By setting a target of 25 by 2025, the industry said it will marshal its resources to create new demand in new-use categories for 25% of its productive capacity. Snack foods, tortillas and breakfast cereals are just a few product categories that represent growth potential for pulse ingredients, which offer food manufacturers protein, fiber, slowly digestible starch and environmental sustainability.
The industry made the announcement on Jan. 18 at the second annual Global Pulse Day, a day where the global pulse industry works together to increase public awareness of the impact that pulses can have on the health of people and the health of the planet.
“Global Pulse Day and the 2016 International Year of Pulses have been incredibly successful platforms that have helped create awareness for pulses and the contribution they make to human health and environmental sustainability,” said Lee Moats, vhair of Pulse Canada. “We believe we can continue to build momentum and turn that awareness into increased demand and higher consumption.”
The demand target comes as the industry considers its sustainable growth strategy. The Canadian pulse industry continued to expand production in 2016 to meet strong demand with a 28% increase in lentil production and a 51% increase in pea production over last year.
“Our traditional markets will always be a top priority for us and we’ll continue to invest in improving service and product quality for Canada's long standing customers,” Moats said. “Pulse ingredients are also attracting a lot of attention from non-traditional markets and we need to ensure that we sharpen our focus on that new demand in order to diversify our options and deliver the value we know that pulse ingredients can add to a wide range of new food products.”
In 2016, the number of food products containing pulses launched in North America grew by approximately 30%.
“As we look ahead, the definition of food quality will include social indicators like health outcomes, environmental indicators like greenhouse gas emissions and economic indicators such as affordability,” Moats said. “Our journey to 25 by 2025 aligns well with the future of food and we’re looking forward to working with our partners at home and around the world to meet the needs of customers of today and customers of tomorrow.”