State of the Plant-Based Nutrition Category 2013

Vega Formulator Brendan Brazier: "Category must commit to consumer education as plant-based nutrition gains higher awareness."

Mar 07, 2013, 06:07 ET from Vega

BURNABY, British Columbia, March 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- According to industry research, plant-based nutritional products are one of the fastest growing categories in the natural health industry. Plant-based products are gaining major retail deals, media coverage, and a growing following of celebrities and professional athletes adopting a plant-based lifestyle.

"We've seen tremendous development since Vega launched back in 2004. We are thrilled to see such growth in the natural health product industry, particularly in the plant-based nutrition category. Our primary goal has always been to bring products to market that simplify people's lives. We believe that accessible plant-based foods are the future of optimal health," said Brendan Brazier, plant-based category innovator and formulator of the award-winning Vega plant-based nutrition brand.

For many people, eating fruits and vegetables is typically the first lesson learned about healthy eating. Yet the demands of our on-the-go lives make it a struggle to eat the way we would like. When properly produced, plant-based nutritional products showcase strong nutritional profiles including antioxidants, essential vitamins and minerals, enzymes, fiber, protein, probiotics and phytonutrients that are highly nourishing. Innovative plant-based products, like Vega's, have made it possible to maintain healthful resolutions in a way that fits active, busy lives.

"We wholeheartedly believe that plant-based products not only help people realize the
health benefits associated with clean nutrition, but also deliver significant social, economic
and environmental returns. If we want more people to embrace plant-based nutrition, we need
to be both inspiring and accessible. Mainstream acceptance won't come by delivering products that combine taste and clean nutrition alone – it also depends on educating consumers on real-world ways to eat and feel better," says Brazier, as he provided insights as part of his State of the Plant-Based Nutrition Category 2013 address heading into the annual Expo West tradeshow.

Ten years ago when the first Vega product was developed, there was a common perception
in the industry that plant-based nutrition was not a viable option for mainstream consumers.
Many believed that is was impossible to put whole food ingredients into a commercial shake. Some assumed plant-based nutrition products would have too short a shelf life, poor taste
and texture, and too high a cost resulting in low demand. Yet, heading into Expo West,
the number of new entrants into the plant-based category is skyrocketing.

"We're excited to see new companies and products in our space because we believe
that competition drives innovation. In my opinion, we operate within a shared ecosystem.  
Through a collective commitment to ongoing learning and innovation, the category will
continue to elevate the status of clean nutrition and help deliver a larger variety of
products for those turning to plant-based foods."

Education, transparency and a long-term commitment to sustainability are key pillars for
future growth.   

"From every ingredient we choose, how we select manufacturing partners and packaging
design to how we set up our workspaces, sustainability must continue to be a core category value," says Brazier, who added that Vega continues to aggressively explore fully sustainable packaging.

As more consumers – ranging from strict vegans, to part-time vegetarians, or celebrities, busy Moms, and professional athletes - incorporate better, clean, nutrient-rich options into their on-the-go lives, the future of plant-based nutrition looks bright.

"This year provides an important opportunity to build momentum and reach more people with the message of clean plant-based nutrition. Our commitment to education and setting the standard in the natural health industry will be essential to build sustained, long-term growth."

For more information, please contact:

Bradford Walton, MWW

Jessica Malach, Vega
604-945-3133 x 366