From planet to plate

One way to save our planet from the climate crisis is by looking at what we place on our plates – and the incorporation of plant-based diets.

ProVeg International recently conducted an insightful survey of 6,221 consumers across nine European countries to identify priorities for product improvement and development, based on consumers’ experience of purchasing and consuming plant-based products.

The survey not only identifies gaps in the market for plant-based products it also highlights areas where existing products can be improved.

Of the thousands of consumers across nine European countries, 76% ate a wholly or mostly plant-based diet, while the remainder were trying to increase their intake of plant-based foods. 75% of the respondents were female.

Interestingly, most survey respondents felt that not enough plant-based options were available in stores. This was true across the majority of categories. Consumers want to see more variety in flavour, texture, and types of products.

The strongest potential demand was for plant-based cheese alternatives. Existing plant-based cheeses are perceived as needing improvements in taste, price, and other factors. Ready meals, meat alternatives, baked goods, and chocolate were also in high demand.

The largest growth potential is in the area of plant-based egg and seafood alternatives.

Tellingly, many consumers express dissatisfaction with the price of plant-based foods, feeling that high costs made them inaccessible. This was true in almost every category.

The last finding is one for continued debate. Studies have actually found that vegans and vegetarians can save money in comparison with their meat-eating counterparts during weekly grocery shopping.

With increased attention being paid to plant-based food, there is little doubt that more brands will move more into the mainstream.

Consuming plant-based foods is much more than just a trend for millennials and younger generations.

As we see currently this could constitute a significant opportunity for companies in the food industry. And it hasn’t, and will not, pass them by.

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