Taste is key when it comes to selecting plant-based food solutions, with one in three consumers looking for better-tasting products according to new proprietary research carried out by Kerry. Though 42% of plant-based food consumers are choosing plant-based products on a more regular basis, consumers are seeking tastier products and a broader range to select from.
With the European plant-based market growing and expected to reach a value of EUR18.3bn by the year 2023, Kerry has undertaken a comprehensive piece of research among regular consumers of plant-based products, which revealed that 42% are choosing meat alternatives more often than they were 12 months ago, while 37% of plant-based protein consumers in Europe want better tasting products. Additionally, the study found that 26% of consumers want a better range of products to choose from, and 28% are looking for meat alternatives with better texture. All in all, 50% of respondents view plant-based products as healthier or better for you
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, authors point out. 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, “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,” Darren O’Sullivan, director of plant-protein at Kerry said. “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.”