A brand new piece of research based on the emergence of “bleeding burgers” has been released by GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company based in London. According to the analysis, people on a low-meat diet, or those reducing their intake of meat, are a fast-growing group far outweighing vegans and vegetarians, and the growth of this segment is expected to continue to rise faster than that of people who follow an entirely plant-based diet. GlobalData’s Lewis Towell, says the current emergence of plant-based burgers produced to give an extremely realistic meat-like appearance, with some recently developing a juice which gives the illusion of animal blood, should aim to target this rapidly growing group, due to the fact that they crave authenticity in their meat substitutes.
The research, released on 11th July, follows recent developments in the supermarket sector that realistic vegan meat products such as Beyond Meat and Naturli are to be stocked in the meat aisle of certain supermarkets in the UK and Europe. In addition, Beyond Meat founder and CEO Ethan Brown revealed this May that their Beyond Burger had outsold beef in California branches of Whole Foods, in the five-week period ending April 17th, when products were stocked together.
This data suggests that the most effective way to spread the popularity of plant-based products is for manufacturers to continue producing such realistic vegan meat products and to aim them towards meat-eaters, rather than at vegans and vegetarians. It can be noted that, furthermore, many vegans find the hyper- realistic “blood” off-putting or distasteful. Lewis Towell explains: “Following a low-meat diet is more popular than veganism and vegetarianism in both the US and UK, representing 16% of consumers. We expect the majority of growth for ‘bleeding’ vegan meats to come from these consumers, who would like to eat meat but recognize the environmental and ethical impact of eating meat every day and struggle to resist its particular taste and texture.”
Current products on the market which are enjoying enormous success include the Impossible Foods burgers which have been extremely popular and is sold at over 1,000 restaurants across the US. Beyond Foods has received a huge amount of press interest with their Beyond Burger and their products are available both in supermarkets and in over 8,000 foodservice locations, including, most interestingly, public institutions, schools and hospitals.
The report notes, “Beyond Foods have also won over a number of high-profile foodservice operators, including TGI Fridays and A&W Canada, with the latter expecting to roll out the new option in over 1,000 locations in Canada this July.” GlobalData’s representative also adds: “Generally, the ‘bleeding’ burger represents an evolution, rather than a revolution in the meat substitutes market. By appealing to the broader, growing community of consumers that want to eat less meat due to ethical and health reasons, they have made the meat substitute market more inclusive. This can only be a good thing going forward, especially as the slow shift to ethical consumerism appears to continue unabated.”