Germany is still the global leader when it comes to vegan product development and launches, according to new research from Mintel.
The report says the country accounted for 15 percent of global vegan introductions between July 2017 and June 2018.
The total number of global vegan food launches has more than doubled in the past five years, growing by 175 percent from July 2013 to June 2018, with five percent of all food and drink products released in this time being vegan, and 11 percent vegetarian. German launches have bucked the global trend – with vegan claims appearing almost twice as frequently as vegetarian ones: 14 percent of all food and drink launches appearing on the market between July 2017 and June 2018 carried vegan claims, with only eight percent vegetarian.
Katya Witham, Global Food & Drink Analyst at Mintel, said: “In recent years, consumers around the world have increased their intake of plant-based foods and Germany is no exception. Our research shows that stricter plant-based diets like veganism are still niche, while a much higher percentage of consumers are embracing ‘flexitarianism’.
“The majority of consumers are not giving up meat; they are making room for more vegan products as part of ‘flexitarian’ dieting, opening opportunities for plant-based food and drink innovation.
“Moreover, the rapid growth of vegan products in Germany also reflects the rise of ethical consumerism, especially among younger consumers.”
Witham added: “The appeal of products without animal-derived ingredients has extended far beyond the limited pool of steadfast vegans and vegetarians, carving a place within overall healthy and varied diets.
“Food and drink manufacturers would do well to incorporate vegan claims into wider health and ethical-related product positioning, serving the purpose of providing transparency, and communicating product suitability to the widest range of consumers.”
A growing number of consumers are reducing meat for a variety of reasons, including environmental, ethic, and health concerns.
Recent product launches and merchandising have actively sought to capitalise on the burgeoning flexitarian market outlined by Mintel – including the June launch of Naturli’ Foods’ vegan mince and burgers in the meat aisle of 400 Sainsbury’s. In addition, Tesco will start selling the vegan Beyond Burger in August – alongside traditional animal meat.
According to Sainsbury’s Product Developer Georgina Lunn: “With over a quarter of meat-eating Brits actively reducing their meat consumption, there is a clear appetite for exciting and new ways to introduce more vegetables into our lives.”