According to recent statistics by manufacture Nellson, demand for plant-based products development has spiked by close to 140 percent.
From the shelves of your local retailer to organic fresh food startups delivering vegan ingredients straight to your kitchen, the plant-based industry is booming across several popular consumer categories. Both startups and established brands are entering this relatively new, yet competitive space. From a branding standpoint, you might be trying to figure out how to create demand among consumers, as well as retailers, for your plant-based product.
The plant-based food sector is booming! With more people shifting away from meat toward more clean, plant-based protein alternatives, many new start-ups offering innovative products have jumped in to meet growing demand. In fact, the plant-based food sector is currently valued at $5 billion!
This move away from animal product is largely to consumers’ rising concerns about animal welfare, personal health and importantly sustainability.
The movement toward plant-based products, regardless of ingredient source, is being driven by two big trends in the food space: protein demand and clean eating. “Younger consumers, especially millennials, are looking for an alternative for red meat, but they don’t want to give up protein,” Guy Crosby, science editor for America’s Test Kitchen and an adjunct associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health.
According to Health Focus data, 17% of U.S. consumers aged 15 to 70 claim to eat a predominately plant-based diet, while 60% report to be cutting back on meat-based products. Of those who are reducing their intake of animal-based proteins, 55% say the change is permanent, and 22% hope that it is.
Fortunately for consumers, scientists and ingredient manufacturers have been working to find alternatives to meat that create satisfying, protein-filled foods.
A wide variety of protein sources are being used as ingredients, such as rice, peas, potato, pumpkin, black bean, algae, chia, hemp and soy.
While it has long been the case that people are leaving meat and dairy off their plates more frequently, seeing the incredible rise in plant-based foods as a market sector is a clear indication that consumer habits are changing for the better. As we approach a population of 9.8 billion by 2050, we are being forced to answer the question of how we are going to feed the world without completely exhausting all our natural resources. The answer to this question is falling on the shoulders of companies that are developing more sustainable plant-based products that are not only better for animals, but much better for our own health.
With the rising demand for plant-based products and the amazing outpouring of new innovative foods that satiate our appetition without meat or dairy, there’s simply no denying that future of food is already here — and it’s plant-based.