It is estimated that the plant-based food market will be worth over $74.2 billion by the year 2027. With the skyrocketing popularity of plant-based eating, frozen food distributors and businesses should be adapting to the change. It’s time to explore plant-based ingredients or risk getting left behind.
But where do you start?
How can you find trusted frozen food distributors to meet all your meat-free needs? Continue reading below for the essential guide to choosing plant-based frozen food distributors.
Before exploring the best sources for plant-based ingredients, let’s unpack the plant-based diet. Plant-based foods are foods that are not sourced from animals. This means no meat, no dairy, and no eggs.
It also means healthier, more nutritious plant-based alternatives. It may sound tricky, but plant-based options are available for almost everything. With more suppliers embracing the trend, you can get plant-based milk, yogurts, ice creams, and even cheeses.
The plant-based movement’s growth has led to incredible innovation when it comes to adapting old kitchen favorites, such as cheeseburger macaroni. This also means more availability when it comes to selecting plant-based suppliers.
So why is the plant-based movement becoming increasingly mainstream? It’s mostly because of the incredible health benefits that come with eating plant-based foods. For example, reducing your consumption of animal products has been proven to reduce your risk of heart disease.
Not only is this diet healthier, but it is also an ethically sound choice. Consumer consciousness around climate change and the ethics of meat production have recently come into the spotlight. These trends are also trickling into discussions around ethical business practices.
Even major companies have embraced the surge in popularity of plant-based diets. We see this as more suppliers integrate plant-based alternatives into their product offerings.
Ready to embrace the plant-based lifestyle? You’re going to need a trusted food distributor to ensure that you’re only getting the best quality plant-based goods. Here are a few things to consider before making your decision.
It’s a no-brainer that frozen foods are a more cost-effective choice for your business. They last longer, ensuring consistent quality at each step of the logistical process. You can also order them to specification, and they’re also packed with nutrients.
In fact, they’re just as nutritious as their non-frozen counterparts.
When looking for a reliable frozen food distributor, you need to ask the right questions. To do this, you need to understand the method used to freeze the food. It’s also good to know how the distributor’s supply chain works.
Not all frozen foods are made equally. Some processes are better than others for preserving quality and longevity. You want a supplier who cares about the quality of the product at every stage. This means paying attention to every step from sourcing to distribution.
For example, Individual Quick Freezing (IQF) or flash freezing involves freezing food rapidly instead of a slower cooling process. This has been proven to maintain nutritional value. It also makes food less mushy when it is thawed.
It’s also a good idea to look for a distributor who pays attention to packaging. Every business is different. You should be able to customize your packaging depending on your specific needs.
It makes sense to look for a distributor with a lot of options when it comes to ingredients. You’ll save time and money if you’re getting all of your plant-based foods from one source.
When it comes to quality fruits and vegetables, the harvesting season makes all the difference. Ask your distributor where and when their produce is harvested, and be sure to consider a supplier that sources ingredients both locally and globally. A distributor that follows seasonal harvests will always supply better quality ingredients, resulting in ingredients that are sourced when the food is in season and at its finest.
It’s also essential to find out which frozen food distributors cater to specific dietary requirements. For example, does your frozen food distributor offer kosher ingredients?
Distributors who are cost-conscious will provide options for every budget. You should aim for a distributor that offers high-end and budget options—the more customizable the offerings, the better. Even if you go for a lower-budget option, you’ll still get superior quality at an excellent price.
Frozen food distribution logistics can be challenging to understand, and experience makes all the difference when it comes to an understanding of your needs. That’s why you should consider a supplier who’s been in the business for several years. They’ll know exactly what works and what doesn’t when it comes to frozen food distribution.
Experienced suppliers can also save you time and money by making recommendations that suit your specific business model and needs.
While consumers are beginning to catch on that plant-based is a better way forward, there’s more to it than that. Embracing the plant-based movement also means recognizing the importance of ethical food sourcing practices.
This includes asking questions such as, “Does your distributor support local farmers? Do they do any work in their community to tackle food waste or assisting with other related programs?”
Plant-based diets are set to become the new normal. If your business is ready to embrace the movement, you’re going to want to choose frozen food distributors whose products you can trust. This involves asking questions about freezing and distribution processes, variety, and ethical sourcing.
Truly embracing the plant-based diet means selecting a frozen food distributor that offers reliability and exceptional quality. Get in touch with SunLeaf today to find out more about our frozen plant-based offerings and incorporating them into your supply chain.