Carrots as junk food? Leveling the playing field through creative branding

This past weekend our staff had the pleasure of attending the James Beard Foundation’s annual Food Conference. One session that had a particularly high impact on us was Bolthouse Farms’ President Jeff Dunn’s conversation with author Raj Patel about marketing healthy foods.

For those who don’t know, Jeff Dunn famously left a position as President of Coca-Cola to pursue his passion for promoting healthy foods. After taking the reins at Bolthouse Farms, Mr. Dunn sent shock waves through the food industry by branding baby carrots as junk food in order to appeal to young consumers.

During the talk, Mr. Dunn spoke passionately about leveling the playing field to give healthy foods a chance to compete for consumers’ attention, through creative branding techniques. At PlantBased Solutions, we are highly motivated by Mr. Dunn’s example and aim to show consumers how delicious, affordable, and exciting, plant-based foods can be through similarly innovative branding and marketing techniques.

You can listen to Jeff Dunn’s full conversation with Raj Patel here:

PlantBased Solutions Helps gardein launch into NYC Fashion Week

PlantBased Solutions partnered with gardein to introduce thousands of fashionistas and A-list celebrities to an array of the company’s delicious meat-free products during this month’s NYC Fashion Week.

Our extensive team of highly-trained plant-based chefs and brand ambassadors represented the brand at a host of events, including the Colgate Optic White Beauty Bar at Salon Ziba, the Socialyte Gala at The Box, Amy Sacco’s Bungalow Beauty and Brand Bar at No. 8, and the Cotte D’Armes SS’14 Presentation at the Thompson LES Hotel. Among the celebrities who sampled gardein’s incredible products at these events were supermodel Niki Taylor, Real Housewives of New York City star Kelly Bensimon, America’s Next Top Model runway coach Miss J. Alexander, premier fashion stylist and ABC News Cause Celeb host Phillip Bloch, R&B singers RaVaughn and Bridget Kelly, and Team USA Olympic medalists Tyler Clary and Will Claye.Niki Taylor

In partnership with Kaye Hospitality Group, our team was simultaneously able to bring gardein’s ultimate beefless slider and crispy chick’n slider to thousands of New Yorkers from the gardein-branded food cart touring the city. Stay tuned for more exciting appearances by the gardein food cart. After all, when gardein’s around, you never know who you’ll get to meet!

Contact us today to find out how we can help you share your superstar plant-based products with the stars.

PlantBased Solutions CEO interview on Marilu Henner radio show!

On Thursday, September 5th, PlantBased Solutions founder and CEO David Benzaquen was interviewed on the Marilu Henner radio show. You can now listen to the segment online at To find the segment, click on “September 2013” and then select “September 5, 2013 (Hour 3).” If you have a question that didn’t get answered on the show, please reach out to us at

36% of Americans Eating Meat Alternatives

The demand for meat alternatives such as tofu, tempeh and seitan typically embraced by vegetarians is now growing among meat eaters. In new research released this month from Mintel, 36% of consumers use meat alternatives, however only 7% identify themselves as vegetarian. “This data suggests that participation in the alternative meat category stretches far beyond necessity, and creates an opportunity for future growth based on the product’s ability to meet general consumer food interest, such as health, variety and convenience,” says Beth Bloom, food and drink analyst at Mintel. The findings reflect the increasing number of flexitarians and the growing trend toward eating a more plant-based diet. Currently, 17% of Americans report eating vegetarian meals more than half the time.  As consumers are becoming more health and environmentally conscious, it is not just vegetarians or vegans who are seeking out plant-based meat alternatives.

To see the full article, click here.
To find out how your business can appeal to the growing number of consumers seeking plant-based foods, email us at

FDA Sets Gluten-Free Label Requirements

On Friday, August 2nd, the Food and Drug Administration set new guidelines on products labeled as “gluten-free.” The standards require that any food claiming to be “gluten-free,” “no gluten,” “free of gluten,” or “without gluten” must contain less than 20 parts per million of the ingredient. As the numbers of people being identified as having celiac disease or being gluten intolerant increases dramatically, the gluten-free industry is now valued at over $4 billion.

Learn more about this important development.



Chipotle Looks to “Meat” Growing Demand for Plant-Based Food

Chipotle is joining the meatless revolution by offering a delicious plant-based option known on their menu as “Sofritas” – shredded, organic tofu that’s braised with chipotle chiles and roasted poblanos and served in burritos, tacos or bowls.  Yum!  Plant-based options are in high demand not just for vegetarians, but also for the nearly 1 in 5 “flexitarian” Americans, those who eat a primarily plant-based diet. Read more about Chipotle’s plans here.

To find out how your business can appeal to this growing demographic, email us at We’ll help you with recipe/menu development, ingredient and product sourcing, and marketing to these key consumer groups.

Australian Government States that Veganism is Safe and Healthy for All

Australia’s seminal health and nutrition organization, NH & MRC, has recognized that vegan diets are safe and healthy for people of all ages. The new Australian Dietary Guidelines promote plant-derived foods as appropriate alternatives to meat-based foods.

Veggie Burgers Now at Dunkin’ Donuts India

Dunkin’ Donuts launched a line of Dunkin’ Burgers in India, which includes several veggie burgers as well as a meat-based burgers. Back in the U.S., pleas for the company to add a non-dairy donut to its menu continue.

Number of vegetarians in China surpasses that in the U.S.

While eating meat has historically been a sign of prosperity in China, a new generation of young people is adopting a plant-based diet with growing awareness of the environmental impact of food. Over 50 million Chinese are now vegetarian or vegan, compared to about 30 million in the United States.


A New Taco Bell Menu Leaves out the M-word

In an analysis of content over social media channels, Infegy found that 43% of online conversations about meat in the last 6 months had a negative connotation – often containing the words ‘bad’, ‘concerns’ and ‘problem’. Taco Bell has responded by creating a new “Power Protein” menu. The menu, which is set to launch in Ohio in late July, and seeks to highlight the high-protein content of food items rather than their meatiness. Interestingly, many plant-based foods such as kale and spinach, have a higher protein content per calorie than that of meat.