Six per cent of Americans now identify as vegan – a huge increase of 600 per cent over just three years, according to a new report.
The report – Top Trends in Prepared Foods in 2017, which was compiled by research firm Global Data – claims that only one per cent of Americans described themselves as vegan as recently as 2014.
The report highlighted six key trends impacting on prepared food manufacturer’s innovations.
Topping the list was cutting out meat. The report says: “Rising veganism and awareness of the impact of meat consumption are driving demand for meat-free products substitutes.”
The sixth trend – ‘ethical eating’ – also tied into this, with the report claiming: “Consumers connect ethical and sustainable lifestyles with wellbeing and wellness, creating demand for more ethical prepared foods.”
Around the world
The report also touched on German consumers, showing that 44 per cent of this group now follows a ‘low meat’ diet – another huge increase from 2014’s stat of 26 per cent.
This ties in with 2016 research by The Vegan Society that showed a huge 360 per cent increase in the number of vegans over the age of 15 in Great Britain in the last decade.
The report adds that not everyone follows a specific diet, claiming that ‘consumers’ diets are diverse…there is a gradual shift occurring in response to health trends’. Plant-based diets having a growing impact on the medical world, with a number of American hospitals now removing processed meats from their menus, and adding healthy vegan meals in its place.
Impact on the market
Plant-based foods have been predicted huge growth over the coming years, with forecasters saying the alternative meat market will hit $5.2 billion by 2020, and the plant-based milk sector to hit a huge $16 billion by 2018.
The report also highlighted another area where consumers can expect to see innovation. It says: “With meat consumption being continually blamed for negative effects on the environment, lab-grown meat may make its way into the mass market to combat these concerns. It also represents a cruelty-free option.
“A group of social-savvy tech teams are promising cruelty-free cultured ‘chicken’ will be available by 2022.”