredient solutions on the rise and help from our food-industry experts, replacing animal-based ingredients has never been easier. For those who are still not sure, Rob van Erven of Donny’s offers some useful advice:
“I can imagine that as a food manufacturer you may experience some fear of change. Will my cream puffs or cream cakes still be as tasty without these ingredients? My advice is: be open to the possibilities and experiment – just try. Replace all animal ingredients with plant-based ingredients, and see if you can make it as much of a guilty pleasure as you did before. Chances are the consumer will like it just as much.”
If you want to find out more about the One Ingredient Project and how our team of experts can help you with transforming your products, please contact us.
About the author
Project Assistant Food Industry & Retail