Flexitarians are ushering in a new area of protein consumption that is helping lift instead of hinder meat sales, according to Nielsen research. Despite increased attention to plant-based eating and reduced meat consumption, just 5% of US households are vegan or vegetarian, leaving 95% of households as omnivores. Additionally, nearly 60% of US consumers agree that having the right dietary balance of both animal and plant foods is important. Nielsen data also show that nearly all (98%) meat alternative buyers also purchase meat, and they do so more than the average meat buyer ($486 vs. $478 per year). Less than a third (27%) of meat alternative purchasers buy meat alternative products five or more times a year. Nielsen added that 21.6% of US households buy meat alternatives, up 1.6% from last year. If flexitarian are medium and heavy buyers of both meat and meat alternatives, they account for 37% of all meat alternative buyers and they spend $643 on meat every year, $165 more per year than the average meat buyer. And 62% said they are willing to reduce meat consumption due to environmental concerns, and 43% say they would replace meat-based protein with plant-based protein.
Lightbulb Moment: Since it is meat eaters that are driving the plant-based meat trend, it makes sense that they would turn back to meat after a period. This is the same pattern seen in vegetarians (not raised vegetarian), the majority of which turn back to meat within 3-5 years. Want to learn more about how this impacts your business? That’s where Culinary Tides, Inc. comes in.