Vegan 'Meat,' Oat 'Milk,' and Other Plant-Based Foods to Get Their Own Certification Seal
Have you ever bitten into a veggie burger you bought at the grocery store and suddenly found yourself thinking, Wait a minute… Is this secretly jam-packed with beef?!? Probably not, but as the market for plant-based foods continue to grow — buoyed by the excitement around big-name meat alternatives like the Impossible Burger and the Beyond Burger — it makes sense that the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) has decided it’s time to launch a Certified Plant Based seal that brands can slap on their packaging to prove they are part of the in-crowd.
Originally launched in 2016 by 23 brands, the PBFA now boasts 126 members including some of the biggest names in plant-based foods like Beyond Meat, MorningStar, Quorn, and Tofurky. Speaking of Tofurky, the well-known holiday quip, along with the oat milk company Oatly, are the first two brands to have achieved certification through the program and have products bearing the new Certified Plant Based seal — which the PBFA describes as “the first and only plant-based food certification.”
“The launch of the Certified Plant Based seal is an exciting next step for the fast-growing and innovative plant-based foods industry,” Michele Simon, PBFA’s executive director said in a statement. “As consumers are looking to purchase more plant-based options, this new seal ensures confidence in what plant-based means.”
Along those lines, NSF International, which handles the certification process for the PBFA, outlines the official definition of Certified Planted Based on its website. Importantly, simply being planted-based isn’t quite enough to gain certification. (Sorry fruits and vegetables!) Instead, products have to serve as vegetarian alternatives to existing foods which the PBFA says includes “meat alternatives such as plant-based meat, poultry, and fish; egg substitutes; milk alternatives; and other dairy alternatives such as plant-based cheese, yogurt, butter and ice cream.” Meanwhile, the rules also offer up a number of immediate disqualifiers: Examples are things like no honey, no alcohol, and no pet food.
“In partnership with the PBFA, we’re setting an expectation for a recognizable category trust-mark,” said Tofurky CEO Jaime Athos. Like anyone doesn’t already trust Tofurky!