New report shows flexitarian trend is gaining momentum
Data shows 58% of consumers agree that they are becoming more concerned about the treatment of animals raised for food, according to a new report from Packaged Facts, Animal Welfare: Issues and Opportunities in the Meat, Poultry, and Egg Markets.
“Consumer concern over animal welfare issues has reached critical mass in the meat and poultry industries, creating a new generation of challenges and opportunities,” says David Sprinkle, research director at Packaged Facts.
Some animal-based protein companies are already looking to the future by investing in or acquiring plant-based protein companies, as well as next-generation meat substitute products. Expect this trend to gain momentum as marketers respond to the growing demand by vegans, vegetarians, and flexitarians for more and better products.
The report pinpoints several key opportunities for food and beverage companies. These include advising marketers to leverage their engagement in animal welfare-related practices through labeling, advertising, and promotion.
Packaged Facts also suggests leveraging links between animal welfare and product healthfulness and sustainability. The firm’s survey data show that more than half (53%) of U.S. adults agree that meat and poultry is healthier if the animal was raised humanely. Likewise, sustainability is of increasing urgency to citizens, businesses, and governments around the world. As a result, consumers also increasingly link sustainability concerns with animal welfare.
“Shrewd companies will find ways to incorporate animal welfare claims into their value-added and premium-priced products, while also leveraging the inherent link to sustainability,” according to the company.
Another key point from the report is catering to the flexitarian trend. The report states that humans, in general, and Americans, in particular, are a very long way from becoming primarily consumers of plant-based protein. Nevertheless, the balance between animal and plant protein is being reset in the U.S. diet, with flexitarianism increasingly weighing on the scales.
Packaged Facts survey data reveals that 21% of U.S. consumers report cutting back on red meat in the last few years. The survey data also show that almost half (49%) of U.S. adults agree that increasing consumption of vegetarian sources of protein is better for the environment.
Some animal-based protein companies are already looking to the future by investing in or acquiring plant-based protein companies, as well as next-generation meat substitute products. Expect this trend to gain momentum as marketers respond to the growing demand by vegans, vegetarians, and flexitarians for more and better products, according to Packaged Facts.