Plant-Based Revolution

As people become increasingly concerned about sustainability and ethical eating, diets have shifted towards plant-based food. Consumers are recognising the impact a plant-based diet can have on their lifestyle, providing meals rich in protein and fibre. PR Newswire predicts the global plant-based food market to reach $95 billion by 20291 as more people adopt vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian lifestyles – and the industry is responding to this growing demand.  From plant-based meat alternatives to wider ranges of fruit and vegetables, more and more choice is hitting the shelves.

Alongside major players in the sector, SMEs have contributed to the trend through innovative offerings.  A range of products developed by smaller food manufacturers have proved to be a hit – and as their orders have increased many of these companies have reached the stage at which they need to expand their operations.

plant-based meat alternatives

At Air Products, our main involvement involves supplying equipment for the chilling and freezing of food. Items such as this are vital to keep down the running costs of any food manufacture business – without a mechanism to chill or freeze products quickly and effectively, waste increases and transportation over long distances becomes problematic.  But for smaller firms, the significant capital cost of purchasing one can be difficult to justify.  With this in mind, we keep the door open for smaller businesses and reduce their investment risks by offering shorter term rent of the equipment rather than a flat purchase.  For a start-up, this flexibility can be the difference between having the funds to take a risk or having to take a step back.

We can also offer our expertise to advise on the right freezing solution. New startups will have limited knowledge of chilling and freezing technology and the optimal solution based on volume, gases used and plans for growth.  Continuing to act as expert consultants rather than just suppliers can give customers an added peace of mind as they take a step into the unknown.

The food industry is changing driven by consumers' dietary choices, and we must learn to accommodate these changes. For manufacturers this means uncertainty, and they will naturally be keen to manage investments carefully until the long-term consumer patterns become clearer.  Air Products' can support the journey by keeping our offering as diverse as possible to meet changing needs and help food manufacturers find their place at tomorrow's dinner table.

1 Plant Based Food Global Market Report 2022

Jon Trembley


Jon Trembley – Cryogenics Centre of Excellence Lead

Want to know more?

At Air Products, we can work with you to identify the options available and ensure you tackle the dual production challenge of improved efficiency and sustainability in the best possible way. To discuss your freezing options further, get in touch at 0800 389 0202, via email at or fill in the request form below.

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