A new study posits that the majority of consumers are adopting plant-based eating habits.
The study, conducted by DuPont Nutrition & Health and HealthFocus International, surveyed the eating habits of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers. Researchers found that 52 percent of shoppers in America are eating more plant-based food. The number increases to 65 percent globally.
“There is a bright immediate future for this megatrend,” said Greg Paul, marketing leader for the beverage industry at DuPont Nutrition & Health. “There is a seismic shift occurring in eating habits globally, creating a significant market opportunity. Most important, our research reveals that for most consumers, this has moved beyond experimentation into a permanent change brought on by health, lifestyle and social factors.”
Not only did the consumers surveyed respond that they are eating more plant-based food, but nearly 60 percent also said that the change to their habits is permanent, or that they hope to keep it permanent. The study divided respondents into six consumer groups -Health Helpers, Weight Strugglers, Health Wise, Taste Driven, Good Life, and Just Food – all of whom responded that eating plant-based makes them feel healthier.
Flavor was identified as the biggest hurdle preventing individuals from eating more vegan food but many are embracing the change. A study conducted by global marketing research firm Mintel last February revealed that 52 percent of Americans prefer the taste of plant-based protein.
The Rising Vegan Food Market
Though small, the study adds to the growing body of research that indicates how consumer eating habits in the U.S. and in other countries are evolving. Experts predict that the global vegan meat market will be worth $6.5 billion by 2026. Research released by Mintel last July revealed that a growing number of consumers in Germany, Poland, Italy, and France are consciously cutting out meat for health reasons.
Last year, U.S. sales of specialty plant-based food products – like vegan meat, milk, cheese, and eggs – surpassed $3.7 billion. Major foodservice providers, including Aramark, Sodexo, and Compass Group, are incorporating more vegan food into menus in response to the demand for healthier food. Aramark, in particular, has been working with emerging, innovative plant-based brands in recent years, including JUST, Beyond Meat, and vegan tuna creator Ocean Hugger Foods.
Image Credit: No Evil Foods
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