Vegetarian. Vegan. Bland. Unsatisfying. Rabbit food.
Those descriptors are exactly what plant-forward eating does not have to be. The food industry is abuzz about the huge rise in plant-based everything—from burgers to butter. This global trend isn’t about removing meat or animal products from the plate. But “plant forward” instead praises plant foods, like produce, peanuts and other nuts, legumes and more, and encourages making them part of our diets more often.
The plant-forward movement matters for three key reasons.
Millennials, now the largest demographic group, are driving the shift—and influencing others.
Millennials are increasingly conscious of the food they eat and its impact on their bodies, the planet and animals. GlobalData’s consumer analyst, Fiona Dyer, said in Forbes, “The shift toward plant-based is being driven by millennials, who are most likely to consider the food source, animal welfare issues and environmental impacts when making their purchasing decisions.”
But the plant-based trend goes way beyond the millennial demographic. The demand for plant-based is growing globally and there’s a global shift away from meat. A report from GlobalData said, “70 percent of the world population reportedly is either reducing meat consumption or leaving it off the table altogether.”
Consumers see a closer connection between the foods we eat and environmental impact.
Environmental stewardship is gaining in importance around the world. Forty-six percent of millennials state that sustainable farming practices influence what they eat, according to the National Peanut Board’s 2018 consumer tracking study. Plant-based diets promote better health and cause less environmental impact than diets rich in animal-based foods, said the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Committee. In fact, a new report published in the Lancet recommends a 100 percent increase in nuts, legumes, fruits and vegetables globally in order to maintain a healthy diet and contribute to positive environmental effects.
- There’s an overall increase in consumer demand for plant-based food.
The International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation surveys consumers each year to understand their perceptions about food. The 2019 survey found familiarity and interest in plant-based diets is high. Nearly three in four consumers say that have heard of plant-based diets and half of all consumers are interested in learning more.
Peanuts are an essential part of the plant-forward movement.
As food professionals respond to this increased demand and need for plant-forward eating patterns, peanuts are the perfect food to incorporate. Watch this short video to discover how chefs, dietitians and product developers use peanuts to support plant-forward eating.
Peanuts’ great taste has helped make them millennials’ favorite nut, and millennials are more likely to purchase a menu item or product that includes peanuts or peanut butter than the general market, according to NPB’s consumer brand tracking survey.
Peanuts are also ubiquitous in cuisines across the world, in multiple day parts and in packaged foods. Global cuisines, often plant forward, continue to be a preferred choice among millennials and other demographics, whether dining out or experimenting with new foods at home. Peanuts have been a global favorite and core ingredient in many world cuisines over the centuries in Mexican moles, African stews and Asian sauces.
Peanut products function as ingredients in breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Peanuts can layer or top a yogurt parfait or a peanut butter smoothie at breakfast. A PB&J is a classic, plant-forward lunch choice. Chicken or tofu skewers with a peanut satay sauce is a nourishing evening meal. Apple or banana slices with peanut butter dip or a peanut-based granola are satisfying snack options.
In product development, peanut flour is especially versatile because it has a mild flavor and can be used to add plant-based protein to foods. It also works well as a binder and thickener in many applications, from baking to desserts.
Peanuts are one of the most sustainable, nutritious food sources available. They have more protein than any other nut—7 grams per serving—and contain more than 30 vitamins and nutrients. Peanuts’ 12 grams of good, unsaturated fat and 3 grams of fiber make them a nutritional powerhouse. Learn more about the health benefits of peanuts here.
Plant-forward eating doesn’t have to mean completely eliminating meat and animal products or eating salad for every meal. Peanuts can make plant-forward eating more enjoyable for consumers through dishes like African Peanut Stew, Thai Peanut Chicken Tacos, Grilled Ginger Peanut Glazed Mahi Mahi with Jalapeno Peanut Butter Slaw, Grilled Eggplant with Peanut Butter Teriyaki, Peanut Butter Granola Bars and Fruit Kabobs with Yogurt Peanut Butter Dip. Make plant-forward more delicious with peanuts.
Find more plant-forward recipes with peanuts here.
Learn more about how peanuts are good for our health, environment and economy here.
 https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)31788-4/fulltext?utm_campaign=tleat19&utm_content=82906205&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&hss_channel=tw-27013292 The Lancet Commissions| Volume 393, ISSUE 10170, P447-492, February 02, 2019 Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems Prof Walter Willett, MD Published: January 16, 2019.