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Market & Trends

Unlocking the Dutch Plant-Based Market

With some of Europe’s most receptive consumer demographics to plant-based foods, it’s no wonder that the Netherlands’ market for alternative proteins is fast-growing. Through the National Protein Strategy (Nationale Eiwitstrategie), significant research and development funding, and a new tax initiative to support sustainable food consumption, the Dutch government demonstrates strong support for the country’s alternative protein industry. But to appeal to Dutch consumers, you should tailor your plant-based strategy. What do they want from their diet? How do they differ from other European consumers? Should you adjust your business and products, and if so, in what ways? These questions are essential for maximising sales and must be continuously monitored. In the latest New Food Hub article, ProVeg International summarises the key insights from its country-specific …

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Politics & Law

This “Ushers in a New Era in Nutrition Policy”: German Scientific Society DGE Revises Stance on Veganism

The German Nutrition Society (DGE), the country’s most influential body on nutrition policy, has revised its official position on vegan nutrition and declared that a vegan diet is extremely environmentally friendly and can be beneficial to health. In its new position on vegan nutrition, for the first time, the organisation considers the environment, animal welfare, and social issues as objectives of a more sustainable diet alongside health. This has decisive consequences: the professional organisation for nutrition, whose recommendations largely shape communal catering and nutritional advice in Germany, has moved away from its negative stance. “This new position ushers in a new era in nutrition policy in Germany,” comments Anna-Lena Klapp, International Nutrition and Health Lead at ProVeg. “Together with the recently updated DGE guidelines, the new …

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Plant-Based Brand Zrou expands across Northern China

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Studies & Numbers

Chinese Consumers Are Open to Plant-Based Diets When Aware of Health Benefits

A new study by ProVeg International, “Plant-based eating in China: attitudes and opportunities,” found that nearly all Chinese consumers (98%) are willing to eat more plant-based foods after learning about their health benefits. The Kantar Group’s survey targeted 1,000 people in major cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. Primarily omnivores and flexitarians, respondents were presented with 15 statements highlighting the advantages of plant-based diets. These benefits spanned health, the environment, animal welfare, food security, and taste. Health concerns drive interest The survey employed an “Agreement/Persuasion Matrix” to categorize the benefit statements. This method allowed researchers to identify which benefits resonated most with consumers and which were most persuasive in driving dietary changes. At the end of the survey, the research identified a strong correlation between awareness …

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Retail & E-Commerce

Closing the Price Gap: Economic Benefits of Affordable Plant-Based Foods

Achieving price parity between plant-based and animal-based foods in retail has the potential to impact the food industry significantly. If plant-based and animal-based products were priced more equally, it would be a win-win for producers/brands, retailers, consumers, and the overall plant-based market. In its latest New Food Hub article, ProVeg International examines the economic implications that could result from more competitive pricing of plant-based products. High retail margins Plant-based options are currently priced at a premium compared to animal-based products. While the gap is smaller for more developed categories like milk and butter, the disparity in plant-based meat remains high. Nielsen data demonstrates that, on average, plant-based meat is twice as expensive as beef, more than four times as expensive as chicken, and more than …

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Sustainability / Environment

ProVeg International Granted Observer Status at the Convention on Biological Diversity

Food awareness organization ProVeg International has been granted Observer Status to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), a global treaty that aims to conserve biodiversity and promote the sustainable use of biological resources. The organization will now be eligible to participate in CBD meetings, potentially influencing food policies worldwide. The treaty has recognized ProVeg for its work in the field of conservation and biodiversity, which includes promoting evidence-based solutions to make agri-food systems healthier and less resource-intensive. For example, ProVeg supports farmers in cultivating protein-rich crops through the EU-funded Smart Protein Project, and is increasing the amount of plant-based food available in schools through the School Plates program. ProVeg has previously gained Observer Status at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the …

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Marketing & Media

Winning Over Tastebuds: Strategies for Promoting Plant-Based Foods

Promoting plant-based food brands in today’s competitive market can be challenging, but your business can stand out and make a lasting impact with the right strategies. In its latest New Food Hub article, ProVeg International collaborates with Joe Hill, co-founder of One Planet Pizza, who shares his top tips for marketing plant-based products. Drawing from his experience building a plant-based pizza brand, Joe offers essential tips to capture consumers’ attention, win over sceptics, and create a buzz around plant-based offerings. Taste is still king It’s easy to forget just how important a role taste plays in food. And in the plant-based world, it’s even more crucial to nail great taste. “Research now shows that most consumers will try something new plant-based once, and if they …

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Market & Trends

Taste, Affordability, and Innovation: Keys to Plant-Based Success in the UK

As the demand for plant-based options among consumers grows, governments and businesses globally find themselves needing to adapt to the changing dynamics of food systems. The UK is a prime example. Recognising the opportunities, the UK government has invested nearly half a billion pounds in advancing food systems.[1] Universities and private enterprises have also demonstrated significant interest, leading to a surge in alternative-protein startups and research initiatives throughout the country. To gain a deeper understanding of this trend, ProVeg International produced a series of country-level reports for the Smart Protein Project, called Evolving Appetites: An in-depth look at attitudes towards plant-based eating. Set against the ongoing growth of plant-based food culture in the UK, the latest New Food Hub article explores 10 key takeaways from …

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Market & Trends

Alternative Protein Industry to Recalibrate and Strengthen, Significant Progress Expected in 3-5 Years

Despite recent challenges in the alternative protein industry, such as sales downturns and capacity struggles, a new report by ProVeg Incubator suggests that this ‘correction phase’ will ultimately strengthen the sector‘s long-term prospects. The report – Five Years, 100 Startups, and the Future of Food – reveals that the correction phase reflects a healthy recalibration, separating genuine potential from hype. Although the next year or so might be challenging due to economic conditions and investment landscapes, the report predicts a bright future. New, competitively priced products with improved taste, nutrition, and texture are entering the market. Additionally, regulatory pathways are expected to improve, particularly in cultivated and precision fermentation sectors. Significant progress anticipated In the next three to five years, significant progress in product development …

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Charity & Campaigns

Support Plant-Based Cooking Workshops in African Schools

The Animal Welfare and Environment Network for Tanzania (AWENET) raises awareness in Tanzanian schools about the environmental and health benefits of plant-based eating. The organisation has made Meatless Mondays and Fridays possible in schools, while their Vegan School Lunches Outreach Programme aims to reach 12,000 students this year – all made possible thanks to the support of ProVeg Grants. Your donation to ProVeg Grants will help organisations like AWENET to expand their plant-based school food programmes, thus impacting hundreds of catering staff and thousands of students. Since launching in 2019, ProVeg Grants has provided more than 900 grants to organisations and individuals in over 90 countries working to change the global food system. Every contribution you make reaches, supports, and empowers organisations around the world. …

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Marketing & Media

The Flexitarian Strategy – Optimise Your Plant-Based Sales

Flexitarians, not vegans or vegetarians, are the primary target market for plant-based foods, comprising almost half of consumers in many countries and driving most plant-based purchases.[1] With this in mind, shifting focus from the niche vegan market (less than 4% of consumers) to flexitarians can tap into a market over 10 times larger. In its latest New Food Hub article, ProVeg International shares actionable insights for brands and producers, food service businesses, and retailers looking to reach flexitarians. Here, we’ll share strategies for brands and producers looking to optimise their plant-based sales. Strategies for brands and producers When your plant-based product is on a shelf with a hundred other products, how do you encourage a consumer to pick it up? It stems from good branding, …

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Food Service

Menu Design Strategies to Grow Plant-Based Sales

Plant-forward diets are on the rise across Europe. Not only are European consumers looking to increase their consumption of many plant-based foods, but, according to the latest consumer research, more than half of Europeans are reducing their annual meat intake. In the background, social scientists have been hard at work advancing the social sciences around food choice. One promising intervention that can nudge people towards better food choices is varying the design and description of foodservice menus. It’s vital that foodservice businesses looking to boost plant-based sales learn how to optimise their menus and encourage more meat-eaters to choose their plant-based options. In its recent New Food Hub article, ProVeg International brought together the latest reports and surveys on menu design and consumer behaviour, to …

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Agriculture / Agribusiness

Supporting Farmers with New Opportunities in Sustainable Food Production

Globally, consumer food preferences are undergoing a significant shift. Recent years have seen exponential interest in sustainable alternative proteins – including plant-based, fermentation-enabled, and cultivated. Across Europe, an impressive 40% of consumers now identify as flexitarian, pescetarian, vegetarian, or vegan, and are actively reducing their consumption of animal-based products.[1] In terms of industry growth, the alternative protein market is estimated to reach USD 30 billion by 2030, expanding at an impressive CAGR of 10.4% between 2024-2030.[2] In contrast, traditional animal agriculture is facing several challenges: economic pressures from increasing intensification and consolidation,[1] climate change, and reduced consumer demand for conventional animal-based products. Opportunities for farmers in the alternative protein industry are abundant and diverse, reflecting the growing demand for sustainable food options and innovation in …

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Society

Harvard Initiative ‘Food 4 Thought’ Gathers Students in 3 Day Event to Address Meat Consumption

Harvard University will be the epicenter of a global student gathering aimed at reshaping the world’s food system to be more sustainable, equitable, and healthy. Scheduled from April 12th to 14th 2024, the inaugural three-day event, titled Food 4 Thought, is organized by students with a mission to address the pressing challenges posed by the current food consumption patterns, particularly the escalating consumption of meat. Motivated by the urgent need to ease the growing pressure on nature and public health caused by increasing meat consumption, Food 4 Thought aims to bring together the most talented individuals from various fields to imagine a food system for the future that is both compassionate and environmentally friendly. Strategies for transformative action Navin Durbhakula, a Harvard student and the …

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Marketing & Media

Nudging Toward Sustainable Consumption – the Power of Choice Architecture

Within the ever-evolving world of consumer behaviour, nudging has surfaced as a powerful tool for guiding decisions towards sustainability. Nudges are capable of amplifying product allure, streamlining purchasing processes, and providing consumers with feedback regarding their purchase choices. Marketing professionals can make subtle use of factors that influence consumers’ purchase decisions, these include product design, pricing, labelling, product placement, promotions, and other persuasive marketing material. In its latest New Food Hub case study, ProVeg International explores key studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of nudging in encouraging consumers to make environmentally conscious and plant-based food choices. Key terms Nudging Nudging, as defined by Pelle Guldborg Hansen et al. (2016), is a strategic approach aimed at influencing decision-making processes by shaping the environment in which choices are …

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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 …

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Food & Beverage

Plant-Based Meat and the Ultra-Processed Food Debate: Where Next?

What is an ultra-processed food (UPF)? For the majority of consumers who do not wish to read the original multi-paragraph description, various shorthands have arisen. They are ‘foods your grandmother wouldn’t have eaten’, ‘foods wrapped in plastic’, and even ‘foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce’. Safe to say, the meaning of a UPF is contested, and poorly understood. Plant-based meat, however, has been firmly placed in the ultra-processed food category. In a survey by the British Nutrition Foundation, plant-based meat was the second most commonly associated food with UPFs. With this comes many of the negative connotations that are associated with the category. To untangle the complexity in the UPF debate, in its latest video, ProVeg International’s New Food Hub chat with food systems researcher …

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Packaging

Unveiling the Impact of Packaging Colour on Plant-Based Meat Consumption

While plant-based meats present various advantages, such as health and sustainability benefits, not all consumers readily choose them over their animal-based counterparts. The reasons for this hesitancy lie in persistent barriers to consumption. Food choices are influenced by common factors like taste, price, and health. However, the visual appeal of packaging also plays a crucial role, shaping consumer perceptions of these barriers. Remarkably, simply using appealing colours in product packaging has the power to reshape consumer behaviour and prompt a shift toward plant-based meat. When used in packaging, colour can attract attention, create positive associations, and enhance brand recognition.[1] Thus, it is crucial to understand how colour influences consumers’ purchase decisions in the context of plant-based meat products, particularly given the lack of research on …

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Retail & E-Commerce

At Six Out of Seven Dutch Supermarkets Plant-Based Alternatives Are Cheaper Than Animal Products, Study Finds

Recent research by think tank Questionmark on behalf of ProVeg International has revealed that some plant-based products are now more affordable than their animal counterparts in six supermarkets out of the seven major Dutch retailers. The research compared prices of 12 standard products, including vegetarian meatballs, plant-based cheese, and yogurt, at supermarkets Albert Heijn, Aldi, Dirk, Jumbo, Lidl, Plus, and Ekoplaza. The results show that in nearly every case, the cheapest plant-based option was even more affordable than the most economical animal-based counterpart.  Up to 20% less At supermarket Ekoplaza, the savings on a shopping basket including vegetarian meatballs, plant-based butter, and vegetarian shawarma can be as high as €9.66, amounting to a 20% discount.  Jumbo and Lidl also offer attractive prices, with plant-based options being €3.89 and …

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Food Service

Serving Plant-Based Success on School Plates: Interview with ProVeg UK’s School Plates Programme

“We started in 2018 with one local authority partner in the UK. Six years on we’re working with a quarter of all the local authorities in the UK. That’s about 6,300 schools, over a million meals a day that we’re influencing, and over 12 million meals that we’ve swapped from meat-based to plant-based. So it seems to be working,” says Colette Fox, Head of Programme at ProVeg UK’s School Plates programme. The School Plates programme, run by the UK branch of international food awareness NGO, ProVeg International, has had some striking success. Harnessing the power of behavioural nudges (and, of course, delicious plant-based food), the team is making a big impact in school canteens across the United Kingdom. The scheme is continuing to grow, with …

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On The Green Side clean label chicken alternatives

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Market & Trends

ProVeg South Africa Report Shows Significant Rise in Plant-Based Options in Fast Food Industry

ProVeg South Africa has released a report on the prevalence of plant-based options in South Africa’s fast-food and restaurant industry, offering in-depth analysis and ranking of major chains based on their plant-based offerings, advertising strategies, product naming, and more. According to the report, fast-food consumption in South Africa has surged by 33.1% since 2019, spurred by challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic and load-shedding crises in the country, which caused many people to turn to fast food due to power outages in their homes. In response to growing health, ethical, and environmental concerns, plant-based main dishes have seen a 16.67% increase in menus, though they still constitute less than 5% of the total offerings. The rise in vegan, vegetarian, and flexitarian consumers, who now, according to …

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