Awareness of plant-based products among Americans is high, with over 80% aware of such foods, new research from innovation insight agency buzzback shows. Most U.S. consumers (70%) have already tried meat and milk substitutes, and 56% are also aware of plant-based cheese.
About 9 in 10 for have tried or heard of almond milk, and more than half have tried or heard of other substitute milk products such as oat, coconut, and soy. Meat substitute awareness and trial is also popular, with half or more having heard of or tried tofu, beans, and Beyond Meat.
The research reveals the main drivers for consuming plant-based products are health and environmental concerns. In the U.S., 73% say they are seeking healthy alternatives and eating plant-based food is better for the environment. Over 30% followed recommendations from family or friends. Over 70% feel healthier when consuming plant-based products, and 55% have been favorably impressed by the “great taste and texture.”
While plant-based products naturally cue dairy alternatives and meat substitutes, six in 10 consumers are also interested in other plant-based categories, suggesting new opportunities for brands looking to innovate and meet consumer needs in new ways:
- 56% would consider purchasing plant-based shampoos or conditioners
- 56% would consider purchasing plant-based skin-care products
- 54% would consider purchasing plant-based savory snacks
As the plant-based trend grows, many brands are centering their strategies around this emerging opportunity. Alternatives are becoming popular in industries such as personal care and packaging as well as food and beverage.
“Plant-based is booming and provides plenty of opportunities for many brands in different industries,” says Carol Fitzgerald, founder and CEO of buzzback. “However, with popularity also comes competition. So for brands to be well equipped and stand out, they need to focus on what consumers are craving – what is trendy — and be able to innovate, develop new products, and communicate differences effectively.”