Plant-based alternatives: stop relying on these three received ideas

By 2029, the vegetable steak market is expected to grow by more than 11% to $12 billion. Not a day goes by without the food industry enriching itself with a new reference in food without animal proteins. However, a success we do not believe in…

Plant-based alternatives are still far from consensus

Consumers born after World War II and up to 1965 – those whom the youngest call the “boomers” do not represent the category most attracted to this type of food. Gen Z, ie those born in the late 1990s, but also millennials, ie consumers born between the early 1980s and the mid-1980s, are most likely to purchase vegetable proteins.

This is one of the main points of a Food Industry Association (FIA) report developed together with data company NielsenIQ and published a few days ago. However, this does not mean that soy steaks and almond milk are now integrated into purchasing behaviour, quite the contrary. Only half of the consumers surveyed by this comprehensive report, all categories combined, said they were open to the taste experience of these new foods. Ultimately, those who eat it regularly represent only 12%. 17% say they consume it occasionally.

Pea steaks, oat milk and soy yogurts don’t just appeal to vegans

If they are perfect allies to avoid any animal protein when observing a vegan diet, plant-based alternatives are chosen mainly for health reasons. The majority of consumers — at least in the United States — choose this type of diet to maintain their nutritional well-being. These plant-based alternatives are only associated with the vegetarian or vegan movements in a second phase.

In addition, their consumption was stimulated during the health crisis. 31% preferred to buy these foods because they found these foods interesting for their health. 27% of respondents chose carefully what they buy in stores to specifically watch their hearts, while 31% looked for fiber-rich nutritional solutions. Even more astonishing is that the criterion of taste surpasses all others, including that of health.

Vegetarians don’t just eat steaks

More than 40% of consumers of plant-based alternatives opt for soy steaks and other sausages made from split peas or lentils. While meat substitutes have made this department hugely popular – and the worldwide success of the recipes from the giants Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat has a lot to do with it – it’s not the offering that pleases the most. “Sell alternatives to dairy at twice the rate of plant-based meat” said Steve Markenson, director of research for the Food Industry Association. In reality, it is even (logically) the most natural products that appeal to the consumer, namely fruits and vegetables (75%), if not nuts, seeds and beans (47%).

(ETX Daily Up)

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