[Webinar] Plant-Based Protein Debate: What Consumers Want

Originally Published: August 19, 2020
Last Updated: February 4, 2021

The rapid rise in popularity of plant-proteins has resulted in an explosion of new plant-based foods across all product categories. While secure supply-chains, price and ingredient functionality are top priorities for food companies, what do consumer prioritize when purchasing plant-based foods. A webinar entitled “Plant-Based Protein Debate: What Consumers Want” on this subject was held August 17, 2020.

The webinar will provided information on the sustainability, nutrition and protein-quality and functionality of a variety of protein ingredients and reveal new consumer insights from an April 2020 United Soybean Board survey on the purchase drivers and marketing messages consumers respond to when choosing plant-based foods.

Click here to register and review the video.


  • Debora Scott, MBA,  Market Research Expert, Illuminate

Debora Scott is Principal and Co-Owner of illuminate, a full-service market research firm in Seattle, WA. Prior to starting illuminate in 2011, she served as Sr. V.P., Consumer Products at TRD Frameworks, a Seattle area market research company. Before donning her “research hat” at TRD, Debora held positions on both the client and agency sides in advertising and brand management in Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle. This marketing experience, along with her consumer research expertise gives her the ability to frame research results within a big picture context, especially in the areas of new product marketing, branding and positioning.

Debora currently manages most of illuminate’s qualitative research and is a skilled focus group moderator who is also comfortable slicing and dicing data in large-scale quantitative studies.

She holds an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Oregon.

Debora shared NEW United Soybean Board consumer data on consumer priorities, perceptions, confusion and consumption of top plant-based protein sources.


  • Michelle Braun, Ph.D. ,  Research Scientist, DuPont Nutrition & Health, DuPont

Michelle Braun is a nutrition scientist who leads Global Protein Scientific Affairs for DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences. In her research, she has maintained a focus on nutrition needs of children but spans other health related outcomes in adults as it relates to science translation and communication. In her role, she plays an active role in research, education and outreach across the food, nutrition and agriculture sectors.

She is engaged and active in several organizations related to the field of food and nutrition research and communication. She holds leadership positions in organizations that bring the topic of nutrition to a variety of audiences. Examples include serving as president of the Soy Nutrition Institute (SNI), the Institute of Food Technology (IFT), the International Food Information Council (IFIC) and the American Society for Nutrition (ASN).

Michelle earned her Doctorate and Master’s degrees in Foods and Nutrition from Purdue University with a BS in Nutrition Science from Indiana University. Her career has been a journey enriched with experiences in teaching, research, scientific affairs and science communication.

Michelle spoke on the rise of plant-based protein sources and then dive into a comparison of the sustainability, functionality, nutrition and versatility of each.


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