Independent food manufacturers that utilize plant-based ingredients are expanding their product lines to capitalize on the trend in healthier foods, and to offer healthy alternatives to animal products, sugar, artificial ingredients, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and preservatives. Keeping food simple and delicious is the key to making items healthier, improving taste, bringing down pricing, and helping the environment. Once a breakthrough has been made in the process and the technology used by a company, adding new products is a way to offer more choices in healthy foods to the general market, and to stay ahead of the competition. Getting exposure for one original product is only the beginning. Adding new flavors, releasing new products, and developing diverse product lines are what will keep a company thriving.
The original products from Hampton Creek, for example, included plant-based alternatives to eggs and mayonnaise. Pea proteins provided the main ingredient, improved the taste of alternatives, and helped maintain the right texture. The products were affordable because utilizing plants cuts down on the cost of raw materials, developing, and manufacturing. Just Mayo arrived at grocery stores and department stores at pricing low enough for shoppers in any income bracket. Since then, the product has been released in four flavors, a plant database has been started, and the expansion of product lines has resulted in the release of other healthy foods in other areas. Salad dressings are now available in seven varieties, cookie dough that can be baked or eaten out of the jar is available in at least one new flavor, and dessert mixes are due to be set on shelves in the near future. Some products are offered in select stores now, and will be more readily available soon.
New products, like the original ones, will contain no eggs or other animal products, no excess sugar, and no preservatives or artificial ingredients. That eliminates cholesterol, allergies to dyes and chemicals, side effects to artificial sweeteners, and the risk of illnesses from animal handling and bacteria. Exploring plant-based ingredients, and determining new uses for them, are the focus of most independent health food companies. Alternatives to cow milk, as another example, now include soy milk, cashew milk, and almond milk. Customers can go to company websites for coupons and recipes in order to try some of these alternatives and feed the family better food.