Plant based formulas and a flexitarian diet

Research shows that reducing animal food consumption and regularly eating plant-based foods is one of the most influential things we can do to lessen our impact on the planet over our lifetime—including greenhouse gas emissions, land and water use, pollutants produced and energy required.

The veganism trend has escalated over the years from a fad to a widely adopted lifestyle in an effort to improve and sustain our food system. But is it an achievable, lasting choice most people can adapt? 

The only way for diet changes to have a prolific impact is en masse. Because a vegan or vegetarian diet can seem so restrictive, eating a varied diet that includes small amounts of animal protein is more flexible and achievable for a larger base of consumers. 

Flexing into a sustainable, long-term choice

Though effective, veganism isn’t easy—but going flexitarian means healthier eating and restoring the environment with carte blanche to enjoy life. Ultimately, being a flexitarian is about finding the right balance. And with growing evidence showing that plant-based diets are not only better for our health but also a great way to reduce emissions, the flexitarian diet offers an ideal mix of choice and sustainability. 

After all, many diet-trend enthusiasts eventually fall back into old ways. Veganism may have gained in popularity during lockdown, but as post-pandemic indulgence, gathering and busy schedules resume, the chances of this lifestyle sticking dwindles. Fads are famous for crashing after the hype fades, and veganism is as challenging and difficult as strict diets such as the keto and paleo lifestyles. 

The flexitarian lifestyle is a more flexible commitment to do one’s best in consuming plant-powered products. With less restrictions, this diet may be a better choice to adopt for the long haul. Rather than feeling guilty about the occasional slip on the vegan track, this way of eating comprises going vegetarian during the week but flexing on weekends to consume meat while barbecuing or grilling with family and friends. It can consist of eating all plant-based except when on vacation when indulgence is forgiven. It can mean saying yes to a scoop of dairy ice cream. It can also mean picking up ready meals or takeout after an exhausting day at the office. So how can you make sure your brand caters to the consumers who are flexing toward a better, more sustainable lifestyle and planet? 

Formulating plant-based foods

Univar Solutions is helping brands become personalized chefs for flexitarian consumers. With a suite of new formulations and ingredients we are able to help you incorporate plant-based foods into your consumers' daily diets. Using simple substitutions and protein powered alternatives, these ingredients can fit into every meal throughout the day: a smoothie made with oat milk for breakfast, an organic plant-based protein bar for a mid-morning snack, an Asian dish with chili peppers and spice blends for beef alternatives, or a decadent plant powered chocolate cake for dessert.  

Whether you’re starting a new venture into plant-based foods, or looking to expand your existing line, our technical specialists and Food Ingredients team can help you transform growing trends into marketable products.  

Watch our video above and learn how plant-based foods can easily fit into this lifestyle and how Univar Solutions can help you create your formula and recipe for health-conscious consumers. 

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