Green Eating Driving Plant-Based Innovation

Friday, July 13th, 2018 | 957 Views

Plant-based innovation is flourishing. Growing consumer interest in health, sustainability and ethics is driving plant-derived ingredients and products to popularity. Innova Market Insights reports that plant-based product claims increased by 62 percent globally (CAGR, 2013-2017) with growth on platforms like plant proteins, active botanicals, sweeteners, herbs & seasonings and colouring foodstuffs.

“Dairy alternatives market is a particular beneficiary of this trend with the growing availability and promotion of plant-based options to traditional dairy lines—specifically milk beverages and cultured products.” says Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights.

The dairy alternatives category was largely pioneered by and continues to be led by beverages. Global sales of dairy alternative drinks are set to reach US$16.3 billion in 2018, accounting for over eight percent of global dairy launches—recorded by Innova Market Insights in 2017—up from seven percent over 2016. Actual global launches have more than doubled over a five-year period.

Spoonable non-dairy yogurt has also seen strongly rising interest, with 48 percent CAGR for 2013-2017—taking its share of dairy launches from less than 0.5 percent in 2012 to 1.5 percent in 2017. According to Innova’s consumer research, one in three US consumers has increased their consumption of plant-based milk/yogurt in the two years to the end of 2017.

“We are seeing an increasing variety of non-soy plant-based ingredients, including cereals (rice, oats and barley) and nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, walnuts and macadamias, coconut and more unusual options like lupin, hemp and flaxseed).” notes Williams.

Interest in plant-based eating is reflected in developments in the meat substitutes market, where global sales are set to grow to US$4.2 billion by 2022. Ingredients used for meat substitutes include vegetables, grains, and traditional sources like soy and specialist manufactured brands—Quorn and Valess.

Gravitation towards plant-based diets, along with interest in vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian lifestyles and concerns over animal welfare, have together served to increase interest and NPD has subsequently seen an 11 percent (CAGR, 2013-2017). Research also indicates that four in ten US consumers increased their consumption of meat substitutes/alternatives during 2017.

Innova Market Insights will be presenting new data on all the key consumer trends driving the industry the IFT Food Expo in Chicago on 16-18 July 2018.