Ingredients

Vegan Flavor Market Gains Momentum Driven by Health Awareness of Plant-Based Diets

There is a growing demand for vegan-friendly options in the world of flavors. According to a recent report by Fact.MR, the vegan flavor market is expected to reach $18,324.3 million by 2034, with a projected CAGR of 5.2% from 2024 to 2034.

One of the key drivers of the growth is the increasing awareness of the health benefits associated with plant-based dietsAdditionally, growing concerns about environmental sustainability and animal welfare are prompting consumers to opt for vegan products, boosting the demand for vegan flavors. 

Interestingly, the increasing exposure to diverse global cuisines, which feature plant-based ingredients and flavors, also influences the market’s growth.

Wamame Foods X StrEATS © StrEATS Kitchen

North America and China

In this scenario, the vegan flavor market in North America is expected to experience robust growth in the coming years, with a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.7% until 2034. The surge in market demand will be mainly in the USA and Canada, where the trend for plant-based foods continues to grow.

In East Asia, the sales of vegan-flavored food are also predicted to make significant advancements, targeting a CAGR of 5.6% by 2024. Among the countries in the region, China stands out as a critical player in the industry, commanding a significant market share of 70.7% in 2024.

This flourishing market in China can be attributed to shifting dietary patterns influenced by health and environmental consciousness, says the report. Chinese consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the interconnectedness between health and the environment, leading to an interest in plant-based diets.

The Mediterranean Food Lab Raises $17M in Series A funding to commercialize plant-based flavors for alt meat
© The Mediterranean Food Lab

Focusing on meaty flavors

In response to this growing demand, manufacturers invest in research and development to create innovative and authentic plant-based flavors.

Key players in the sector include Givaudan, Sensient Technologies Corporation, DSM, Firmenich, Takasago International Corporation, McCormick & Company, Kerry Group, Döhler, and Innova Flavors. Among these companies, IFF-LMR, a subsidiary of International Flavors & Fragrances Inc., has a portfolio of 90 natural extracts certified vegan by the EVE (Expertise Vegan Europe) VEGAN standards.

Meanwhile, the latest developments indicate a strong trend towards developing meaty flavors. For instance, in the US, McCormick partnered with Tabitha Brown to add new salt-free vegan seasoning products.

Firmenich has launched what it claims to be the first-ever AI-created flavor: a lightly grilled beef flavor for plant-based meat. Lallemand Bio-Ingredients has also launched Savor-Lyfe CI, a yeast-derived product that gives a rich and authentic chicken flavor to plant-based dishes.

Some startups also are focusing on savory flavors with innovative product development. Examples include the Israeli company The Mediterranean Food Lab, which creates natural and fermented flavors to make alt meat and plant-based foods “delicious;” the precision fermentation startup Paleo, which is developing a heme protein to be used as a flavor additive for plant-based meat and plant-based pet food. 

Also focusing on alternatives to animal flavors, Watson’s Seasoning Blends, a California-based artisanal seasoning brand, recently launched two vegan bouillon flavors: Vegan Beef and Chicken Bouillon

Watson’s Seasoning Blends chicken and beef bouillon
© Watson’s Seasoning Blends

New preferences in the food industry

Vegan flavors offer an expansive range of options, incorporating fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices as sources. 

Flavors come in powder or liquid to be used as additives. Liquid vegan flavors offer manufacturers greater flexibility and versatility to create any product, from beverages to sauces and dressings to snacks and sweets. 

However, according to Fact.MR, companies must overcome challenges for the market to reach its full potential. Creating authentic flavors, which require complex and intricate processes, increases production costs. Natural vegan flavors derived from natural sources rather than being synthesized from fossil fuels can be more expensive. 

These costs can pose affordability issues for both manufacturers and consumers. Finding cost-effective solutions is crucial for fostering broader acceptance of vegan flavors. In addition, certain regions or markets may face challenges related to the limited availability of these food additives. Physical presence and affordability issues can hinder the expansive growth of the market.

“The trend reflects a dynamic consumer landscape where conscious choices, health awareness, and ethical considerations converge to shape evolving preferences in the food industry,” reads the Fact.MR report.

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