Meat alternatives - the rules are still changing!

27 March 2024 Market trends

Last year, we observed a significant decrease in new product launches, reflecting shifting consumer attitudes toward vegan products. While the demographic opting for these products continues to expand, they now seek different advantages from them. It's time for plant-based products to tout their health, environmental, and nutritional benefits independently, rather than constantly comparing themselves to meat products. Emphasizing their plant-based origins and unique flavours is their greatest asset. In the UK, 40% of consumers find non-meat mimicking products more appealing.

The most desired benefits of vegan products include minimal processing and high protein and iron content. Legumes, such as beans, peas, lentils, and chickpeas, are gaining prominence for their dietary advantages and ecological benefits. Seaweed and marine algae, rich in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids, present another nutritious option, albeit underutilized in vegan cuisine.

With optimistic economic forecasts, vegetarian product manufacturers can venture into premium offerings, an area largely untapped in the vegan market. There's a growing demand for plant-based options for special occasions. Elderly consumers, if provided accurate information on protein content crucial for maintaining muscle mass, and single-portion packaging for convenience, would increase their usage of vegan products.

Consumer attitudes toward vegan products will soon confront a significant challenge with the rise of lab-grown meat regulations worldwide, altering the dynamics of the vegan product market significantly.