KAPOW! See how plant power is driving this World Vegan Month
IT’S World Vegan Month if you didn’t know and soon it seems the surging food trend won’t be satisfied with only one month, new research suggests.
The Mintel research in the UK shows the share of meat-free new products carrying a vegan/no animal ingredients claim nearly doubled between 2014-17.
This growing profile of vegan foods is reflected by the fact that in 2017, more than half (52%) of new product launches in the meat-free foods market were vegan/contained no animal ingredients up from 28% in 2014, according to Mintel.
The significant growth in the availability of vegan products in the meat-free foods market will appeal to the 26% of consumers who prefer meat-free products to be plant-based rather than containing eggs or dairy.
Mintel’s latest research also highlights that the popularity of meat-free foods extends well beyond the small pool of non-meat eaters that describe themselves as vegan.
Keen to get a slice of the meat-free action, as many as 56% of UK adults have eaten vegetarian/meat-free foods in the six months to July 2018, a significant increase from the 50% who had eaten these foods in the six months to March 2017.
Estimated to reach £740 million in 2018, sales of meat-free foods (including a growing range of vegan products) have shot up 22% between 2013-18. Growth is set to continue as value sales of the meat-free market are forecast to increase by a further 44% by 2023 to reach £1.1 billion.
Alyson Parkes, Research Analyst at Mintel, said: “Although the meat-free market is not vegan by definition, there has been a significant increase in the number of new products that carry a vegan claim.”
Brits trim back meat consumption
While 90% of Brits are red meat/poultry eaters, Mintel research highlights consumer interest in limiting/reducing meat consumption remains strong, as 34% of meat eaters reduced their meat consumption in 2018.
Younger Brits aged 25-34 are the most likely (40%) to have reduced meat consumption in the last year.
A further 21% of meat eaters say that they would be interested in limiting/reducing their meat consumption in the future, highlighting the growing appeal of meat reduction and the opportunity for meat-free foods.
The top three perceived benefits of eating less meat are improving health (32%), saving money (31%), and being better for the environment (25%). Despite improving health being seen as the top benefit, considerably fewer consumers associate eating less meat with helping to manage weight (25%) or reducing the risk of disease (22%).
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Meat avoiders want their meat-free foods to look like meat
Tasting like meat is the top enticing factor for 26% of non-/infrequent eaters of vegetarian/meat-free foods. There is also some interest in products that replicate meat in other ways, with 15% of this consumers group agreeing that meat-free burgers which ‘bleed’ are appealing; rising to 25% of 16-34-year-olds.
Despite this, Mintel research confirms that there is some confusion and concern surrounding meat-free foods, with 44% of Brita unclear about what ingredients are used in these foods. With two-fifths (41%) of consumers agreeing that meat-free foods with a shorter list of ingredients are more appealing than those with longer ingredient lists, and a further 31% believing that meat-free foods are too processed to be healthier than meat, transparency is key in order to reassure consumers and build trust.