The rise of plant-based alternatives has been one of the biggest trends in the food industry in recent years. As more and more consumers adopt a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, food companies are responding by offering a wider range of plant-based products to meet this growing demand. A study by DuPont Nutrition & Health found that 52% of consumers worldwide are trying to eat more plant-based foods.
- The shift towards plant-based alternatives can be attributed to a number of factors. One of the main drivers of this trend is growing awareness of the environmental impact of meat production. The meat industry is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution, and deforestation. As consumers become more aware of these issues, many are choosing to reduce their meat consumption or eliminate it altogether in favor of plant-based alternatives.
- Another factor driving the shift towards plant-based foods is a concern for animal welfare. Many consumers are uncomfortable with the treatment of animals in the meat industry and are seeking alternatives that do not involve animal suffering.
- Finally, the availability and quality of plant-based alternatives have improved significantly in recent years, making it easier for consumers to make the switch. Companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have developed plant-based products that look, taste, and cook like traditional meat, making it easier for consumers to transition to a plant-based diet without sacrificing taste or convenience.
Veganism is a lifestyle that seeks to avoid the exploitation of animals in all forms, including food, clothing, and other products. A vegan diet is one that excludes all animal products, including meat, dairy, eggs, and honey. While veganism has been around for decades, it has only recently begun to gain mainstream acceptance, and this has led to a surge in demand for plant-based alternatives.
- High adoption of meat substitutes is the most common trend in the last few years:
- Products such as Beyond Burger and Impossible Burger have become hugely popular in recent years, offering consumers a way to enjoy the taste and texture of meat without actually consuming it. These products are made from a variety of plant-based ingredients, such as soy, peas, and beets, and they are designed to look, cook, and taste like real meat. Beyond Meat, the company behind Beyond Burger has seen its stock price soar in recent years, as demand for plant-based alternatives has continued to grow.
- Dairy alternatives are gaining traction and many leading coffee chains are replacing dairy with options such as oat milk and soy milk
- Products such as almond milk, oat milk, and soy milk have become increasingly popular in recent years, as more and more people seek to avoid cow’s milk. These products are often fortified with vitamins and minerals to make up for the nutrients that are missing from cow’s milk, and they can be used in a variety of ways, from coffee and cereal to baking and cooking.
- In 2020, Starbucks announced that it would be adding oat milk to its menu in the United States, after a successful test run in select markets. Oat milk is a plant-based milk alternative that is made by blending oats with water and then straining the mixture to remove any solids.
- Veganism is also having an impact on the fast-food industry. Many fast-food chains, such as Burger King, KFC, and Subway, have begun offering plant-based options on their menus to cater to the growing demand for vegan and vegetarian food. This has opened up a whole new market for plant-based alternatives, and it has helped to make veganism more accessible to people who might not have considered it before.
- McDonalds had begun testing a plant-based burger made with a Beyond Meat patty in Canada, and in 2021, they launched the McPlant burger in select markets around the world.
- Burger King is a fast-food chain that has also embraced the trend toward plant-based foods. In 2019, the company announced the launch of the Impossible Whopper, a plant-based burger made with a patty from Impossible Foods, a leading producer of plant-based meat alternatives.
- Moreover, in 2022, When “Beyond Fried Chicken” was added to Louisville-based Kentucky Fried Chicken’s menu, it became instantly clear that plant-based meat alternatives had gone mainstream.
In conclusion, the rise of plant-based alternatives is a trend that is set to continue for the foreseeable future. As more and more people adopt a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, food companies will be pushed to offer a wider range of plant-based products to meet this growing demand.