Plant-based foods rise in popularity since pandemic began


Wednesday, 24 November, 2021

Plant-based foods rise in popularity since pandemic began

A recently published white paper suggests that almost half of consumers have purchased more plant-based dairy replacements — specifically milks, yoghurts and frozen desserts — since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report, published by Palsgaard, shows that younger people in particular are buying plant-based alternatives; in fact, almost half of those between the ages of 16–34 have bought more of these kinds of products.

Nut-based desserts, yoghurts and milks proved popular among consumers since the beginning of the pandemic began, as did coconut and oat-based versions. A high number of consumers specifically stated that they enjoyed the flavours of plant-based offerings.

The white paper also found that while consumers are indeed putting more plant-based dairy alternatives into their carts, they were not always universally happy with the results. Most individuals surveyed as part of the research noticed some separated in milk alternatives and almost a third thought that the creaminess or texture or yoghurt alternatives were disappointing.

Consumers also said that they wanted to see these kinds of products have a longer shelf life as they felt that the products went off too quickly. The report suggested that manufacturers take note of these complaints, with viable new products potentially being attractive to these unhappy buyers.

Despite this, consumers continue to buy these products for a multitude of reasons. Primary among them is the perception among consumers that plant-based foods are simply the healthier option, with over 75% of surveyed participants holding this view.

Others preferred the taste of these products and almost half bought them because of the benefits for the environment and sustainability in general. Interestingly, 38% of people said they would pay more for products that conferred these environmental benefits.

“The onset of COVID-19 appears to have triggered more interest in the market for plant-based food and beverages. This may be because the pandemic has led to a greater focus on health generally, and on the environment. At the same time, the plant-based sector is rapidly evolving, so there are more and more new products out there for consumers to explore,” said Haydee Carlos, Palsgaard’s Application Manager.

The full report, Plant-based Potential, is available for perusal here.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/katrinshine

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