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Harvesting Plant-Based Food Trends: ADM Launches NutriFlex™

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Harvesting Plant-Based Food Trends: ADM Launches NutriFlex™

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Integrating vegans and flexitarians is possible with ADM’s leading NutriFlex™ plant protein solutions.

Plant-based foods are not​ trendy. In fact, plant-based foods represent a paradigm shift in how global consumers are stepping up their self-care and wellness lifestyle practices – eg, consuming a healthier, more wholesome and cleaner diet.

Setting the Stage

In a 2020 market research report, a significant portion of U.S. adult respondents declared themselves to be Flexitarian: “I am actively trying to eat more plant-based proteins, but still eat animal-based proteins.” For the record, 10% asserted they were Vegetarian, while 4% claimed to be Vegan. The other 43% stated they just eat whatever they are in the mood for. The survey also revealed that 50% of consumers actively seek plant-based proteins.1

Plant protein products have many consumers intrigued and they aren’t willing to compromise when seeking an option. A recent survey found that 69% of global plant protein consumers rank taste and nutritional value as equally important.1

The motivations to do so are varied: 65% of global plant protein consumers say that health benefits drive them to these products, followed by nutritional benefits at 64%, and animal welfare concerns at 59%.1

When multi-billion-dollar brands enter the market, a product stops being a trend and becomes a new way of life: consider that 9 of the 10 largest US meat companies either launched, bought or collaborated on a plant-based meat brand by December 2019.2

This collective presence and increased activity are believed to help grow the plant-based product market.  By 2030 the global combined meat and dairy alternative category is expected to reach $50 billion.3

So what plant-based foods are plant protein consumers eating? According to a recent ADM consumer study, the top alternative protein products tried globally are plant-based burgers/patties, followed by dairy alternative cheeses and plant-based sausages/hot dogs.1

As the picture becomes clear – and the market more crowded – brands are seeking not just ingredient suppliers, but strategic partners to help give them an edge in the marketplace. Turn to ADM as your strategic end-to-end solutions partner and a global leader in protein nutrition solutions for over 75 years. 

Introducing NutriFlex™

There are a myriad of potential products waiting to be developed and released to a market hungry for innovation.  ADM’s NutriFlex™ protein-forward platform has been strategically designed to offer three levels of solutions. Each level allows you to bring what’s next in culinary-forward plant-based solutions to the market with speed and variety, tailored to fit your brand’s needs.

Level 1:   MaxFlex™

MaxFlex™ provides synergistic plant protein powdered blends (like pea and wheat) that maximize protein, nutrition, and functionality. MaxFlex™ blends can be easily combined with other functional ingredients to maximize the overall total nutritional profile and functionality of the final application.

Level 2 AccelFlex™

AccelFlex™ is a portfolio of plant-based ingredient building blocks with value added processing techniques that resolve texture, structure, function and nutritional challenges in the industry. AccelFlexTM​ is designed to help accelerate launches of on-trend plant nutrition products.

AccelFlex™ provides Texture and Functional systems that reduce supply chain complexities while serving as a building block for a finished product that manufacturers can quickly incorporate into their production lines.

Level 3:  EdgeFlex™

EdgeFlex™, the quickest route to market, is a full-service finished product delivery platform; it was developed to give a competitive advantage for consumer-preferred alternative protein products across the big three preferences: poultry, pork and beef.

Several examples of delicious and nutritious plant-based foods in the EdgeFlex™ portfolio include: plant-based Italian sausage, burgers, sausage patties, dinner sausage, breaded chicken nuggets and cutlets, and a variety of plant-based crumbles (for pizza, calzones, etc.).

The three NutriFlex™ options are turn-key solutions for meat alternatives, dairy alternatives and specialized nutrition. They are all created leveraging ADM’s technical expertise in culinary-inspired taste and functional solutions that enable customers to drive market growth with products consumers enjoy. In NutriFlex™, ADM has created a full plant-powered solution portfolio that works synergistically with your product’s brand, formulation, and manufacturing needs, providing consumer and formulator-approved flavor, color, texture, nutrition, and functionality – all in a way that gets you to shelf faster.

The market is poised to move beyond the most common meat alternatives and into more segmented and precise products. Currently, there is white space for launches of whole-muscle products such as steaks, chicken breast, bacon, lunch meats; seafoods such as shellfish and shrimp and even plant-forward cheeses. Alternative meat and dairy products also continue to evolve, with new technologies like 3D printing and protein fermentation playing a role in driving innovation.

From on-trend foods such as street tacos, “chicken” shawarma and poke bowls, the expansion of protein opportunities to include new plant-based formats, nutrient-dense protein blends, and more protein-plus-functional claims has moved beyond the bun.

Your Edge, Our Expertise.

ADM is the premier resource for plant-derived ingredients, technologies and full solutions and has led the plant-based protein evolution, having invented and introduced Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP®) in the 1960s.

ADM is not solely a developer of ingredients or plant-based finished solutions, we are an extension of your team.  ADM partners with you to help create a full consumer-preferred and innovative protein solution that works integrally with your product’s formulation requirements -- holistic flavor, color, texture, nutrition, and functionality – so you can carve out your slice of the flourishing plant-based market.

Along with a portfolio and expertise unrivaled in the marketplace, ADM’s thought leadership and consumer-driven insights into the evolving flexitarian consumer set us apart in the marketplace. Discover how our proven applications and case studies can help you shape what’s next and deliver future success in this evolving category. 



1 ADM Outside VoiceSM​ Global Plant Protein Consumer Discovery Report, August 2020

2 Good Food Institute, SPINS Data; 2020, 2021

3 ADM Outside VoiceSM​ Spring 2021

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