FMI identifies what ‘plant-based’ means to consumers


By Sam Danley, Food Business News



ARLINGTON, VA. — Nearly half of shoppers put at least some effort into selecting plant-based food and beverages, and many expect to increase consumption in the future, according to data from FMI—The Food Industry Association’s inaugural “Power of Plant-Based” report.


The report provides a review of the plant-based topic broadly, covering naturally plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables as well as alternatives to animal-derived products.


“More than 50% of shoppers at least occasionally eat a meat, dairy or seafood alternative, but dairy alternative sales are more than twice those of meat alternatives,” said Steve Markenson, director of research and insights for FMI. “The plant-based foods most likely to be regularly consumed by shoppers are naturally plant-based — fruits and vegetables (75%) and beans, nuts or grains (47%).”


A quarter of shoppers regularly consume milk alternatives and 21% regularly consume other dairy alternatives, according to FMI. Slightly less than 20% of shoppers regularly consume meat alternatives.


Around half of shoppers regularly or occasionally purchase starch or carb alternatives like chickpea pasta or cauliflower pizza crust. Soy products like tempeh or tofu and blended items that combine meat with beans or vegetables are consumed regularly or occasionally by a quarter of shoppers.


The report found consumption of plant-based food and beverages may be considerably higher in the future. Nearly one-in-three shoppers expect to increase consumption “a little,” and 16% expect to increase consumption “a lot.” Thirty-five percent of shoppers who regularly consume plant-based items said they will consume “a little more” and 27% said they will consume “a lot more” in the future.


Purchase drivers ...


Navigating the store ...