4 in 10 Consumers Are Taking Alternative Meat off the Table: Strong Roots Consumer Index Survey – Food Industry Executive

Young business woman in a jacket in the store holding a package of Turkey, reading the composition.

Though 61% of consumers plan to boost their consumption of plant-based foods over the next six months, almost 40% are limiting or eliminating alternative meat from their diet, according to a new survey from Strong Roots shared with Food Industry Executive.

The survey of more than 1,000 consumers residing in the United States, United Kingdom, and Ireland found several motivators for reducing “fake meat” intake, including:

  • A preference for traditional meat (51%)
  • A dislike for the taste of alternatives (47%)
  • Fear of overly processed products (36%)
  • Concern about artificial additives (36%)

But many consumers are still shopping for plant-based foods. Most commonly purchased plant-based products include frozen vegetables (54%), veggie burgers (42%), plant-based nuggets (23%), and microwavable or ready-made meals (22%).

Label claims, however, can be confusing, and half of consumers say unclear labeling made them unsure about whether a product contains animal ingredients. Nearly 70% of respondents assume “plant-based” means the same thing as “vegan” on packaging labels, but far fewer (33%) do further research to confirm this assumption. Most instead rely on ingredient lists (39%) and front labeling (35%) to figure out if a product is vegan.

Consumers also want to know how their purchases impact the climate — almost half are more likely to buy from brands that put their carbon footprint on the label, with Gen Z and Millennials 20% more likely to buy from these brands.

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