Studies & Numbers

39% of Romanians Consume Plant-Based Products As Flexitarianism Surges

According to research by Danone Romania, 39% of Romanians now consume plant-based products, up from 30% last year. Meanwhile, less than a third (31%) eat meat daily.

33% of respondents said they choose plant-based foods for their taste, while 30% cited sustainability. Consumers between the ages of 25 and 34 are the most likely to choose a more plant-based eating pattern.

30% of those surveyed said they follow a particular dietary principle, such as vegetarianism, veganism, or flexitarianism. The latter is becoming particularly popular in the country; according to the study, this reflects “an evolution in food preferences and awareness”.

The research was conducted last month by NMS Hungary Kft, which surveyed a representative sample of 500 Romanians.

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“Promising trajectory”

A recent report by ProVeg and the EU’s Smart Protein Project found similar results, with 48% of Romanians saying they had reduced their meat consumption and 27% identifying as flexitarian. Of those who aimed to eat more plant-based foods, 49% said they planned to substitute animal products with legumes, while 32% planned to switch to meat alternatives.

Health was by far the biggest motivator for Romanians to choose plant-based products, cited by 57% of respondents. 45% said they trusted plant-based foods more than they did three years ago, while 68% agreed that sustainable foods should not be taxed. However, 36% said price was a barrier to eating more plant-based, and 31% cited a lack of information.

The Romanian plant-based market is still small, but it is growing rapidly. According to GFI Europe, sales increased by 67% between 2020 and 2022, reaching €33.4 million. Milk alternatives are by far the most developed category, with a value of €23.6 million.

“Romania and its neighbouring countries are currently undergoing shifts in dietary patterns and food choices,” says the Smart Protein report. “This has led to a heightened dietary awareness, with health being a key concern, driving a notable shift towards plant-based diets that is fusing with traditional cuisine. Our study shows that, despite a lack of information, Romania is one of the countries that is most supportive of plant-based options. Looking ahead, the positive outcomes observed align with the broader trends identified in the Smart Protein consumer survey, suggesting a promising trajectory for Romania’s plant-based sector.”

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