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Plant-Based FAQ

Below are Frequently Asked Questions specific to plant-based products for our New Hope Network Standards program and the Natural Products Expo/Beacon Discovery Application Review Process.

For more details about Expo Exhibitor Registration, please consult the following sites:

Plant-Based Considerations

Is plant-based the same as vegan?
Our vegan definition differs from plant-based definition primarily in the processing and handling of the product and/or its ingredients.
How is plant-based different from vegan?
Plant-Based Vegan
Ingredients may be processed with animal by-products
Ingredients may not be processed with animal by-products (e.g., sweeteners may not be filtered with bone char)
No restrictions on animal testing
May not be tested on animals
No restrictions on processing in a facility that also processes animal products
Should not be processed in facility that also processes animal products
Must have ingredients derived mostly from plants and may also include fungi, algae and certain non-plant ingredients such as salt and water
Ingredients may come from plant and non-plant sources, or be synthetically derived so long as there is no animal testing, processing with animal by-products, and should not be manufactured in a facility that also processes animal
Should not include synthetically derived ingredients
My product contains small amounts of cheese, otherwise, it’s mostly plants. Can I use a plant-based claim?

No, if a product contains dairy-based cheese, it may not make a plant-based claim. You may, however, state what is plant-based in the product. For example, “made with plant-based bacon”. 

My product contains nearly all plants and a small amount of honey. Can I use a plant-based claim?

No. Honey is produced by bees and therefore it is not plant derived. If you would like to use descriptive words about a product containing small amounts of animal-derived ingredients, we suggest using terms like “plant-focused” or “plant-forward” or declaring a percentage of the product that is derived from plants. 

My product is mostly mushrooms and some herbs and spices. Can I use a plant-based claim?

We will not dispute a product labeled as plant-based if the product is mostly mushroom and other non-animal-derived ingredients as they fit within our guidelines. We encourage companies to look into certifying their products to avoid risks that could arise with such claims. 

My product is primarily seaweed with some water, salt and spices and is certified Plant-Based. Will that certification be recognized or allowed?

Yes. As long as the certificate can be verified as current with your brand’s name.  

My product is made with animal-free whey protein. Can I use the plant-based claim?

No, we do not allow products that contain bio-similar or nature-identical animal ingredients to be labeled as plant-based.  

My product contains mostly plants and some other non-plant ingredients. Can I use the plant-based claim?

This will depend upon what type of non-plant ingredients are in the product. Under our guidelines, if the ingredients are synthetically derived, the product should not claim to be plant-based. If the ingredients are salt, water and/or other non-synthetically derived ingredients, we would not dispute a plant-based claim. 

What is a statement of source?

A statement of source means what an ingredient is derived from and/or how the ingredient is produced. For example, ascorbic acid can be extracted from a variety of food sources such as oranges (ex. Ascorbic acid (acerola)) or can be synthetic through commercial production (ex. Ascorbic acid (fermentation)). 

Can I claim that my product is 95% plant-based?

If the claim is truthful and not misleading, quantifying the amount of plant-based ingredients is acceptable if you have documentation to substantiate such claim.