The Wonderful Company explores snack avenues at inaugural plant-based conference

By Kristine Sherred

- Last updated on GMT

The Wonderful Company's Adam Cooper said pistachios can answer consumer demand for plant proteins in snacking. Pic: Getty Images/graletta
The Wonderful Company's Adam Cooper said pistachios can answer consumer demand for plant proteins in snacking. Pic: Getty Images/graletta

Related tags Pistachios Nuts plant protein Protein Fats Nutrition Plant-based foods plant-based protein Snacks

The nut company is collaborating with nutritionist and author Sharon Palmer to host the Plant-Based Nutrition Leadership Symposium, an invite-only series of educational sessions and panels, to be held in Los Angeles, California on April 15-16 2019.

The snack producer hopes to arm attendees with the knowledge and skills they need to create more plant-based snacking options using pistachios and other beneficial plant ingredients.

Snacks are an overlooked opportunity to get more plant protein,”​ said Adam Cooper, senior VP of marketing at The Wonderful Company.

Pistachios, he noted, ‘deserve more credit’ as a plant protein solution, as they are a ‘smart, healthy choice'.

Like many nuts, the cashew-family tree nut is high in protein and dietary fiber. It also provides 15% of the recommended daily value of vitamin B6, phosphorus and thiamin and 20% of copper, according to the American Pistachio Association. In fact, 2oz of pistachios contain more potassium than a large banana and the same amount of dietary fiber.

Symposium attendees include educators, culinary experts, sports performance advisors and researchers – all of whom share an interest in plant-based food, Maggie Moon, nutrition director at The Wonderful Company, told BakeryandSnacks.

“With plant-based eating becoming mainstream, and consumer confusion running high, now is the time to have this gathering of thought leaders,”​ she said.

“The goal is to ensure respected nutrition experts can help those searching for guidance around how to choose nourishing plant-based proteins.”

Embracing the times

Sales of plant-based foods jumped nearly 20% to $3.7bn​ between 2016 and 2017, according to data compiled by Nielsen for the Good Food Institute.

Sally Lyons Wyatt, VP of client insights at consumer research firm IRI, added that nuts are particularly well positioned for today’s snacking universe as they can easily be packaged in commuter-friendly sizes and styles, such as energy bars. Nearly three-quarters of consumers prefer snacks that provide sustenance, she said.

Similar to olive oil, pistachios carry little saturated fat and more polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.

Symposium topics range from sports nutrition to sustainability and 'raising plant-based kids.’ Chefs will also lead workshops on Middle Eastern cuisine and the Mediterranean diet.

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