Vegan vs. Plant-Based: What’s the Difference?

An increasing emphasis on climate change, natural resource wastage, improved post-pandemic immunity and health, and animal welfare concerns mean consumers are looking for healthier food and ingredient choices, kinder and more responsible farming and manufacturing, and more compassionate ingredient sourcing.
Extending beyond food and beverages to include beauty, personal, pet care, homeware, and healthcare products, the trend encompasses sustainable production, recycled and recyclable materials, and organic – 100% natural, plant-based products.
Embracing the Plant-Based Evolution
Developing and delivering plant-based alternatives and offerings is rapidly becoming less niche and more mainstream, prompting manufacturers to embrace plant-based ingredient substitutes for continued and increased appeal.
Plant-based ingredients are sourced entirely from plants – nothing animal derived, and usually also organic – 100% natural, with no chemical or synthetic additives.
However, with plant-based conversations referencing various terms, including plant-based, vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian, and reducetarian, manufacturers must acquaint themselves with the differences and how each impacts needs, ingredients, production, and organic – 100% natural production standards.
Vegan vs. Plant-Based
The most crucial difference between plant-based and vegan is the reasons behind the diet.
While eating plant-based can be motivated by taste preferences, health and environmental concerns, or even social or peer pressure, vegans are frequently driven by compassionate and ethical considerations, hoping to help alleviate animal exploitation and suffering.
Vegans thus avoid all animal-based ingredients, including honey and beeswax, and derivatives such as beef gelatine, casein, confectioner’s glaze in pastries (which includes shellac from hardened lac bug secretions), isinglass (fish-derived gelatine) in alcohols, and L. Cysteine (from hair or feathers) in bread products.
In addition, veganism is often more than a diet.
The lifestyle encompasses a broader philosophy of avoiding animal-derived products – including their fur and skin, opposing vivisection and animal-based ingredient testing, and animal-reliant forms of entertainment such as zoos, tanks, rides, shows, and circuses.
In contrast, plant-based eating alone avoids direct consumption of red and white meat, fish, eggs, and dairy. Still, it may overlook many animal-derived ingredients or materials in products consumed, worn, and used.
Plant-based also covers strict vegetarians (essentially vegans), Ovo-Lacto-vegetarians such as in India, who avoid animal flesh but consume eggs and dairy, pescatarians who eat fish, and flexitarians and reducetarians who minimize animal products without cutting them out altogether.
In addition, eating plant-based often includes organic expectations, especially when the diet is health or environmentally driven.
Organic – 100% Natural Standards
Certified organic production relies on accepted definitions, practices, and standards.
These can vary across countries based on national regulations but are essentially aligned and rigorous regarding using synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, pesticides on crops, antibiotics, and artificial growth hormones in animals.
Organic certification promises that ingredients and products are produced and crafted with agreed expectations while not necessarily wholly free of this type of residue.
Plant-Based and Organic Ingredients
Sourcing natural, organic-certified flavor ingredients to replace animal-derived elements in your existing certified-organic formulation and yielding taste and satisfaction-equivalent results can be challenging.
Finding reputable ingredient producers aligned with international sourcing and production expectations and regulations while providing intense flavor profiles means looking for a partner that uses advanced technologies, delivers high-quality natural flavor molecules, and offers authentic ingredient information and certificates, such as Advanced Biotech.
Choose Advanced Biotech’s Range of Plant-Based, Organic, and 100% Natural Flavor Ingredients
Advanced Biotech’s extensive collection of pure plant-based flavor molecules offers robust natural flavors and organic options produced according to the highest source and extraction standards and greener, more cost-effective technologies and techniques.
So, whatever the motivation or extent of plant-based eating and consumption, there’s no question that now is the time to embrace this future-facing trend and leverage the reputational, repeat-purchase, and revenue benefits.
Please contact us for more information.