Demand for plant-based alternatives has never been higher. With up to 40% of European consumers now actively reducing their meat and dairy intake, brands and retailers alike need to keep expanding their plant-based ranges to meet the market’s evolving needs. In partnership with vegconomist, food awareness organisation ProVeg International has revealed which product categories present the biggest opportunities for plant-based producers.
For the majority of consumers, personal health is a key motivator for embracing a plant-rich diet. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a continued shift in consumer purchasing toward natural and organic products that enhance health and immunity,” explains Tony Olson, founder of SPINS, a global nutrition data agency. Regardless of their motivations for turning to plant-rich diets, consumers still want access to the kinds of tasty, indulgent foods they are accustomed to.
This makes sense, as 73% of plant-based products are purchased by omnivores and flexitarians, with plant-based demand growing across all categories. Brands & retailers need to stay ahead of the curve if they want to retain their increasingly health-conscious and environmentally minded consumers.
With this in mind, ProVeg International has compiled a list of the top 4 product categories that present the biggest opportunity to expand plant-based profits with the lowest risk in their new whitepaper: “Plant-based profit: lucrative low-risk product ranges”. Number one on the list is ambient long-life/shelf-stable products. Shelf-stable products have risen in popularity on a massive scale since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, as has the demand for plant-based products.
“Almost two-thirds of consumers prefer products that are similar to foods they already know. Yet, at the same time, many consumers are seeking to reduce their meat and dairy intake. This creates a natural opportunity for plant-based alternatives to satisfy consumers’ traditional taste and texture needs, while also meeting their modern preferences for healthier and more sustainable foods”, states the report.