24 Oct 2023
What started as a grassroots movement against animal cruelty has become a food revolution. Consumers are making choices that are both good for them and sustainable for the planet. They associate plant-based foods with health, but increasingly also with sustainability, making plant-based alternatives their food of choice.
70% of consumers agree that a plant-based diet has a positive impact on the environment. But the motivation can be less selfless with a further 58% of people agreeing that a plant-based diet is healthier than an animal-based diet.
So are plant-based solutions healthier? Health is one of the main reasons why consumers choose plant-based options. In some countries, changes in dietary patterns are only emerging, while in others the trend is growing rapidly. However, the evidence on the long-term health effects of vegetarian and vegan diets remains incomplete. A complete switch from an animal-based diet to a plant-based diet is not sufficient for a truly healthy diet. On the other hand, choosing balanced plant-based meals is a big step towards good health. Hundreds of studies have shown that increased consumption of plant-based foods, such as wholegrains, pulses, fruits, and vegetables, is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and other health conditions.
70% of consumers agree that a plant-based diet has a positive impact on the environment.
58% of people agreeing that a plant-based diet is healthier than an animal-based diet.
Plant-based foods are taking over supermarket shelves. And when you look at consumer demand, it’s no surprise. One in three people purchase vegan options every week according to our consumer research with 40.000 consumers worldwide. We see this trend is strongest in South America, where 34% of consumers buy plant-based products on a weekly basis. Asia-Pacific and Europe come in second and third, with 29% and 28% of shoppers respectively choosing vegan options. In North America, interest in plant-based eating is still significantly lower, with only 20% buying plant-based products on a weekly basis.
Consumers feel the need to change! As part of our always-on Taste Tomorrow consumer research, we track online conversations around food. We see that plant-based eating is one of the biggest trends in terms of conversations, and it’s still growing!
The number of plant-based product launches in bakery & patisserie is steadily increasing. This growth is driven by consumer demand, but also by a notable rise in product launches with a plant-based claim. Looking at the number of product launches in bakery & patisserie in the past 3 years, we see: Pastries and Sweet goods are the fastest growing sub-categories, up 61% year on year, baking ingredients and mixes are up 60%, while cookies and biscuits have grown by an amazing 43%.
THE MOTIVATION TO EAT PLANT-BASED IS TWOFOLD: IT’S PERCEIVED TO BE HEALTHY AND GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Replacing butter, eggs, and milk in baking might not seem easy. These ingredients are very functional when making sweet baked goods. They help to create the structure that gives the desired texture to the final product. At Puratos, we believe that plant-based baking should not have to be a challenge.
We know that by offering vegan or plant-based alternatives, you can expand your customer base and meet the needs of vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians. To help you get started, we’ve gathered our best plant-based bakery, patisserie, and chocolate recipes here.