Global Demand for Plant-Based On the Rise, Suggests Consumer Research

And it's rising largely among Gen Z and Millennials.

Close-up of bottled dairy products in female hands at grocery store

Global consumer demand for plant-based products has increased since the onset of the pandemic, according to new research commissioned by Palsgaard.

The company commissioned consumer research into the plant-based market, focusing specifically on milk alternatives, dairy-free yogurts, and frozen desserts. The research was performed on 1,307 consumers from Mexico, France, Russia, U.S., and Vietnam, between September 7 – 14. The findings: 44% of consumers said that they have purchased more plant-based since the pandemic began; 44% said their purchasing stayed the same; and 12% said their purchases of plant-based products had decreased.

Top reasons why people purchased plant-based:

  • 75.4% felt that plant-based products were healthier
  • 51.3% liked the taste
  • 45.8% are concerned about the environment, and view plant-based as more sustainable

Furthermore, the study found that it is primarily younger customers who have changed their behavior. 47.4% of those aged 18-24 and 48.4% of those aged 25-34 increased plant-based purchases after the pandemic began, compared to 34.8% of those aged 55-64.

Haydee Carlos, Palsgaard’s Application Manager, said in the press release: “The onset of COVID-19 appears to have triggered more interest in the market for plant-based food and beverages. This may be because the pandemic has led to a greater focus on health generally, and on the environment. At the same time, the plant-based sector is rapidly evolving, so there are more and more new products out there for consumers to explore.”

Related: The First Amendment Protects Vegan Creamery’s Right to Call Its Products “Butter”
New Partnership to Deliver Climate Mitigation Solutions to Small Farmers
Plant-Based Company’s Shares are Listed on the TSX Venture Exchange

The research also found some areas where consumers would like to see improvements, including:

  • Reducing sedimentation in plant-based ‘milks’
  • Enhancing the mouthfeel, and particularly the texture and creaminess of these products
  • Shelf-life, and ensuring products last long enough once opened
  • Minimizing water separation in dairy-free yogurts

Carlos added: “The good news is our survey showed us that overall, consumers are really happy with the plant-based products that are already out there. We were, however, able to identify a few key areas where consumers would like to see improvements, and our White Paper explores this in more detail.”