By: Steve Markenson, Director, Research and Insights, FMI
Grocery Shopper with Basket

In the inaugural Power of Plant-based Foods and Beverages 2022 report, which is FMI’s first-ever comprehensive review of the plant-based topic broadly, we looked at naturally plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains and alternatives to traditional animal-derived items. Our analysis finds nearly half (42%) of shoppers put either a lot or some effort into selecting plant-based foods or beverages.

Let’s drill down and look at a specific plant-based foods and beverages shopper—the shopper looking for alternatives to dairy, meat and seafood, which we will refer to as animal-alternative product shoppers in this blog post. What are their demographics, their motivations, their mindsets?

Demographics of Animal-Alternative Product Shoppers

Our research finds these consumers tend to be younger, with the majority in Gen Z or millennial households. They tend to live in larger households with at least three people and many have households with children. Thirty one percent have household incomes of $100,000-plus, and there is also a skew towards minorities—specifically Hispanic and Black shoppers. Animal-alternative product shoppers also are more likely to live in urban or suburban areas.

How do Animal-Alternative Product Shoppers Like to Shop?

Our consumer survey finds these animal alternatives shoppers have a higher-than-average weekly grocery spend of $184 versus $163. They also have a higher propensity to order groceries online and spend more on groceries online. These consumers are also likely to shop around more—visiting Mass, Club, no frills, online-only or natural food retailers.

What Motivates Animal-Alternative Product Shoppers?

Animal-alternative product shoppers are more likely to put a lot of effort into selecting nutrition and healthy alternatives than the average grocery shopper. Almost half of animal-alternative product shoppers are impacted by food allergies or intolerances. While these shoppers are about twice as likely as all shoppers to be vegetarian, vegan or pescatarian, 80% of them do not classify themselves that way. Most animal-alternative product shoppers follow a specific approach to eating including heart-health, gluten-free and low carb.   

Insights into the Animal-Alternative Product Shopper

What does all this mean? The picture of the animal-alternative product shopper is a bit clearer, but their motivations and habits still vary. Food retailers and suppliers can use these research findings to create insightful shopping experiences and products for the animal-alternative product shopper. After all, the more we know about our shoppers, the better we can meet their needs.

Download Power of Plant-based Foods and Beverages 2022