Market & Trends

How Are Consumer Dietary Preferences Changing Throughout Europe?

If you work in the food and beverage industry, tracking consumer preferences is an important part of your work. What do consumers want from their diet? How are their food preferences and motivations evolving? Do you need to adapt your business and/or products, and if so, how? The answers to these questions are vital in order to optimise sales, and need to be monitored as consumer preferences shift.

In its latest New Food Hub article, ProVeg International shares key insights from its recent Smart Protein Consumer Survey, Evolving Appetites.

The pan-European survey explores how consumer behaviour has changed over the last three years, building on their 2021 survey report, What Consumers Want. The primary objective of this follow-up study was to track and analyse whether the trends that ProVeg identified in 2021 have persisted, intensified, plateaued, or fallen. By identifying changes in consumer preferences and behaviours, the report provides a deeper understanding of the long-term potential of the plant-based sector and the extent to which further growth can be sustained.

bowl of legumes
Image courtesy of ProVeg International

Read on for a selection of key takeaways from the report, which provide crucial insights into Europe’s rapidly evolving plant-based sector.

  1. 51% of European meat eaters reduced their annual meat intake in 2023, with Germany, France, and Italy leading the way.
    -Germany has the largest flexitarian segment, at 40%

    -Denmark has the largest proportion of pescatarians (6%)

    -The UK has the largest proportion of vegetarians (7%)

    -Austria has the largest proportion of vegans (5%)

  2. 38% of Europeans are currently following a flexitarian, pescatarian, vegan, or vegetarian diet:
  3. Of those European meat consumers who are reducing their meat intake, 47% are doing so for health concerns, 29% for animal welfare, and 26% for the environment.
  4. The flexitarian diet transcends generational backgrounds, with 29% of Boomers, 27% of Gen X, 26% of Gen Z, and 28% of millennials identifying as flexitarian.
  5. 53% of Europeans intend to increase their consumption of legumes, while 40% plan on consuming more plant-based alternatives.

Want to uncover the remaining takeaways and actionable insights? Read the full New Food Hub article, here.

Do you need some help with your plant-based strategy? ProVeg’s team of experts are only an email away – drop them a line at [email protected].

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