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Research: One-In-Three Consumers Seeking Tastier Plant-Based Products

Research conducted by Kerry Group has revealed some interesting insights into the European plant-based market. With the sector poised for exponential growth over the next decade, these numbers are the tip of the iceberg when tracking the changing consumer trends in favour of plant based alternatives to traditional products. The research found that not only are 42% of plant-based food consumers are choosing plant-based products on a more regular basis, they are seeking tastier products and a wider range to select from.

The European plant-based market is expected to reach a value of €18.3bn by the year 2023. Kerry group's plant based division, Radicle, has undertaken a comprehensive piece of research among regular consumers of plant-based products, which revealed the following:

42% are choosing meat alternatives more often than they were 12 months ago
37% of plant-based protein consumers in Europe want better tasting products
26% want a better range of products to choose from
28% are looking for meat alternatives with better texture
50% view plant-based products as healthier or better for you

The Rise Of The Flexitarian

The research confirmed though sustainabilty and animal welfare concerns are important motivators, the distinguishing features of successful innovation will be the creation of products boasting improved nutrition, taste and texture, with consumers citing these as areas for improvement. With the plant-based food market on the rise and consumers clearly seeking improved products, now is the time for brands hoping to capitalise on the plant-based boom.

Commenting on the findings, Darren O’Sullivan, Director of Plant-Protein at Kerry, said: “Manufacturers need to deliver innovative and creative solutions to meet consumer needs and win in this space. We are seeing the emergence of the flexitarian consumers, who are unwilling to accept anything less than a delicious product. This means that products really need to taste great order to succeed."

“With the market growing at a rapid pace, brands want to capitalise on the rising demand for plant-based foods. However, in order to stand out in the marketplace, they need to make sure that plant-based foods provide nutrition, functionality and great taste, and are sustainably produced.” “Our holistic plant-based portfolio, Radicle by Kerry, addresses all these needs. It is designed to meet taste, texture, nutrition and functionality needs in plant-based products as we partner with companies to create great tasting products with cleaner and shorter labels.”

More details on the above research can be found in Kerry’s new eBook, which contains further useful information for any business operating in the plant based sector, or those looking to capitalise on the growing consumer appetite. The 25-page eBook looks at consumer and market trends, as well as innovation in the sector and taste trends. It also contains interviews with experts on sustainability, nutrition, culinary and RDA.

“Innovating in the plant-based food space can be challenging in many ways, from complex processing procedures to the cost of creating a product to the time it takes to launch to market. For these reasons, failure rates are high for launches of new vegan products. Our new eBook contains a breadth of information from our experts, as well as exclusive proprietary research, insights, and an innovation framework to help manufacturers successfully launch a product,” adds Mr O’Sullivan.

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With the market growing at a rapid pace, brands want to capitalise on the rising demand for plant-based foods. However, in order to stand out in the marketplace, they need to make sure that plant-based foods provide nutrition, functionality, and great taste, and are sustainably produced.

Posted by Darren O’Sullivan, Director of Plant-Protein at Kerry

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