Plant-based product innovation is booming. According to the Plant Based Foods Association, over the past two years plant-based food sales in the United States have grown 43%, nine times faster than total food sales.1
Factors attributed to this trend may include environmental impact and sustainability concerns, as well as the current inflationary growth that has driven up the price of most food categories, including meat. As a result, a wider variety of plant-based meat, milk, cheese and butter offerings are attracting consumer interest and becoming part of their monthly grocery budget. In fact, 62% of Americans now buy herbal products.2
Sunflower oil is an excellent choice for plant-based formulations because it has a neutral flavor and can help with the texture and mouthfeel of a variety of products. Sunflower oil is also a great choice for sauces and savory snacks because it has a high heat point and longer frying time. For baked goods such as cookies, crackers, and artisan breads, sunflower oil adds lubricity and a moisture barrier that helps prevent staling. For granola bars and protein snacks, sunflower oil contains antioxidants that help stabilize ingredients such as grains, seeds and nuts.
Sunflower oil is a healthy premium oil, low in saturated fat and rich in monounsaturated fatty acids. As a result, sunflower oil often yields products longer shelf life. This too contains only a trace of omega 3 fatty acids, making it more stable than many other oils. IAdditionally, sunflower oil may help create cleaner product labels, due to its natural antioxidants and the fact that it meets an FDA claim that high oleic oils, such as than monounsaturated fats, may reduce the risk of heart disease.3
Whether you are a food manufacturer that manufactures plant-based products, snack foods, functional foods, or prepared foods for grocery or restaurant use, now is the time to consider choosing a healthy, non-GMO oil. that will not only benefit your product formulations, but also appeal to your customers.