Market & Trends

Coop Switzerland Reports +252% Growth of Vegan Burgers and +350% Growth of Alt Meat

A recent study by Coop regarding plant-based nutrition in Switzerland finds that 63% of the Swiss population is actively reducing their meat consumption, that vegan burgers have seen strong growth of 252% and that sales of vegan meat alternatives increased by more than 350% over the past three years.

The third ‘Plant Based Food Report’ in Switzerland, compiled by Coop together with LINK, provides comprehensive facts and figures on vegan nutrition, shows trends over the last few years and takes a look into the future. Key points from the study are as follows.

Demand for plant-based in Switzerland

  • The range of meat alternatives on offer in the Swiss market is generally very diverse, finds the study.
  • Vegan burgers continue to account for a fifth of total burger sales at Coop.
  • All categories of meat substitutes have been in high demand since 2019. Meat substitute burgers have seen strong growth of 252% over the last three years while vegan meat substitutes saw an incredible growth of over 350%.
  • Meanwhile, sales of animal meat burger and sausage substitutes were slightly declining in 2022
  • Currently, schnitzel substitutes are the most in-demand, with sales of 17.7 million Swiss Francs.
  • Every seventh milk in the shopping basket at Coop is a vegan alternative.
  • However, the cumulative turnover of vegan cheese, milk and yogurt alternatives stands at 126.7 million; this represents a very small market share, as it currently corresponds to around 6% of the total market in these areas.

Key points regarding the Swiss population

  • The number of flexitarians in the country continues to increase: 63% of the Swiss population now consciously avoid animal-based foods several times a month. In 2012, only 40% of Swiss consumers regularly gave up meat.
  • A quarter of respondents eat vegan alternatives several times a month
  • 40% of respondents want to eat more vegan alternatives in the next five years
  • Another 27% enjoy plant-based alternatives to meat, fish, milk and cheese “from time to time”.
  • 54% of the Swiss population have already population have tried vegan substitutes.
  • 48% of the Swiss population have been eating vegan alternatives for at least four years.
  • Vegan alternatives are particularly popular among young women from urban areas of German-speaking Switzerland.

Say the authors of the survey: “It is therefore not a short-lived trend, but a sustainable change in diet.”

Similarly, in July of 2022, futurologists at Switzerland’s Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute (GDI), said that the Swiss population should eat an entirely meatless diet by 2050, stating: “We will have no choice but to switch to alternative proteins,” said Christine Schäfer from the organisation, which is today holding a food innovation conference on fermentation in food. A working paper from the GDI adds, “Meat from conventional production will one day be for our grandchildren what the audio cassette is for us today: a relic fallen out of time.”

Coop Market Research, in collaboration with LINK, carried out this study from 1 to 20 September 2022.
2,222 people aged between 15 and 79 were interviewed in German-speaking and French-speaking Switzerland and in Ticino. The target group was randomly selected from the LINK Internet panel and is representative, state the authors.

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