August 11, 2020
Plant-based eating is undoubtedly rising in popularity, but where is this shift coming from in the mind of the average consumer? A new survey by Mattson, a San Francisco-based product development consulting company, reveals some valuable data about US vegans, vegetarians, and flexitarians.
#1 More people are eating less animal products
Vegans and vegetarians represent only a segment of those who are choosing to consume more plant-based products. In 2018, 16% of consumers said that they were trying to eat less meat and dairy. In 2020, this number rose to 20%.
#2 Environmental concerns are rising
Of consumers that choose to eat more plant-based foods, 48% list environmental concerns as one of their top 3 reasons (up from 31% in 2018). By contrast, those who listed health benefits dropped from 82% in 2018 to 65% in 2020.
#3 Younger generations care about the environment
Millennials and Gen Z were more likely to list environmental concerns as reasons to eat plant-based, whereas Baby Boomers and Gen X were more likely to list health reasons.
#4 Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are considered the best protein sources
Beans took the #1 spot when consumers were asked what they consider to be the best plant protein source, followed by two other pulses: lentils and chickpeas. These low-cost protein options make it easy for consumers to eat plant-based on a budget.
#5 People are embracing plant-based meat
37% of consumers said that they were eating more plant-based meat products, like the Beyond Burger, at home in 2020 — up from 27% in 2018. Hooray for tasty vegan comfort food!
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