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Plant-Based Eating Makes Consumers Feel Healthier

A new wave of health consciousness has become ingrained within American culture. Over half of U.S. consumers have started plant-based eating as they are under the impression that it makes them healthier. A majority of consumers have also said that this change was indefinite and some were hindered from making this change because of taste preference.

This new trend has promoted a healthier America, which will have a ripple effect on the rest of the world. Plant-based eating also supports new opportunities for growth in the market for food. Research has shown that these changes are more than simple experimentation and has instead resulted in a new way of life for many consumers.

New Products Follow the Health Trend

These results are not outlandish as there is increasing support for plant-based eating. Companies are beginning to follow consumer health trends and have started to release more plant-based products. About 1/5 of Americans eat a diet consisting of predominantly plant-based foods, while 6/10 have stated that they reduced the amount of meat that they eat.

Plant-Based Eating is for Flexitarians

While in the United States more than half of all consumers are beginning to eat and drink more foods that are plant-based, that number increases to over 65% globally. In addition to this, many people are also decreasing the amount of meat they are eating. Over half say that this change is a permanent one.

People have many reasons for their reduction or outright stopping of the consumption of animal products. Some include wanting to affect the environment positively. Others believe that a meat-free diet is much healthier, some people want to limit the amount of cholesterol they intake, and even still some people prefer the taste of meat-free products.

With each passing year, the number of vegans and vegetarians are increasing in America. A study in 2017 found that about 6% of Americans reported being vegan, while in 2014, that number was only 1%. Again, many people have their reasoning, but it is undeniable that there has been a shift in the way Americans eat. Many people no longer consume animal products at all, something that would be considered odd only a few years ago. However, the growth in flexitarianism and plant-based eating is growing quicker than veganism or vegetarianism because of the stigmas that come with those words.

In 2017, sales of non-meat-based foods were up to over $3 billion, while only a year ago, it was less than $1 billion.

Taste is NOT an Issue

One major concern of many consumers is the difference in taste. However, in recent years there have been many advancements to make plant-based foods much more appealing to the taste preferences of meat lovers. Shoppers are in awe at the taste of plant-based burgers and other meats which they believe to have an even better flavor than their meaty counterparts.

Even large-scale meat companies are beginning to buy into vegan-friendly companies. Tyson Foods, as well as Dean Foods, have both since invested in small stakes in different plant-based companies. It is very probable that this trend will continue, and large-scale companies will adapt to the needs and wants of the modern consumer.

Inspired by www.fooddive.com

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Sales of Plant-Based Meat and Dairy Alternatives Rise 20%

The plant-based food industry is no longer a niche. With many people shifting to this lifestyle, it has moved into the mainstream food culture. The meat and dairy producers are fighting back at all cost. Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin introduced the Dairy Pride Act that reserved the word “milk” to products precisely for lactating animal sources. However, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) is hands-off with this matter as the consumers are not confused with the term milk especially those made from plant sources. The agency reasoned that the terms are used to help consumers and not to protect selected industries against their competitors.

More Companies Jumping on the Bandwagon

And so instead of fighting against the plant-based food industry, some companies are trying to find out how to use this trend to their advantage. A study from HealthFocus International revealed that 17% of the consumers in the country aged between 15 and 70 years old claim to eat a plant-based diet while 60% are cutting back on dairy and milk products.

With this information, food manufacturing giants are transforming some of their products to meet the demands of the emerging number of plant-based dieters in the country. For example, the company Tyson Foods took a 5% stake in Beyond Meat two years ago. It is interesting to take note that Tyson Foods, one of the largest meat companies, invested in a plant-based company. The plant-based food industry has also added new rosters of companies that are dedicated to making exclusively plant-based food items. These include Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger that have made plant-based proteins more palatable to vegetarians, vegans, and carnivores alike. As such, the plant-based food industry is estimated to hit 5.2 billion within the next two years, and products from these companies are now found in more than 10,000 groceries nationwide.

The growth of the plant-based food industry is also the driver for the expansion of such companies. For instance, Beyond Meat announced that it was opening a new research and development center that will work together in discovering and developing plant-based meats for everyone to enjoy. This will boost the sales of plant-based meat alternatives that are experiencing a jump in its total sales from 6% to 24% from the previous years.

 

Dairy Alternatives Continue to Soar in Sales Growth

While the plant-based meats are soaring high this year, the sale of plant-based diary makes up a meager portion of the pie. Data shows that only 13% of “milk” sales come from non-dairy sources. Although small, it is projected to rise in the next few years as consumers continue to look for healthier alternatives and cleaner sources. And the prospect is very much definite as companies like Campbell’s are now selling protein milk sourced from peas. There is also a growth in the sales of plant-based creamers at 131% while plant-based cheese is at 43% while the sales of cow’s milk dropped to 6% last year.

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Innova Market Insights Show 62% Increase in Plant-Based Product Claims

There is a growing interest among the consumers not only for healthier products but also those that are sourced from ethical and sustainable methods. This is the reason plant-based products and ingredients are increasing in popularity and growth. Today, there are so many companies that are dedicated to producing plant-based products to cater to this growing market niche and it will not be long until this trend takes on the mainstream competition.

Plant-Based Ingredients Are Rising in Popularity

According to the report released by Innova Market Insights, plant-based product claims have increased by 62% globally with an estimated sales forecast of $4.2 billion in the United States. Plant-based products include platforms like active botanicals, plant-proteins, non-dairy milk, seasonings, sweeteners, food coloring, and so much more.

 

One example that shows how popular the plant-based foods market is the non-dairy products industry. According to Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insight, the availability and promotion of plant-based alternatives to dairy products such as yogurt, ice cream, and milk have helped drive the industry. In fact, global sales of non-dairy milk are higher by 8% since last year and have earned $16.3 billion in global sales.

The Growth of Non-Dairy Milk Products

It is estimated that plant-based milk products will double its growth within the next five years. With this fact, there are many companies that are venturing into non-dairy milk products category. Successful companies that have ventured into non-dairy milk products include Spoonable. The company makes non-dairy yogurt and it saw a growth of 48% during the 2013-2017 market period.

While some non-dairy milk products are successful, some have stable yet minimal growth. For instance, a non-dairy alternative such as plant-based cheese and creams only save minimal growth of 0.5% in 2012 to 1.5% in 2017. The probable reason for yogurt having more sales is because it is touted as a healthy product. Many companies are researching sources of non-dairy milk alternatives and aside from your usual oats and almonds, plant-based milk and milk products are now made from hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, macadamias, coconut, flaxseed, and hemp.

Plant-Based Product Claims Grow in Meat Category

There is a growing interest when it comes to plant-based eating and it is reflected in the development of alternatives from the meat industry. Plant-based meats used today are made from soy, grains, and vegetables. Companies like Valess and Quorn were the pioneers of the plant-based meat industry. Today, other companies have sprung up such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger that have produced plant-based meat that tastes and bleeds like real meat.

There are many reasons why people gravitate towards plant-based ingredients these days. The pull towards plant-based diets such as flexitarianism, vegetarianism, and veganism might be the most important factor that contributed to such a shift in food preferences. In fact, the same market study noted that four in ten or 40% of consumers in the United States have increased their consumption of meat and dairy alternatives since last year.

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