Diet and nutrition, Food trends

PLANT-BASED FOOD, THE NEW TREND IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY

13/12/2021

As we all become more and more aware of the climate changes and how they are impacting our lives, a brand new consciousness is developing at consumer level about green choices when it comes to buying food. In this perspective, it should not come as a surprise the storm that has recently hit the market and that goes by the name of plant-based food. From bread and pastries, to pizza and even burgers: 2020 saw an array of new green products popping up on the shelves of groceries and specialized stores in a rapid crescendo that culminated with the launch, towards the end of last year, with an entire plant-based menu by one of the most famous fast food chains in the world.

With veganism gone mainstream in the last few years (figures went rapidly from 2% of the world population in 2020 to an estimated 8% this year), it is no wonder that food industry had to move really fast to stay ahead of the game. Yet this new trend does not involve only those people who opt for a vegetarian or a vegan diet but it also includes those consumers who consciously decide to reduce their intake of meat or dairy, thus significantly broadening the audience.

Studies report that the global pandemic and all the local lockdowns somehow forced consumers to reassess their priorities. Now health and wellbeing have become the main drivers of a new behavior that entails reconsidering what they eat not only in terms of nutritiousness but also in terms of how the food they choose can impact the planet. Sustainability is the word as plant-based food is produced by using fewer natural resources thus putting less pressure on the environment. Ethics is the other matter we should also consider since the mindful choices that are being made safeguard animal welfare, which is another topic that has always been widely debated.

With that in mind, recent figures take a brand new meaning. A 43% growth in plant-based foods sales in the past two years (9 times faster than total food sales) vouch for the latest predictions made by the analysts of the Vegan Society that foresee a further increase of the plant-based food market of 11.9% by 2027, with an overall value of $74.2 billion. Data that we should all quickly take into account upon reshaping our commercial offer.

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