As we enter 2024 we are faced with an increasingly pivotal moment in our cultural evolution, with food choices at the core of what has the greatest impact on our daily lives. This crucial juncture is felt as we gear up for Plant Based World Expo North America taking place this September 11-12 at the Javits Center in New York City. I am thrilled that two of my personal favorite product manufacturers, Gardein and Oatly, are set to take the stage as exhibitors, setting the bar high for innovation.
Gardein holds a special place in my foodie heart, particularly their “Ultimate” line of plant-based “chick’n” nuggets, tenders, and patties. To me, what sets Gardein apart is their ability to offer a satisfying, crispy delight without overdoing the “chicken flavor” – a common pitfall I find in other chicken alternatives. Their products are versatile, perfect for a quick snack or as part of a more elaborate meal like a chicken parmesan, pizza topping or sandwich. Since my first introduction to their line of products at Plant Based World Expo 2021, I’ve been continually impressed by the quality of flavor and texture. The anticipation for what Gardein will unveil in 2024 is high and I will be heading for their booth the moment the show floor opens on September 11!
Oatly, on the other hand, brings back the joy of sipping milk straight from the carton. There are a select few plant-based milks that I can truly enjoy drinking straight, as I would have as child before bed, and Oatly is at the very top of that list. Their oat milk is a creamy, nostalgic experience, unparalleled in the market (from my taste buds’ perspective). And let’s not forget their chocolate oat milk, which brings me back to the chugging from those brown cartons in the elementary school lunch room! Thanks to Oatly, these moments are now re-livable as an adult and fully in alignment with a plant-based lifestyle! With Oatly expanding their range to include creamers, ice creams, and more, I’m eager to see their latest innovations at the 2024 Expo.
So, consider this my rallying cry to all plant-based industry game-changers! I want to see the best of the best that the plant-based market has to offer. As we begin 2024, I call upon my fellow industry trailblazers to join Gardein and Oatly and make this Expo a landmark event.
Let’s bring our most daring plant-based creations to the forefront. Let’s inspire the grocery stores and restaurants of the future to align with our cause. And most importantly, let’s inspire each other to expand our ideas of what’s possible. As we set our intentions and flip the page on the calendar year, let’s show the world the power of plant-based cuisine and elevate our community to new heights!