Obama celebrated 60 with top vegan brands9 Aug 2021
Plant-based foods have become so widely accepted that former President Barack Obama’s 60th birthday celebration featured a vegan, plant-based menu, according to a menu leaked by Bloomberg.
The menu features a list of classic dishes that are reinterpreted using plant-based ingredients from Eat Just, Impossible Foods and Perfect Day. The menu, was put together by The Roots drummer and Grammy award-winning artist Questlove, who is also an avid alt-protein investor.
On the selection of dishes is one of Queslove’s own: the Questlove Impossible Cheesesteak. This plant-based version of a traditional Philadelphia Cheesesteak where animal-free cheese from Perfect Day and Impossible Foods ground beef are swapped in and mixed with peppers and onions before being stuffed into a sub-sandwich roll; this dish was reinterpreted for Obama’s birthday as an eggroll. Additionally, there was Spam Musubi made with Impossible's 'beef' and 'pork' as well as Eat Just’s vegan eggs.
Of course, guests that wished to consume something other than plant-based products had the option of fresh seafood.
By including these name brands, Obama’s birthday helped solidify these plant-based titans as the leaders in a market that is growing rapidly. In 2020, plant-based food sales in retail were worth $7 billion, a 27% jump from the year prior, according to SPINS. And this growth is not projected to slow down. Since 2019, plant-based food dollar sales grew 43% and sales of these protein analogs grew almost 2.5x faster than total food sales from 2018 to 2020, per data from the Good Food Institute.
While it is noteworthy that individuals are more frequently purchasing these products, it is even more striking that these alternatives are now routinely making their way onto the menus of big events. At the annual Met Gala in New York City, coordinators announced that for the first time they will serve an entirely plant-based menu. Similarly, the food served prior to the 2020 Oscars ceremony was vegan.
It is clear that there has been a shift for consumers in terms of what they are asking for from food manufacturers. This drive for plant-based products coupled with support from the scientific community that reducing meat consumption has a direct and positive impact on carbon emissions has placed purveyors of plant products at the epicenter of a seismic shift in the food and beverage community. And it is one that is likely to benefit them enormously.
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