… survey of 7,500 people across ten European countries – part of the EU-funded Smart Protein project – found 7% of respondents followed plant-based diets, while 30% of people were flexitarian eaters… Looking specifically at the responses of flexitarians, 73% said they have substantially reduced their meat consumption – while data from NPG Group suggests 90% of plant-based consumers are meat eaters…

 

 

What do flexitarian consumers want? Plant-based innovation opportunities revealed

 

By Katy Askew, Food Navigator

16-Nov-2021

 

A pan-European study shows ‘booming’ interest in plant-based products. But barriers to consumption remain with improved health and taste alongside availability and affordability coming out as flexitarian consumers’ top asks.

 

A pan-European survey conducted by NGO ProVeg International in partnership with Innova Market Insights, the University of Copenhagen, and Ghent University, has shown a ‘significant shift towards plant-based eating’ taking place across the continent.

 

The survey of 7,500 people across ten European countries – part of the EU-funded Smart Protein project – found 7% of respondents followed plant-based diets, while 30% of people were flexitarian eaters. “Flexitarians are the most important target group from a business perspective,”​ according to ProVeg consumer research scientist Dr Kai Brit Bechtold.

 

Speaking at an event to discuss the research findings, she explained that appealing to flexitarian consumers offers food makers ‘enormous’ potential to grow sales of plant-based products.

 

With 46% of Europeans reporting that they eat less meat today than they did at this time last year, Dr Bechtold believes this represents a long-term trend. Looking specifically at the responses of flexitarians, 73% said they have substantially reduced their meat consumption – while data from NPG Group suggests 90% of plant-based consumers are meat eaters. “This illustrates the transition from animal-based to plant-based is largely driven by flexitarians,”​ Dr Bechtold suggested.

 

The importance of flexitarians to food sector development was underlined by German poultry-to-plant-based manufacturer PHW Group. “Clearly, there is a long-term consumer trend of including vegan protein in the regular diet,”​ PHW board member Marcus Keitzer noted. “One thing we do know for sure: Neither meat products alone nor currently available alternative protein options are going to be able to sustainably meet the protein requirements of future generations on their own. A holistic protein platform strategy is needed, which includes ecologically optimized meat production as well as a visionary approach in the field of alternative proteins. Therefore our business unit "alternative proteins" was founded in 2018 and we are working constantly to offer the best and sustainable protein mix of the future.”​

 

Plant-based demand acceleration ...

 

What flexitarians want ...

 

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https://www.foodnavigator.com/Article/2021/11/16/What-do-flexitarian-consumers-want-Plant-based-innovation-opportunities-revealed