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Kerry Group Expands Plant Based Range In Response To Consumer Demand

The Irish Meat & Dairy Giant Has Launched Its "Radicle" Range Of Plant Based Products To Meet Consumer Demand

Kerry Group is looking to capitalize on the consumer demand shift to plant based and meat-free alternatives with its new "Radical" range. The company, despite being a juggernaut of the Irish meat and dairy industry, is steadily increasing its alternative meat and dairy offerings, which use a variety of non-animal proteins including pea, rice, and sunflower. Plant based yogurt, ice cream bars, and healthy drinks are also in the pipeline as consumers shift towards meat-free or meat reducing flexitarian diets.

Interestingly, the company is making a direct effort to label products as plant based and appears to avoid the term "vegan". Fiona Sweeney, Strategic Marketing Director, Europe & Russia at Kerry, sees the importance of consumer perceptions when purchasing a new type of product. “Offerings labeled as ‘plant-based’ will appeal to the larger flexitarian consumer base more than explicitly calling out vegan or vegetarian. While there is no set definition of plant-based products, it is understood by consumers to mean a diet consisting mostly of vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, whole grains, and beans. It doesn’t necessarily exclude animal products and consumers that identify with eating a plant-based diet may fall anywhere along the spectrum from a flexitarian to a vegan," she tells Food Ingredients First.

Flexitarian For Health And Sustainability

Kerry's Vice President of Business Development John Reilly spoke of the move towards flexitarian diets & the demand it is creating. "We recognize the rapidly growing demand for plant-based protein. More consumers adopt a ‘flexitarian’ diet for health and sustainability reasons and are delighted to bring our expanded plant protein range to market. By combining these new sources of plant protein with our processing technologies and flavor-masking capability, we have opened up many innovation opportunities for our customers." He went on further to say, "For plant protein in particular, are now working on exciting applications in yogurt, ice cream bars, and clear beverages, to name but a few."

Kerry has entered the market alongside established competitors such as Beyond Meat, Nestlé and others in developing a plant based meat alternative offering. The market is predicted to be worth $3.5 billion by 2026, and follows a call last month from the EU's "Farm To Fork" strategy to move consumers to a more plant-based diet in the continent of Europe.

Plant based meat substitutes should be consumed in moderation alongside an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables in their whole, natural state. As a consumer, one must continue to educate themselves on the nutritional side of plant based eating to ensure long term health & success on this lifestyle. Visit our resource guide below to learn more.

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Offerings labeled as ‘plant-based’ will appeal to the larger flexitarian consumer base more than explicitly calling out vegan or vegetarian

Posted by Fiona Sweeney, Kerry Strategic Marketing Director

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