Retailers and store owners should get ready to make some space on their shelves for more plant-based products as recent research claimed that more than half of Britons are considering switching to these alternatives in the near future.
Appinio, the global research firm, has predicted that the plant-based food market will increase by 11.9 per cent by 2027.
Supermarkets are already offering more shelf space to fast-growing plant-based brands, such as Linda McCartney, Naked Glory and Green Cuisine, as the demand from consumers for these alternative products grows.
In new research of 1,000 people aged 18-65, carried out by research platform Appinio, focusing on food habits of Britons, almost two-thirds (64 per cent) said they have bought plant-based food items in the last year (25-34 year-olds being the most likely).
The intrigue of taste and the belief the food was healthier topped the reasons for the purchase, followed by environmental worries and concerns around animal welfare.
The most popular purchases recorded were plant-based meat substitutes and plant-based milk brands while 55-65 year-olds emerged as the least likely to have purchased a plant-based food item in the last year.
Among people who chose not to eat plant-based foods, taste, price and texture ranked as the highest reasons. But, when asked to consider if they would switch part of their meat consumption for plant-based alternatives, 51 per cent said they could see themselves doing it.
Almost 49 per cent of respondents claimed they have not heard of lab-grown/cultured meat despite it being in news over the past few months while among those who had, over 2 in 5 said they would consider switching part of their meat consumption to cultured/ lab-grown meat alternatives.
Jacqueline Junke, UK Market Lead at Appinio, said that there have been huge advancements in plant-based and cultured food, made evident by the growth opportunities big global food brands are capitalising on and the emergence of many new brands in this space.
“Combining health and environmental concerns, we were keen to see the attitudes amongst Brits and were not surprised to see such high numbers considering switching parts of their diet to plant-based alternatives, often with the belief it is healthier. It will be interesting to see how quickly these sentiments change and, as people become more educated on the topics, whether they make the decision to change what they purchase and consume on a permanent basis,” Junke said.