Report: Plant-based prepared meals offer big opportunity

David Salazar
Managing Editor
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As plant-based meats gain traction among consumers, convenience is shaping up to be a big selling point, according to a new report from Packaged Facts. The report, Meat, Poultry, & Seafood Alternatives: Plant-Based and Cultured Cell-Based Types, notes that one way to convert time-conscious, potentially curious consumers, would be to offer prepared meal options with plant-based meat. 

"A top reason that consumers cite for buying any type of prepared meals is time savings. Incorporating plant-based meat into prepared foods is the ultimate convenience since consumers can have a complete meal at home or at a workplace with little effort," said Jennifer Mapes-Christ, Packaged Facts' food and beverage publisher.

Among branded producers, Gardein (owned by Conagra Brands) has begun moving into the prepared meal space, offering frozen prepared meals — including skillet meals that can be cooked on the stove, microwaveable sliders and microwaveable fajita bowls — featuring plant-based meats. 

Smaller companies also are focusing on prepared meals with plant-based meat analogs. Startup Alpha foods has more than 20 varieties of prepared foods that use its plant-based chicken, sausage and beef, including burritos, handheld pot pies, tamales and pizza. 

In the private brand realm, Kroger is working to build out its Simple Truth Plant Based line, adding various alternative meats and dairy-free cheeses, though no prepared foods have been added as of yet. 

To purchase the full Packaged Facts report, click here.