Rise of the Flexitarian Consumer Creates New Market Opportunity

636034807171075069veganburger.jpg

07 Jul 2016 --- Innova Market Insights data shows a +60% rise in global food and beverage launches using a vegetarian claim between 2011 and 2015. Launches featuring the term “vegan” also rose to account for 4.3% of total introductions in 2015, up from 2.8% in 2014 and just 1.5% in 2012.

The trend towards reducing meat intake in the diet has led to the emergence of new opportunities to target vegans, vegetarians, non-meat eaters and non-red-meat eaters. New opportunities are emerging too for so-called flexitarians, who mainly eat a plant-based diet, but do occasionally eat meat. Strategies to harness the power of the flexitarian consumer will be among the key trends presented by Innova Market Insights at the IFT 2016 Taste The Trend pavilion in Chicago (booth #2884).

“This trend represents a growing opportunity for high-quality meat alternatives, which is also being reflected in the 24% average annual growth in global meat substitute launches recorded between 2011 and 2015,” reports Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights.

Williams told FoodIngredientsFirst: “We did some research on the trend and we asked consumers whether they eat meatless meals once a week or more? The biggest group to say so were Germans and this is a really interesting insight. This is the market that is leading the world in terms of innovation and meatless consumption.”Click to Enlarge

Germany is currently leading the flexitarian trend, with high levels of innovative NPD in meat alternatives and meat substitutes, and 69% of consumers claiming to eat meatless meals once a week or more.

“In the UK , 53% of consumers are claiming to eat meatless meals once a week, so there is still a lot of opportunity there,” says Williams.

The US is lagging behind on just 38%, although 120 million Americans do already eat meatless meals, so this must represent a major opportunity.

The trend towards flexitarian, vegetarian and vegan diets has accelerated the move toward the use of plant-based proteins as meat substitutes. The majority of meat substitutes are still soy- or wheat-protein based, but products are evolving with alternative protein ingredients such as egg, pea, ancient grains and nuts.

“We also found that consumers see dairy as a good alternative to meat, 49% of consumers opt for  breaded cheeses or grilled halloumi for example,” says Williams,  “What is also happening is that we have more or a segmentation in the market, we have substitutes and various NPDs in the alternative meat sector.”

“Paradoxically, another key area of opportunity in meat substitutes may be in targeting meat eaters as much as vegetarians,” notes Williams. “While many vegetarians may opt for a diet rich in vegetables and beans, meat eaters may turn to meat substitutes if the product is right. Instead of just finding alternatives, technological solutions also need to be focusing on the development of meat substitutes closely mimicking the taste and texture of meat products.”

“The Impossible Burger has gained a lot of interest in media attention recently, with flexitarians looking for something that has that meat feel but is made from plant based produce,” she added.

This July, the Impossible Burger will become available for public consumption for the first time. The company, Jardinière, a tony San Francisco restaurant, will begin by offering burgers on special occasions, while a small number of restaurants will start selling the Impossible Burger later this summer, starting in New York. Production is limited – the company could manufacture a million pounds this year, less than a tenth of a percent of US beef consumption – so the rollout is calibrated to target high-end diners first. According to Impossible Foods, the retail price has not been set.

by Elizabeth Kenward

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

Innova Market Insights

Collapse

The Innova Database is the product of choice for the whole product development team. See what food manufacturers are doing around the world in a way you never thought possible.

Track trends, competitors, ingredients and flavors. It contains excellent product pictures, search possibilities and analysis. Get the world of new products on your desk, set e-alerts, examine category activity, find new ideas, be inspired.

In today's fast moving environment this is a resource you cannot afford to be without.

Related Articles

Business News

Palm oil: The “political” fallout in wake of Iceland advert ban

15 Nov 2018 --- Palm oil is in the spotlight once again but this time it’s about a banned Christmas advert which has been deemed “too political” to be screened on TV. Originally a Greenpeace campaign video, the ad was taken on by UK retailer Iceland to shine a light on the environmental devastation caused by palm oil producers and features the story of a displaced orangutan.

Food Ingredients News

Plant-based foods certification launched, Tofurky and Oatly items receive first recognition

15 Nov 2018 --- The Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) has launched a new Certified Plant Based program in the US, touted as the first and only plant-based food certification in the world. Selected Tofurky and Oatly products are the first to receive certified status by NSF International, the certifying agency, who have teamed up with the PBFA. The Certified Plant Based protocol, focuses on plant-based alternatives to animal-based foods and specifies the criteria required to make a certified plant-based food claim, reports the PBFA.

Food Ingredients News

IMCD opens Food & Nutrition application lab in Germany

15 Nov 2018 --- Chemical and food ingredients distributor IMCD N.V. has expanded its technical capabilities with a new Food & Nutrition application laboratory in Hürth, Germany. With this latest facility, IMCD Food & Nutrition will seek to support customers’ technical needs, sharing detailed application knowledge of its comprehensive specialty ingredient portfolio from leading supplier partners, reports the company.

Food Ingredients News

Authenticity and experiences touted as key themes for craft F&B, Symrise initiative reveals

14 Nov 2018 --- Symrise has launched a new Craft eBook focusing on US craft food and beverages. Details on this initiative – including consumer research, interviews with experts, trend analysis, category interrogations and concept creations – are now available to food and beverage manufacturers globally. According to the initiative´s findings, millennials value authenticity and experiences, which often leads them toward artisan and craft food products.

Food Ingredients News

EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement: MEPs urged to ratify trade deal next month

14 Nov 2018 --- As the potential EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) edges closer, Europe’s agri-food chain partners are joining forces to urge politicians to ratify the trade deal quickly. A number of trade bodies want EU producers to take full advantage of the new opportunities and tariff-free trading that would result from what would be the world’s largest open economic area.

More Articles