Posted on Sep 09, 2019, 2 p.m.
Meat eaters eat just about anything, vegans don’t eat or use anything that comes from an animal, vegetarians don’t eat meat, and flexitarians fall somewhere in between the three but tend to follow a more plant based diet.
According to a recent study 80% of Americans want to swap meat for vegan food; out of 450,000 shoppers 80% intend to replace some or all animal products with plant based alternatives.
Much of the recent increase in plant based sales is due to curious meat eaters, and more consumers are identifying as flexitarian according to marketing analysis conducted by Numerator.
“Health and curiosity are the primary drivers of plant-based meat purchases...consumers love the taste, perceived healthiness, and the fact that these products don’t involve harming animals and are better for the environment. Most significantly, three out of four triers believe plant-based meat alternatives are healthier than real meat.” says Numerator, adding that ethical and environmental concerns are likely to be the main motivators.
62% of the consumers reported being satisfied with current plant based products; 83% said they would recommend to another person; and 81% reported wanting to explore other vegan alternatives.
“Nearly half of meat alternative buyers (48%) have no meat-avoidant members in their household,” explains Numerator, adding that “only 30% have a vegetarian or vegan in the household. Plant-based meat alternatives are reaching a broad audience as 93% of buyers purchase these products for themselves. Forty-five percent purchase for their spouse or significant other, 28% purchase for children, and 26% purchase for a friend or another adult.”
Of the 80% of American shoppers who said they may switch to alternative products 21% reported being ready to go vegan, 23% intend to replace a significant portion of animal products with alternatives, and 36% would replace just a small amount.
Meat consumption is suggested to be linked with an increased risk for diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and risk of developing diabetes. Dr. Kristi Funk believes that a plant based diet is best for the human body, “The body’s cellular response to consuming animal protein and animal fat is everything that feeds and fuels illness while choking health to death. She continued, “estrogen levels rise, growth hormones skyrocket, inflammation abounds, free radicals run around damaging cells and mutating DNA.”
Vegan is becoming more popular but due to the high cost it is mostly confined to “High-income, highly educated Millennials of varying ethnicities living in urban areas. Plant-based meat alternatives are reaching a broad audience as 93% of buyers purchase these products for themselves, 45% purchase for their spouse or significant other, 28% purchase for children, and 26% purchase for a friend or another adult.” says Numerator.
Fast food chains including the likes of KFC are now entering the market hoping to cash in on the trend. “With the surging interest in veganism, it’s not surprising to see fast food chains jumping on the trend,”says James McMaster, CEO of Huel. “The drivers influencing consumer choices include greater awareness about health-related issues as well as the environmental impact from high intake of meat and dairy products.”
“It’s clear that America’s most beloved fast-food chains were in need of vegetarian and vegan options -- the overwhelming interest in KFC’s new Beyond Meat Fried Chicken in Atlanta and across Twitter solidifies this demand,” saysEugene Levin, Chief Strategy and Corporate Development Officer at SEMrush. “This is just the beginning of this trend, as some of the biggest fast-food players have yet to introduce plant-based menu items. But once they do, it will motivate others across the industry to join the plant-based movement to meet this consumer shift.”
"Appealing to a larger customer base is a good business move, and in theory, everyone wins,” says Clement Thibault, an analyst at financial markets platform Investing.com. “However, I am worried that investors are getting ahead of themselves by optimistically pricing in growth for both Beyond Meat and fast food chains. We're still in the initial excitement phase of mainstream vegan products, and while a demand spike for vegan products is nice, sustained growth isn't guaranteed once the excitement fades. Endorsements from different fast food chains is a great achievement, but it is way too early to pop the champagne on a changed fast food culture."
Materials provided by:
Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.