The COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated the transition of consumers to a plant-based diet. Dairy companies are driving new strategies for the nutritional and food transition and Laïta Nutrition – the nutrition division of the Laïta dairy cooperative – is affirming its strategic focus on plant-based ingredients.
Yes, a dairy cooperative has its place in the plant-based beverage industry.
In these days of increased awareness of plant-based alternatives, the market in plant-based beverages is looking more promising than ever. Interest in plant-based foods and drinks is growing, eating habits are changing as plant-based products come to be seen as of primary importance, and consumers have a keen eye for health claims.
- The market for plant-based proteins represents nearly €10 bn around the world, with expected growth of about 7% over the forecast period.
- The FAO estimates a 40% increase in world protein demand by 2030.3
- Plant-based food sales are outpacing total retail food sales (35% faster than total retail food).
This plant-based trend is challenging for dairy companies. They need to reinvent themselves to innovate and offer new solutions for their customers.
Laïta Nutrition’s plant-based beverage solution unlocks possibilities for the clinical, child and sports nutrition market.
This strong trend in food is necessarily being felt in the specific markets of Laïta Nutrition in protein inputs, through the rebound effect. The difference between plant-based proteins is the taste and quality of the proteins added to the formulas. With vegetable proteins, the field of possibilities is infinite (soya, lupin, lentils, rice, corn, hemp, etc.). The company applies a European origin policy for the vegetable proteins in its range.
Laïta Nutrition offers a complete range tailored to the specific needs of all areas of the nutrition and health sector, from dietary and sports nutrition to specialized medical and infant nutrition products. The company currently offers a range of plant-based products for clinical nutrition and is developing a plant-based formulation for sports nutrition by 2022.
“We are a dairy cooperative, first and foremost. We do have several markets, however, and the expertise of our Health Division lies in formulating complex products. We must therefore explore every available ingredient. As a formulator, we have developed strong expertise in adapting to any ingredients. We have done a lot of work on the selection of raw materials, and are very active in studying new ingredients that can be tested in our formulas. Today, we are able to come up with formulas containing plant-based proteins of many origins, while maintaining functional and organoleptic stability in our finished products,” declares M. Lucot, Laïta Nutrition Marketing Manager.
On the strength of many years of experience in powders and liquids, Laïta Nutrition is announcing the expansion of its range of finished products based on 100% plant proteins, opening up new perspectives for innovation to satisfy all types of consumers.
The know-how of Laïta Nutrition in its shift towards plant-based ingredients
1. Strong technological expertise
Thanks to its strong technological expertise, Laïta Nutrition can develop unique manufacturing processes allowing its client companies to adapt formulas to consumer needs for plant-based products.
In Ploudaniel, Laïta Nutrition specializes in the manufacture of ready-to-eat liquid products. Each product is sterilized and then packaged aseptically, guaranteeing a safe, long-lasting product.
2. Complex nutritional formulas
Laïta Nutrition has an extensive R&D team of engineers and technicians to produce models and prototypes of products containing plant-based proteins.
Laïta Nutrition’s Ancenis site has an MSD drying tower and produces milk powders for the nutrition market.
3. Mastering specific processes, traceability and food safety
Laïta Nutrition controls the products, processes, and traceability in order to guarantee the healthy quality and food safety of the products. Identification and control of the various risks in Laïta Nutrition’s activity ensures that the company’s products meet international safety standards.
The industrial facility in Créhen consists of a drying tower and a packaging workshop. This high-tech facility meets the highest international food safety standards: hygienic design, cleanability, foreign body risk management, etc.