The Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA), San Francisco, launched an affiliated organization called the PBFA Research and Education Fund, a non-profit that conducts outreach to retailers to expand shelf space for plant-based foods and help foodservice directors offer more plant-based options.

“It’s an exciting time for the plant-based foods industry. This new initiative will allow us to apply best practices to support this growing sector and reach more consumers,” says Michele Simon, executive director, who will also lead the new organization.

Board members of the new entity include two board members from PBFA—Jaime Athos, chief executive officer of The Tofurky Co., and Martin Kruger, chief operating officer of Follow Your Heart. Joining them is Julie Mann, global protein program manager at Ingredion Inc.

In the longer term, the group plans to conduct research projects to determine best practices for merchandising plant-based foods and understand what drives consumers to purchase more plant-based foods.

"Because the new organization is organized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, we can receive donations and grants from foundations, individuals and others seeking to support the plant-based movement in an innovative way to help grow the market," Simon adds.