Plant-based trend likely to keep sprouting

Millennials are the leading consumers of plant-based meat alternatives

In early January, as the stars sat down to dine at the 77th annual Golden Globes, there were plenty of trends to dish about — including the entirely plant-based, vegan menu. Lorenzo Soria, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, announced the meal as a way to raise awareness about food consumption and waste. The result? So much more than a salad; attendees were served golden beet soup with citrus oil and pistachio, as well as king oyster mushroom “scallops,” wild mushroom risotto, Brussels sprouts and carrots, all curated by Beverly Hilton Hotel Executive Chef Matthew Morgan.

Beyond Burger

As the public consciousness continues to awaken not only to environmental issues but also to health effects related to food, plant-based items have been having more than a moment. But is that moment here to stay?

The NPD Group, which released a study called “The Future of Plant-based Snapshot” in late 2019, projected that the trend’s longevity will have a lot to do with the age of the consumer, and their reasons for going plant-based in the first place.

According to the study, millennials are the leading consumers of plant-based meat alternatives, seeing them as a way to balance health goals, animal welfare and sensible indulgence. Those in Generation Z have been raised on plant-based beverages and foods, thanks in part to their Gen X parents. As for those Boomers? Not so much plant-based meat, but they’re the top consumers of plant-based dairy alternatives.

So, yes; as the main consumers of plant-based foods are younger, NPD believes the trend does have staying power. Even so, NPD reports, these products still have to have measure up in terms of taste and texture; it’s more about quality alternatives to traditional options than anything else.

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