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By Devane Sharma

The rise of the plant-based consumer

As concerns on environmental sustainability and animal welfare grow, more consumers are choosing plant-based alternatives. The trend isn’t driven solely by consumers who identify as vegetarians or vegans but also by ‘flexitarians’ – individuals who prefer a vegetarian diet but occasionally consume meat and fish.

The Smart Protein Project surveyed 7,500 people across 10 European countries and found that while 7% of respondents are on plant-based diets, a more significant 30% identify as flexitarians, and 46% are eating less meat at present than they did the same time last year1.

Challenges in making plant-based cakes

While there’s no doubt that plant-based products are growing in demand, the growth of such products for cakes hasn’t been as stellar. According to Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD), 22% of bread launches in 2019 bore a vegan claim. For biscuits, it was 6%, but only 3% for cakes and pastries.

From customer-facing bakeries to frozen cakes, creating vegan cakes presents a challenge for producers – replacing eggs and dairy. In traditional cake recipes, butter helps trap carbon dioxide gas in the batter as the cake bakes, contributing to the rise. The complex proteins in egg whites give stability to the mixture and also contributes to the rise, while the fats, such as lecithin in egg yolks, serve as emulsifiers holding together parts of the batter that would otherwise separate. These are only some of the functions these ingredients serve, and replacing them with plant-based products is not always straightforward.



A world of possibilities

The comparative lag of new plant-based cakes presents an opportunity for food manufacturers to develop new products. Still, given the complexity, strong partnerships are needed to perfect formulations.

Musim Mas’ innovation labs at the Novel Ideas Centre are built with partnerships in mind. Our dedicated team of specialists is ready to support you in transforming your line-up towards the growing plant-based trend with our emulsifiers.

Naturally trans-fat free and non-GMO, our MASEMUL® EF range helps with aeration, stability, and provides better moisture retention. It has served both consumer-facing bakeries and industrial ones, resulting in consistent, high-quality cakes that suit local consumer tastes.

Having been part of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) since 2004 and the first palm oil major to be verified by the more stringent standards of the Palm Oil Innovation Group in 2019, Musim Mas prides itself on sustainability. Our MASEMUL® EF range is available with the right sustainability certifications for your market.

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