Dean Snyder Construction Completes Projects Responding to Plant-Based Protein Trend

plant=based proteinConsumer demands are continuously changing the way food companies build and renovate their facilities. The largest consumer group, millennials and their parents, are seeking products that are healthier, not only for themselves but for their children and the planet as well.  According to Food Insiders Journal, 73% of consumers are willing to pay a higher retail price for a food or drink product that is made with ingredients they recognize and trust as a healthier option.

One of the hottest trends today creating the fastest growing retail market and checking the “earth-friendly” box, are products made with proteins derived from plants.  Plant-based proteins have stepped into the market as a more sustainable, animal-friendly option compared to the traditional animal-based proteins (dairy, pork, chicken, beef, etc.).

According to The Good Food Institute of Washington D.C. and SPINS data of Chicago, plant-based burgers, cold cuts, cheeses, milks, and other beverages have hit shelves across North America with U.S. sales reaching $4.5 billion.  The number of new U.S. food and drink products that include “plant-based” nutrition grew 268 percent between 2012 and 2018, becoming a key driver of growth for retail grocery stores. Proteins derived from almonds, cashews, peas, chickpeas, and beets have become wildly popular among consumers, and the retail industry is creating shelf space for them.

Dean Snyder Construction has been specializing in food and beverage industrial construction for over 30 years and is seeing this food trend impact manufacturers across the US.

One of our long-term clients is Grain Millers, Inc., a specialty milling company based out of Minnesota with facilities in Iowa, Indiana, Oregon, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Canada.  Grain Millers is the world’s largest organic oat processor, and processes about ¼ of all the oats in North America, supplying organic oats to customers for use in hot and cold cereals, bakery and snack products, baby foods, and beverages.  In addition, over the last few years they have been supplying beverage start-ups and commercial manufacturers who have jumped on the plant-based food trend. However, it’s not for the proteins derived from almonds or cashews, but those that come from oats!

Oat products have been consumed as a cereal for hundreds of years, yet, it wasn’t until recently that several beverage companies began using oats as their key ingredient. According to Baum and Whitman’s 2019 Food and Beverage Trend Forecast, oat-based beverages are on track to outpace other plant-based beverages. Some even say oat-based beverages mimic dairy milk more so than almond or soy-based milk and have an overall smoother taste. Because of Grain Millers’ unique certified processes and recent facility expansions, they can supply to beverage producers on a year-round basis in addition to their traditional cereal, breads and breakfast bar customers.  The increasing awareness of and interest in oat-based protein has been one of the leading factors in Grain Millers’ recent growth and because of the concerns in today’s society involving animal welfare and the overall interest for personal and Earth wellness, the plant-based protein craze is becoming the norm and won’t be leaving anytime soon.

Dean Snyder Construction

Since completing our first food project in 1986, Dean Snyder Construction (DSC) has helped dozens of food clients design-build and upgrade their facilities as the food industry continues to evolve. Whether hired as the General Contractor to construct a new food ingredient processing facility or design-build a cold storage warehouse for distribution, we have been at the forefront of these changes across the United States.

Dean Snyder Construction (DSC) is a family-owned and operated firm with locations in Clear Lake and Ankeny, Iowa.  DSC provides design-build, construction management and general construction services nationwide to clients in the food/beverage, pharmaceutical, industrial manufacturing, commercial, and healthcare markets.


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