USA: Research Suggests the Start of a “Dietary Revolution” Focused on Alternative Protein

FMCG Gurus have revealed to us that their research indicates what they call the beginning of a dietary revolution in the US, one focused on alternative protein sources. American consumers, increasingly concerned over their health, are tempted by the increased availability of meat substitutes in fast food outlets amid a mass move away from meat.

The organisation’s consumer research shows that, of those who eat meat regularly, fewer than half say that they have not considered reducing their meat intake. These consumer insights show that there is a move towards meat alternatives and plant-based proteins, even in the diets of those who eat meat. In total, 29% of consumers actively describe themselves as flexitarian.

A significant factor is the increased profile of meat alternatives, and the way that manufacturers are aggressively marketing themselves to capture the meat-eating market. Beyond Meat has risen to a market cap of $7.16B  and  Impossible Foods was aiming for a $3-5B valuation at the end of 2019. Roughly a tenth of those who are moving away from meat are being tempted by plant-based alternatives, and with recent launches into major fast-food chains like KFC and Subway, that is likely to rise significantly.

It was shown that almost half of those who have reduced their intake suggest that general health concerns are a significant factor with this, with issues about heart health, cancer risks, or digestive health also frequently mentioned. Even without specific concerns, the general perception of meat as a less healthy option leads, by extension, to a level of trust in plant-based products, trust that can be exploited by savvy marketing.

This article is based on data from the FMCG Gurus US Meat and Plant-Based Survey, North American Meat Institute, valuation data from NASDAQ and Food Dive, and information from the Impossible Foods Impact Report 2019.

Thanks to Andrew Crofts, Senior Research Analyst at FMCG Gurus

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