Expo East trends

Plant power

Plant-based dairy and meat alternatives are gaining traction among a broader audience, with new offerings appealing to vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike, said Ms. Mast.

“Whether it’s for climate health or heart health, ecological efficiency or animal welfare, plants are fast becoming man’s best friend, and natural product brands are feeding a growing appetite for plant-based products with really delicious clean offerings,” she said. “These products are in many ways far superior to what we’ve had in the past in terms of dairy alternatives and alternative meat products.”

Meanwhile, manufacturers of such products are moving away from soy, the vegetarian staple for so many years, which in recent years has suffered from negative health perceptions.

Recently launched beverages include a line of plant protein shakes from CytoSport, Inc., a subsidiary of Hormel Foods Corp., and pea protein milk from Ripple Foods, Emeryville, Colo.

Plant-based cheese alternatives

Dairy-free cheese options continue to expand with such gourmet examples as an aged English smoked farmhouse-style substitute made with cultured cashews from Miyoko’s Kitchen, Fairfax, Calif., and a cream cheese-style chive spread made with almond milk from Kite Hill, Hayward, Calif.

Forager Project, San Francisco, has unveiled a line of organic dairy-free cashew yogurts, available in plain, vanilla bean, lemon, wild blueberry and strawberry flavors.

Plant-based meat substitutes

Outside of the dairy case, new meatless options include a curried sweet potato hempseed burger from Good Seed, Austin, Texas, and a spicy veggie breakfast sausage made with whole grain millet and lentils from Hilary’s, Lawrence, Kas.