The end-of-year/New Year holidays seem to whiplash us from one extreme to the other: eat, drink and be merry vs. the customary New Year’s resolutions: reduce social media, reduce weight and embrace a plant-based diet.

    One-third of consumers already report reducing their consumption of animal foods. Hundreds of school, college, hospital and corporate cafeterias have embraced Meatless Monday. Even fast-food chains Chipotle, Denny’s, Panera, Subway, Taco Bell and White Castle are rolling out plant-based options.

    A dozen startups, led by Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, are creating healthy, eco-friendly, compassionate, convenient, delicious plant-based meat and dairy alternatives. Meat-industry giants Tyson Foods, Cargill and Canada’s Maple Leaf Foods have invested heavily in plant-based meat development. So have a number of Microsoft, Google, Twitter and PayPal pioneers.

    According to the Plant-Based Foods Association, plant-based food sales have grown by 20 percent in recent years, 10 times the growth rate of all foods. Sales of plant-based cheeses, creamers, butter, yogurts and ice creams are exploding at a 50 percent growth rate. Plant-based milks now account for 15 percent of the milk market.

    The plant-based New Year’s resolution requires no sweat or deprivation—just some fun exploration of your favorite supermarket, restaurants and food websites.

Ivan  Ergoan, Ketchum

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