Global consumer demand for plant-based products has increased since the onset of COVID-19, according to latest research findings from a major survey done by Palsgaard.
The emulsifier and stabiliser specialist commissioned extensive consumer research into the plant-based market, focusing specifically on 3 categories namely milk alternatives, dairy-free yoghurts and frozen desserts.
The research showed consumers are generally happy with existing plant-based products, but there are areas where they would like to see improvements, such as less sedimentation in plant-based ‘milks’; products with a longer shelf-life; and enhanced texture (32%) and creaminess (29%).
The survey also found that nearly half (47.7%) of younger consumers aged 18-24 had increased the number of plant-based products that they bought since the onset of COVID-19. In contrast, only 34.8% of those aged 55-64 bought more plant-based products. As such, younger consumers are the champions of plant-based movement and consumption.
The survey also found the main reasons why the respondents bought plant-based milk with 51.1% saying that it is used as a substitute for milk in hot drinks while 43% use it in cooking and 38.5% in baking. Slightly more than half (56.3%) drink it as a beverage on its own.
In addition, ‘Concern for the Environment’ is the 3rd most popular reason for buying plant-based products with nearly half (47.4%) of younger respondents (18-24 year old) prefer products with ingredients that are produced sustainably, and 38.3% are willing to pay more for such products.
Meanwhile, nearly 72% of respondents noticed water separation with plant-based yoghurts with higher figure for Vietnam (80.2%) and US (79.5%). This is an area for improvement for plant-based producers.
Chart 1.0 and 2.0 showed some of the other findings in the Palsgaard survey done on 1,307 consumers in 5 major countries spread across the globe.