By Krystal Register, MS, RDN, LDN, Senior Director, Health & Well-being, FMI
With a background in food, nutrition and science I’m always curious:
- Why do some shoppers focus on overall diet while others focus on specific foods?
- Why do shoppers gravitate to specific sections of the store or look for certain nutrients?
- Why do shoppers try new foods and beverages?
For me, “why” questions often highlight areas of opportunity.
In the Power of Plant-based Foods and Beverages 2022 report, we offer a broad, comprehensive review of the plant-based topic, exploring
the landscape of naturally plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains, along with alternatives to traditional animal-derived items. The report digs into why shoppers try certain plant-based foods and beverages, offering food
retailers and suppliers key insight into shoppers’ motivations and potential key business opportunities. Here’s a bit of what we found.
Health, Curiosity and Taste
Health rose to the top of the list of reasons why shoppers try meat alternatives made with beans, vegetables or grains (45%), meat alternatives made with isolated protein/starch (38%) and dairy milk alternatives (36%). Curiosity came in second for all
these categories and for seafood alternatives. Taste was the third reason shoppers tried meat alternatives, seafood alternatives and dairy milk alternatives.
Family/Friends, Better Planet and Cost
Thirty percent of shoppers tried meat alternatives made with beans, vegetables or grains and 31% of shoppers tried meat alternatives made with isolated protein/starch based on recommendations from friends or family. When considering products that could
be better for the planet, 26% of shoppers report trying meat alternatives and 17% report trying seafood alternatives and 18% report trying dairy milk alternatives for this reason. Cost was also a consideration for shoppers, noted by 12% to 22% for
Taste Drives Ongoing Consumption
Lower on the list of reasons why shoppers try different plant-based foods and beverages include: ethical concerns, tried in a restaurant, started a new diet, advice from a medical professional and allergies/intolerances. For all plant-based foods and
beverages, taste is a primary driver of ongoing consumption followed closely by the perceived health and nutritional benefits.
With these findings, food retailers and suppliers can better understand what entices shoppers to try plant-based foods and beverages and how health, curiosity and taste fit into different personal approaches to eating. In addition, this highlights the
opportunity to meet shoppers in the aisles to offer a variety of choices tailored to their individual needs.
The Power of Plant-based Foods and Beverages 2022 is chock full of insights including how consumers define plant-based, opportunities
to educate shoppers and much more. Download this page-turner and tune in as we dive deeper into the plant-based landscape at retail.