I don’t need to tell you: There’s an awful lot of hubbub about plant-based diets these days. A few press releases drop into my inbox on the daily announcing the introduction of another vegetarian or vegan creation—whether from a new start-up or an established food giant getting into the action. And as we get back to in-person events, it is interesting to see how many equipment suppliers are touting the use of their systems for plant-based applications.
We’re taking a great interest in how this growing sector is shaping up. It hasn’t become completely clear to me yet how much this part of the industry will rely on existing equipment and technologies to process alternative proteins or instead demand systems that meet their particular needs. There have been some interesting discussions so far.
|In this Take 5 video, get a peek at how plant-based alternatives fit into the global trends driving the industry, along with our annual Global 250 ranking of the world's top food and beverage companies.|
Attending a forum in Poland recently featuring a panel of executives from the meat industry, I was struck by how incensed they were at the whole notion of this fast-moving vegan/vegetarian train and how they could possibly derail it (it was also interesting to hear how “flexitarian” translated readily between Polish and English).
But it doesn’t seem to me like the conventional meat or dairy industries will be disappearing any time soon. They will continue to innovate, and we will continue to detail the processes and technologies that keep their operations running efficiently.
Really, what could be more standard comfort food than Kraft Macaroni & Cheese? After 80 years on the market, it’s not going anywhere. In fact, Kraft Heinz is innovating in its own ways—several of which can be seen within a multi-line expansion project detailed in this issue’s cover story. The Wausau, Wis., plant modernization project for its blue box product won a 2021 Manufacturing Innovation Award from ProFood World.
|Read about the Kraft Heinz multi-line expansion project for mac and cheese production in Wausau, Wis.|
The up-and-comers might learn a thing or two from such industry stalwarts—just as more traditional folks might get some ideas from the new market entrants. It’s worth poking your head over the partition to take a look.