Gerber enters the plant-based protein market with the introduction of their new Plant-tastic baby food line, which has a selection of beans, legumes, vegetables, and fruits.
Gerber, the world’s largest manufacturer of baby food, is entering the plant-based protein market for the first time with the launch of Plant-tastic. Organic toddler snack pouches, crunchy snacks, and bowl meals (such as Vegan Mac) are all included in the new seven-item collection. All are made with plant-based proteins sourced from beans, legumes, vegetables, and fruit.
Gerber’s new range enables the company to benefit from the expanding plant-based trend, which, according to market research, is not confined to adults. According to a 2019 poll by Future Market Insights, 81% of families with children incorporate plant-based protein in their meals, and 40% of parents with children under the age of 18 are increasing their consumption of plant-based foods. The Plant-tastic line is certified carbon neutral by the Carbon Trust, assisting Gerber in meeting its climate goals.
“We’ve heard from parents that they want additional plant-based protein alternatives that correspond with their dietary and environmental values,” said Tarun Malkani, President, and CEO of Gerber. “Gerber Plant-tastic nutrition is stage-based, beginning with organic toddler pouches, snacks, and meals. We are happy that the whole Plant-tastic line is carbon neutral, demonstrating our dedication to climate-friendly nourishment.”
A plant-based diet is beneficial at any age.
Plant-based diets have been linked to several health advantages, including a decreased chance of developing Type 2 diabetes, some malignancies, and heart disease—and eating plant-based is advised at all stages of life. In 2016, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics — the biggest professional organization in the United States with 100,000 members — issued its official opinion on plant-based diets in its medical publication.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics declared that “appropriately designed vegetarian, including vegan, diets are nutritious, nutritionally sufficient, and may give health advantages in the prevention and treatment of certain illnesses.” “These diets are suitable for all stages of life, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, and older adulthood, as well as for athletes.”
Gerber developed the Plant-tastic line—made with chickpeas, black beans, navy beans, and lentils—with the new United States Dietary Guidelines in mind, which promote legumes as part of a balanced diet for children under the age of two.
“Many of my patients’ parents include plant-based choices into their own diets and are interested in feeding their infant according to their own dietary ideals. For parents interested in incorporating more plant-based meals into their diets, I recommend ‘feeding baby the rainbow’ from a range of foods.” Dr. Whitney Casares, Gerber Pediatric Consultant, stated in a statement. “Gerber Plant-tastic meals are created with legumes, whole grains, and vegetables—all of which are high in nutrients such as protein and fiber, which are necessary for [a] baby’s healthy growth.”
Psychologically, providing youngsters with plant-based protein sources rather than animal products benefits their mental health as well. According to a new study from the University of Exeter, infants and youngsters under the age of 11 are more inclined to view animals of all species as friends than adults who have been trained to believe that certain animals are food and others are companions.
Nestlé enters the plant-based protein market
Gerber was bought by Swiss food giant Nestlé in 2007 and is the company’s most recent brand to enter the plant-based protein category. Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider stated last year at a press event in London that the corporation is actively working to “replace every animal protein available” with plant-based alternatives.
Nestlé has already taken steps toward that goal by acquiring Sweet Earth, a vegetarian brand known for its plant-based meat alternatives Benevolent Bacon, Awesome Burger, and Mindful Chik’n; launching plant-based proteins in Europe under the Garden Gourmet brand, and investing in startup Sundial Foods to bring the skin-on vegan chicken to the market. Nestlé is also interested in the growing cellular agriculture business and has invested in Israel’s Future Meat Technologies to commercialize its cultured meat once regulatory licenses are obtained.