The Plant-Based Food Landscape | Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB)

The Plant-Based Food Landscape

Posted by: on Monday February 7, 2022

Veganuary has come and gone, a UK non-profit month-long vegan challenge that began in 2014 and is now global (people in more than 200 countries participate). Many new plant-based products were rolled out in January but what is ‘plant-based’ anyway? Consumers are confused about plant-based diets (vegan? vegetarian?); and research studies differ in their definition: vegan, vegetarian, low/no meat. Currently, there is no FDA definition of plant-based foods. Third-party seals and certifications (a topic too big to be covered here) set their own definitions, values/principles. Eating out may result in being served a plant-based burger topped with a cheese patty or mayonnaise made with eggs. Let’s look at the current plant-based landscape…

Finding plant-based at the store…

How do you find plant-based in the supermarket? It depends. A ‘plant-based’ section isn’t common in the U.S. as retailers integrate plant-based with their counterparts. Some retailers place products in the produce section. These inconsistencies between retailers lead to shopper confusion. In one study, 23% more vegan meat was sold in one retailer when placed in the meat aisle in 3 states for 12 weeks – in Denver, the increase was 13%, and 32% in Illinois and Indiana.

Product rollouts: Track the plant-based protein movement with this tracker to create a customized timeline.

Eating out:

Food products…more than meat alternatives:

Grocery stores: 

Miscellaneous: Is there a concern about contamination from plant-based meat? Two university food safety experts tell you in under 20 minutes.

Registered dietitians/experts weigh in:

My contribution…spicy eggless egg salad recipe…

Love egg salad? Here’s a plant-based version with a ‘kick’!


14 or 16 oz. container extra firm tofu (water drained and excess water removed – see Note below)

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon reduced-sodium Worcestershire sauce (I use this instead of soy sauce because of its very low sodium content)

3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon Sriracha

1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons light mayonnaise (more if you like it creamier)

Salt (optional)


  1. Place tofu in a large container and mash with a large fork.
  2. Add seasonings. Mix well.
  3. Add mayonnaise. Mix well.
  4. Refrigerate overnight. Taste and add salt the next day if needed.

**Note: If you don’t like it very spicy, try less Sriracha, taste the next day and add more as desired. Consider trying the basic recipe (tofu and mayo) with different spices/seasonings and add-ins such as hummus, roasted peppers.

**Note: To remove excess water I break off small chunks of the tofu and squeeze them between my hands instead of placing the block of tofu on paper towels, placing a paper towel on top and a can/other weight on top of that, and letting the towels absorb excess water for 30 minutes.