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A recent survey has revealed the potential in creating new plant-based products as consumers look for more variety.
Conducted by ProVeg International, the study surveyed over 6,000 consumers across nine European countries to identify areas of product improvement and development in the plant-based sector.
Plant-based cheese was identified as the product that plant-based eaters and those who are reducing their intake want to see the most of in supermarkets. Meanwhile, plant-based ready meals were the second most in-demand for reducers, and third most in-demand for plant-based eaters. The survey also revealed that consumers would like to see more plant-based meat alternatives that mimic meat, as well as plant-based baked goods and chocolate.
Plant-based seafood and egg alternatives also showed strong potential among reducers, offering more opportunities for start-ups in a segment of the plant-based market that is still in its infancy.
The results also showed that consumers want to see more variety in terms of product types, raw materials, textures, and flavours, whilst price proved to be the main area where shoppers were most dissatisfied across the majority of product categories. Further results of the survey will be discussed in a free webinar on 3rd June.
It shows the strong demand for the sector, with the plant-based meat alternatives market predicted to double within the next five years. What’s more, whilst the global meat market is expected to grow by 3% a year, according to Kearney, the plant-based meat alternatives market is predicted to grow at an annual rate of around 15%, according to figures from Markets and Markets.
The recent coronavirus pandemic is also expected to further influence the plant-based meat market, as people associate the virus with animal sources, and begin to shift from traditional meat protein to plant protein for health and environmental reasons.
The sector’s growth over the years has created various opportunities for start-ups and small businesses across the UK, who have tapped into the market with specialist products such as artisanal vegan cheese. With the market expected to grow even further, more fine food and drinks brands could see this as an opportunity to cater to those on a plant-based diet.