Plant-Based Food Makers Get a Lobbyist

Nut-based cheese from Miyoko's Kitchen, which is represented by the Plant-Based Foods Association.  

Courtesy of Miyoko’s Kitchen

By James Oliver Cury Posted March 07, 2016

Elizabeth Kucinich and the Plant Based Foods Association will help educate the world about tempeh, tofu, tofurkey and plant-based milk, cheese, and yogurt.

Beef, pork and chicken have great PR teams. The meat you eat, for example, is marketed by many trade groups including the American Meat Institute, the National Meat Association, and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. Lobbyists make sure that beef is recommended in healthy diets, offered at school lunches, perceived as non-threatening to the environment, and granted federal subsidies. So who's cheerleading for plant-based foods made from soybeans, peas, and other non-meat sources? Starting today, it's the Plant-Based Food Association.

The organization currently has 23 food companies on board, representing a total of $3.5 billion in the group, according to today's press release. This includes makers of plant-based versions of milk, yogurt, cheese, cream, and meat (like meatless burgers, nuggets, tempeh, tofu, tofurkey).

The sector has risen by more than 8.7% over the last two years, which is significantly more than food and beverages in general, which grew by only 3.7%. Plant-based milks, the primary subcategory, drove $2.1 billion in sales and have seen 14.4% growth in total sales volume over the last two years. Plant-based meats drove more than $865 million in sales. And plant-based yogurts, an even smaller subcategory, increased sales by 12.7% over two years.

Who will lead this brave group of non-meat marketers? Elizabeth Kucinich, who is married to the former congressman and presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, is representing the Plant Based Foods Association. She is a leading advocate for healthy and sustainable food; her job now is to "engage in education, promotion, and advance policies to meet the increasing consumer demand for plant-based foods," according to the press release.

You can follow the organization, which had only 42 followers on its Twitter account as of this morning, here.

[h/t The New York Times]

 

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