Brands must focus on replicating meat-eating experience without the need for animal products to support sustainability, says GlobalData

  • 42% of global shoppers say that they are unlikely to choose plant-based (vegan) alternatives to conventional red meat while 32% prefer the alternatives
  • 27% of global consumers admit that one key reason for consuming plant-based alternatives to meat or dairy products is sustainability. Animal welfare is also on the list, at 33%

To avoid alienating shoppers who are unwilling or unlikely to swap out red meat for plant-based alternatives, manufacturers must focus on replicating the experience of meat-eating with alternatives that align to the ‘green’ narrative, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Khalid Peerbaccus, Senior Innovation Researcher at GlobalData, comments: “While 32% of shoppers globally say that they are likely to choose plant-based alternatives to red meat, 42% state the opposite. A significant number of people are simply not buying in, and it is likely because they are sticking with what they know. Some brands, such as Epicurious – which recently decided to omit beef from its recipes – could risk alienating followers while trying to tap into the plant-based trend. To win over those unsure consumers, these brands must focus on replicating the meat-eating experience without the need for animal products.”

According to GlobalData’s 2021 Q1 consumer survey, 27% of consumers globally admit that their main reason for opting for plant-based alternatives to red meat is due to sustainability and green credentials.

Peerbaccus continues: “While animal welfare is an issue that causes many shoppers to look for alternatives, sustainability is not too far behind. This is in no small part due to the increasing media coverage regarding climate change and the emphasis put on the consumer to help effect that positive change in the long run. One of these is to adopt a more sustainable way of eating, which includes taking into consideration the journey the food has taken to get to the plate.

“Manufacturers appear to be taking heed of the consumer’s desire for more ethical consumption, and we are seeing an influx of plant-based alternatives that cater to this. Importantly, many are attempting to replicate the meat-eating experience through both taste and texture, which will be a key component going forward in weaning those unwilling consumers away from meat in favor of more sustainable alternatives.”

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