ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Consumers like to try new foods, and that’s the top reason why many have sampled plant-based meat alternatives, according to a survey by the International Food Information Council.
As reported on FoodDive.com, the study was conducted last month and included 1,000 U.S. adult respondents. In addition to the 41% who tried plant-based meat because they like to try new foods, 30% said they were curious after hearing about plant-based meats. 27% said they were trying to cut back on meat, and 27% said they think the alternative was better for the environment.
Nearly half of respondents said they’d tried a plant-based meat alternative, and they gave several reasons why they enjoyed it. The top three were taste (53%), meat-like texture (35%) and the fact that it tasted like meat (34%). Four out of 10 said there was nothing they didn't like about the faux meat, but 31% said they didn’t agree that its texture accurately replicated meat.
When comparing nutrition labels, 45% of respondents said they think plant-based alternatives are healthier than animal meat, and 25% believed the plant alternative to be unhealthier. This isn't the first survey to come to that conclusion. A recent study from DuPont Nutrition & Health found that 52% of U.S. consumers are eating more plant-based foods because it makes them feel healthier.
Although the meat industry urges consumers to look at the relatively long list of ingredients in plant-based products, 45% of survey respondents looked at the Nutrition Facts label and affirmed their health beliefs about plant-based meat.
Manufacturers will need to focus on drawing attention to their offerings and then delivering on taste and texture, as more plant-based protein products are introduced. Investment firm UBS predicts that the plant-based protein and meat alternatives market will increase from $4.6 billion in 2018 to $85 billion by 2030.