Veganism continues to gain rapidly in popularity, in part because of the high-quality plant food now available in mainstream grocers; 42% of reported vegans have followed the diet for less than year, according to GlobalData research. This compares with only one fifth of vegetarians – most have been vegetarian far longer.
The primary motivation behind adopting a vegan diet is for ethical reasons (51% of consumers) but is closely followed by consumers wanting to lead a healthier lifestyle (47%). Development in high-quality meat substitutes has propelled acceptance and uptake – the Beyond Meat burger that ‘bleeds’ reached Tesco’s meat shelves this week.
The vast majority of consumers agree that grocers meet their dietary needs, with almost 90% of vegetarians finding what they want at the supermarket and 79% of vegans. But how grocers manage product placement instore is also important; founder of Beyond Meat Ethan Brown stipulates that their products must be located in the meat aisles, alongside other points in stores, as too many potential shoppers – many of who may be meat eaters – are otherwise lost.
Price, too, is a concern; at Tesco, a pack of two Beyond Burgers is sold at £5.50, which is prohibitively high when the cost of two beef burger patties are almost half that. But as the supply of meat substitutes becomes more plentiful, the price should also drop.