The Explosive Growth of Plant-Based Meals & Snacks

The Explosive Growth of Plant-Based Meals & Snacks

In 2021, retail sales of plant-based foods grew three times faster than total food retail sales according to data reported by Supermarket News. What’s driving this explosive growth of plant-based meals and snacks?

Mainstream Availability of Plant-Based Meals & Snacks

Plant-based and vegan choices were once only available in niche markets and cafes. Today, that has changed entirely with chains as widely recognized as Burger King and Carl’s Jr. touting plant-based, vegan choices and shelves of nearly every supermarket chain dedicated to products that adhere to the plant-based lifestyle. In August 2019, Burger King introduced the “Impossible” burger to the United States market and has since rolled it out worldwide (only vegan if you omit the mayonnaise). Reported by VegNews, In its 2020 year-in-review report, Restaurant Brands (Burger King parent company) reported that the choice of the Impossible Whopper over beef-based burgers that year saved the equivalent greenhouse gas emissions of driving 520 million miles.

Across North America today, you can find hearty plant-based options almost everywhere – from fast food to fine dining, supermarkets to ready-meal subscription services. Plant-based choices are more widely available and accessible than ever before.

Health-Conscious Choices Drive Sector Growth

Call it strange luck for the plant-based meals and snacks industry but the universally unlucky COVID pandemic seems to have played a significant role in the plant-based boom. As people found themselves, generally, with more time at home to cook, challenged to find some of the items they were regularly accustomed to eating at their local grocer, and with a near constant focus on maintaining health and building immunity – they started to reach for plant-based options. 

The health benefits of plant-based choices include lowered risk of heart disease, decreased chronic inflammation, lessened risk of diabetes, cancer and even a decreased risk of severe COVID-19 as reported by Harvard Medical School.

Lower Environmental Impact Is Driving Plant-Based Choices

As the globe grapples with environmental phenomena like crippling wildfires, rising seas, and erosion the focus on climate change and adopting policies and lifestyles that work to combat it, has taken center stage. Wide adoption of plant-based choices and lifestyles will reduce greenhouse gasses and conserve both water and land.

Which DC Norris Equipment is Being Used to Produce Plant-Based Meals & Snacks?

Our portfolio encompasses a wide range of equipment that is being used around the globe to produce plant-based meals and snacks. Many of our systems have been designed to increase the nutrition profile and health of foods by eliminating the need for additives, oils and fats – many of which are animal-based. This makes producing plant-based options that appeal to those who don’t adhere to a vegan lifestyle possible and profitable. Below are just a few examples of recent, successful plant-based trials conducted in our test kitchen:

DC Norris – Vegan Mayonnaise Production (kettle & pump fill)

DC Norris – Plant-Based Coconut Curry (Jet Cook)


DC Norris – Plant-Based Lentil Stew (Jet Cook)


DC Norris – Plant-Based Bechamel Sauce (Jet Cook)

DC Norris – Turmeric Rice (Cook Quench Chill ‘Adapt’)


DC Norris – Oat Milk (Jet Cook)

Do We Have What You Need to Produce Plant-Based Meals & Snacks?

There’s a good chance that the answer is yes! We’re here to help you navigate the equipment and systems that will produce remarkable plant-based meals and snacks for your customers.

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