Plant-based product innovation is booming. According to the Plant Based Foods Association, in the past two years, plant-based food sales in the US have grown by 43%, nine times faster than total food sales.1
Factors attributed to this trend may include environmental impact and sustainability concerns, and the current growth in inflation which has increased the price of most food categories including meat. As a result, a greater variety of plant-based meats, milk, cheese, and butter offerings are catching consumers' interest and part of their monthly grocery budget. In fact, 62% of Americans are now buying plant-based products.2
Sunflower oil is an excellent choice for plant-based formulations since it has a neutral flavor and can help with the texture and mouthfeel for a variety of products. Sunflower oil is also an excellent choice for sauces and savory snacks since it has a high heat point and longer fry life. For bakery products such as cookies, crackers, and artisanal breads, sunflower oil adds lubricity and a moisture barrier that helps prevent staling. For granola and protein snack bars, sunflower oil contains antioxidants that help stabilize ingredients such as grains, seeds and nuts.
Sunflower oil is a premium, healthy oil that is low in saturated fats and high in monounsaturated fats. As a result, sunflower oil often gives products longer shelf life. It also contains only a trace of Omega 3 fats, making it more stable than many other oils. In addition, sunflower oil can help create cleaner product labels, due to its natural antioxidants and the fact that it meets an FDA claim that states high-oleic oils, such as monounsaturated fats, may reduce the risk of heart disease.3
Whether you're a food manufacturer who makes plant-based products, snack foods, functional foods or prepared foods for grocery or foodservice, now is the time to consider choosing a healthy, non-GMO oil that will not only benefit your product formulations but will also please your customers.
- Edible oils must contain at least 70% oleic acid and need to be substituted for saturated fats. All high oleic sunflower oil and some mid oleic sunflower oil qualify for this claim.