Sustainability Is the Main Trend

The use of sustainable proteins such as plant-based, grown, and fermented meat, eggs, dairy products, and seafood is growing in popularity across Europe, and people are eager to try more of these options.

 According to the Good Food Institute (GFI), in 2019, Europe was responsible for 39% of the total income generated by the global market for plant-based meat. In the year 2020, retail sales of plant-based products throughout the continent reached EUR3.6bn, and sustainable protein firms in Europe raised a record EUR441m in investments, which accounted for roughly 17% of the entire amount invested in the sector worldwide.

Free-from Is the New Norm

An IFT (Institute of Food Technologists) report that quotes FMI data explains why it’s a great idea for marketers is to include “ethical” product benefits (such as food produced utilizing moral and humane production practices) that modern customers perceive as healthy. This positioning of products will appeal to consumers who are concerned about their health. According to an FMI survey, two-thirds of younger adults believe they have eaten healthily if they have eaten food that has been produced responsibly. Meats, poultry, and eggs that have been raised without cages and on grass are thought to be healthier and more compassionate. Sales of organic, hormone- and antibiotic-free, and grass-fed meat and poultry made up 11.4% of all meat sales in 2021, an 18.1% increase. The Happy Egg Co., which promotes holistic farming methods, and Vital Farms pasture-raised eggs had increases in dollar sales of 59% and 10%, respectively, for the 12-week period ending December 26, 2021, according to IRI. Four out of ten consumers think sustainable, wild-caught fish and seafood is better for them and contains more protein than other types. However, due to its relative greater omega-3 concentration, farmed fish is preferred by 29% of respondents, per FMI data.

Personal Health Becomes More Important

According to HealthFocus, nearly two thirds of adults living in the United States report that they are now more focused on their personal health than they were a year ago. Seven out of ten people aged 65 and older have a heightened awareness of their health. Euromonitor data shows that the global sales of fortified and functional foods reached USD292bn in 2021, which was an increase from USD274bn in 2020. According to a poll conducted by Kerry among customers in 16 different countries, nearly half of all consumers (48%) purchased more functional foods in 2019 than they did in 2020. According to Nutrition Business Journal projections, sales of functional foods and drinks in the United States will reach USD83bn in 2021, representing a 6.8% increase over 2020 levels.

As per a survey published in 2022 by FMI — The Food Industry Association, the health benefits that a product has to offer have a substantial influence on the purchase decisions of six out of ten food customers in the United States. According to FMI, the dietary claims made for a product affect 51% of customers, whereas the source of the product’s contents influences 56% of consumers. The market for functional foods appears to be going from strength to strength in the years to come. dAccording to a research by FMI, 50% of adults in the United States report having plans to eat even healthier in the future.

Aditionally, a  study conducted by YPulse shows that younger consumers (those between the ages of 13 and 39), who are the heaviest users of functional foods and beverages, are the most committed to improving both their physical health and their mental health by the year 2022. An IRI survey of people who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is run by the United States Department of Agriculture, found that eating healthier is now one of the top priorities for two-thirds (63%) of the 42 million Americans who participate in the program.

To read the entire article, please access your complimentary e-copy of Frozen Food Europe July-August, 2022 issue here.

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