29 Sep 2020 — The plant-based sector continues to boom and as of yesterday, Planteneers was launched, the latest subsidiary of Hydrosol, part of the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe. This new company is led by Dr. Matthias Moser, managing director, who tells FoodIngredientsFirst that “plant-based food is the new normal” and moves Hydrosol beyond just stabilizing and texturizing.
“The next generation of plant-based alternatives will have a perfect look, taste and provide the best possible nutritional value,” Dr. Moser explains.
Through collaboration with the other Stern-Wywiol Gruppe subsidiaries, Planteneers can offer customers attractive system solutions from a single source, from stabilizing and texturing to flavoring and fortification. “We’re positioning Planteneers as a cornerstone within the group,” Dr. Moser flags.
Environmental protection, animal welfare and health are currently the main drivers for consumer purchases of plant-based alternatives. The growing world population is bringing a new dynamic to the field, according to Dr. Moser.
“Plant-based alternatives are gaining enormous importance. Planteneers is our clear commitment to this rapidly expanding category,” he notes
“With this new company, we are developing attractive solutions and making an important contribution to the fast-growing market for foods from plant-based alternatives. It is our clear objective to establish this newest subsidiary successfully on the international market,” adds Torsten Wywiol, CEO of the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe.
Growth for both Hydrosol and Planteneers
“We intend to continue to grow with both companies,” emphasizes Wywiol.
“With that in mind, it will be important to focus on each of their strengths and further build on them for both brands with the appropriate strategies in each case,” he continues.
“That’s the reason we separated the plant-based field out of Hydrosol. Our former ‘plant-based baby’ has grown up and is ready to strike out on its own, to put it differently. We’re bundling its capabilities in a dedicated company.”
“We strongly believe in the plant-based sector – it will grow and establish itself as an important category of the food industry,” adds Dr. Moser.
Planteneers will play a crucial role in this market and will be the food industry’s partner for developing innovative, good-tasting plant-based alternatives, he asserts.
“We are the only company in the sector with our breadth of knowledge in so many applications: meat, dairy, deli, fish and egg alternatives. We have experience with all the different protein sources and production processes, and can help with the development of the best alternatives in all cases,” he details.
Interest in plant-based eating has been developing rapidly, moving from its disruptor status highlighted by Innova Market Insights in its Top Trends for 2017 to more of a “food revolution” positioning in its Top Trends for 2020.
Innova’s Plant-Based Revolution theme bolsters development as plant-based innovation in foods, beverages, and ingredients continue to flourish due to consumer interest in health, sustainability and ethics. This also ties into the broader consumer lifestyle trend towards cleaner living, according to the market researcher.
“The plant-based sector is, at the moment, developing from just meat and dairy alternatives, as in recent years, to egg alternatives for breakfast and egg alternatives for cooking and baking,” comments Dr. Moser.
Fish and seafood alternatives are becoming more prominent and industry will see “better products replacing salmon and tuna in sushi or even as replacements for smoked salmon.”
Quality is key, according to Dr. Moser. “We will work on protein combinations to optimize the nutritional value of our plant-based alternatives for meat and dairy products,” he further flags.
When discussing emergent flavors in plant-based, Dr. Moser says that finding the right flavor to get the taste of something like smoked salmon is “not easy.”
The plant-based market is still working on perfect matches for eggs and fish, for example.
Hydrosol has its own flavorists from its sister company OlbrichArom, who work together with Planteneers specialists in the company’s Plant Based Competence Center.
“Our latest development is a plant-based alternative to egg patties. This goes in breakfast sandwiches and can be served with our bacon alternative,” Dr. Moser elaborates.
“The patties also contain a mix of proteins from potato, chickpeas and yeast protein, he adds.
Shaping the future of the industry
Plant-based is also rapidly becoming a new normal in out-of-home eating. “Through intensive research, creative ideas and tireless pioneering spirit, at Planteneers, we intend to play an active role in shaping the future of the industry,” explains Dr. Moser.
“We’re moving beyond just stabilizing and texturizing,” he maintains. “At Planteneers, we’re concentrating on the development of trend product concepts in the growth categories.”
Moreover, Hydrosol will continue to apply its proven innovative strength to its core business – as the worldwide food industry pays more and more attention to texture in foods.
This is particularly the case for categories such as free-from, clean label and clear label, which continue to see steadily rising demand.
By Elizabeth Green
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