I don’t know about you but I assumed that veganism was just a fad and would most likely fade away into the sunset. It seems I was wrong. While hard-core veganism may not be as popular today, a new trend of mixing vegan foods into normal non-vegan diets is growing exponentially.
- 2-6% of the US population is vegan
- In 2014 only 1% of Americans labeled themselves vegan
- In 2017 a spike to 6% of Americans considered themselves vegan
- In 2019 the number of vegans have plateaued to around 2%
The big news is today almost 40% of the population incorporate plant based foods into their diet. This is huge for Food & Beverage producers!
Trending Vegan Choices
Dairy-free: Starting with almond and soy milk dairy alternative options now are endless. For example there are now vegan ice cream and chocolate choices.
Non-meat Meat: Producers have created non-animal-based meat that is being marketed not only in the grocery stores but in mainstream fast food and regular restaurant menus.
The interesting story here is that most of these consumers are not vegan necessarily.
“Some 228 million servings of plant-based burgers were purchased at quick-service restaurants this year, up 10% from a year ago.” – Market Watch
The non-meat meat industry is still in its early stages. But once plant-based meat becomes profitable and achieves consumer expectations, disruption in the food & beverage industry will occur.
Veganism, Good Health, Environment and Millennials
Millennials are not only increasingly health-savvy but are environment-sensitive. They see a plant-based diet as a tool to protect the environment and take better care of their health. They demand plant-based meals with interesting ingredients and pleasing cooking techniques.
“New data from YouGov finds that Millennials are more likely than other generations to say that they have changed their diet in order to improve their mental health (30%) or reduce their impact on the planet (20%).”
Producers and restaurateurs are going to need to constantly innovate to create choices that are at least as good as traditional offerings if not better with their plant-based options.
Vegan Products Are For Everyone
I think the big takeaway here is it’s important to remember that not all people who try vegan products are dedicated vegans. Here are some reasons why:
- They want a diet of less meat and animal-derived products. Not necessarily no meat but less meat.
- As the vegan choices become better by introducing new tastes and flavors the more they will go the vegan’ish direction.
- While veganism started as a fight against animal cruelty, it is about world concerns as well like; sustainability of our seas, climate change and harmful emissions. Food choices are easy ways for all to fight the fight so to speak.
- They are now demanding dishes made with local, homegrown and/or plant based ingredients.
The Food & Beverage industry will need to provide products with healthy nutrients, interesting flavors, and plant-based products grown in an environmentally-safe way. It really is not an option.
Obviously veganism is not a passing fad. People choosing this type of diet have high expectations when eating out. They will make consumer choices based on this which will be critical for future business success.
Food & Beverage producers need to invest in this and make sure they brand to consumer requirements. They will need to invest into new products that cater to vegetarian and vegan needs. Only then can they meet this growing market segment’s demands.
Coolearth Software can help with production line traceability and especially customized line labeling to help you be successful with your plant-based products. Contact us for more information.