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Meat Alternatives - US - June 2013

“Health perception plays a large role in use of meat alternatives. One third of consumers indicate using products in the category because they are healthy, higher than any other reason measured in the report (including the reduction of meat consumption).”

– Beth Bloom, Food and Drink Analyst

 Some questions answered in this report include:

  • Can meat alternatives become primary offerings rather than substitutes?
  • Are meat alternatives meeting the health needs of consumers?
  • What can the category do to grow sales among current users?
  • What can the category do to attract the attention of nonusers?

Conventional channel, natural supermarket, and specialty supermarket sales of meat alternatives reached $553 million in 2012, representing 8% growth from 2010.

The category benefits from consumer interest in health and wellness, convenience, and a general interest in new products. Food safety issues related to genetically modified organisms (GMOs), in addition to food scares that call into question the quality of meat products, also open up the category for more steady mainstream adoption.

While only 7% of consumers identify as vegetarian, some 36% of consumers surveyed by Mintel in March 2013 indicated use of meat alternatives measured in this report. What’s more, less than half of consumers who use meat alternatives are using the products in place of real meat, and 16% indicate using the products alongside meat offerings.

This points to participation in the category that stretches beyond necessity and beyond simple meat restriction, and suggests the opportunity for future growth based on successfully meeting general consumer food interests.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Advertising creative
                • Abbreviations and terms
                  • Abbreviations
                    • Terms
                    • Executive Summary

                        • The market
                          • Sales of meat alternatives reach $553 million in 2012
                            • Figure 1: Conventional channel, natural supermarket, and specialty supermarket sales of meat alternatives, at current prices, 2010-12
                          • Market segmentation
                            • Burgers lead meat alternatives sales
                              • Figure 2: Conventional channel, natural supermarket, and specialty supermarket sales of meat alternatives, by segment, 2012
                            • Leading brands
                              • MorningStar Farms represents 60.7% of category sales
                                • Figure 3: Sales of meat alternatives, by top six leading brands, Q1 2012 and Q1 2013
                              • Innovation
                                • Vegan claims heat up
                                  • Figure 4: Meat alternatives launches, by top five claims, 2008-12
                                • The consumer
                                  • 18-44s appear as target audience for meat alternatives
                                    • Figure 5: Use of meat alternatives, by age, March 2013
                                  • Health leads reasons for use of meat alternatives
                                    • Figure 6: Top six reasons for use of meat alternatives, March 2013
                                  • Less than half of participants in the category are using products as substitutes
                                    • Figure 7: Select ways in which meat alternatives are used, March 2013
                                  • What we think
                                  • Issues and Insights

                                      • Can meat alternatives become primary offerings rather than substitutes?
                                        • Insight: Meat alternatives should boast about what they have, not simply what they lack
                                          • Are meat alternatives meeting the health needs of consumers?
                                            • Insight: Being explicit and specific about health benefits will assist in attracting users
                                              • What can the category do to grow sales among current users?
                                                • Insight: Vastness of product offerings allows room for targeted positioning
                                                  • What can the category do to attract the attention of nonusers?
                                                    • Insight: Consumers need to be reminded of the existence and value of meat alternatives
                                                    • Trend Applications

                                                        • Trend: The Real Thing
                                                        • Market Size

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Sales of meat alternatives reach $553 million in 2012
                                                              • Areas of growth point to importance of health and wholeness
                                                                • Diverse product range allows category to appeal to greatest number of consumers
                                                                  • Sales of meat alternatives
                                                                    • Figure 8: Conventional channel, natural supermarket, and specialty supermarket sales of meat alternatives, at current prices, 2010-12
                                                                • Market Drivers

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Young consumers and lower-income HHs
                                                                      • Figure 9: Opinions, by age, October 2011-November 2012
                                                                      • Figure 10: Opinions, by household income, October 2011-November 2012
                                                                    • Consumers cut back on meat for health, earth, wallet
                                                                      • Figure 11: Reasons for not eating meat or limiting meat consumption, by gender, March 2013
                                                                    • Young consumers appear to be more environmentally conscious
                                                                      • Green consumers represent outlet for product promotion
                                                                        • Figure 12: Reasons for not eating meat or limiting meat consumption, by age, March 2013
                                                                      • Lower-income earners appear more discerning about how their money is spent
                                                                        • Figure 13: Reasons for not eating meat or limiting meat consumption, by household income, March 2013
                                                                      • Meat reduction becomes a public affair
                                                                        • Meat alternatives in foodservice boost products into mainstream
                                                                        • Competitive Context

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Nine in 10 consumers eat meat/fish/poultry
                                                                              • Taking a hint from the competition
                                                                                • Figure 14: Meat, fish, poultry (fresh/frozen), October 2011-November 2012
                                                                              • Boast about the benefits
                                                                                • Going rogue may be the best approach
                                                                                • Segment Performance

                                                                                  • Burgers lead meat alternatives sales
                                                                                    • Figure 15: Reasons for use, by any use of meat alternatives, March 2013
                                                                                    • Figure 16: Reasons for use, by any use of meat alternatives, March 2013
                                                                                  • Sales of meat alternatives, by segment
                                                                                    • Figure 17: Conventional channel, natural supermarket, and specialty supermarket sales and forecast of meat alternatives, by segment, at current prices, 2010 and 2012
                                                                                • Retail Channels

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • Conventional channels represent 89% of category sales
                                                                                      • Sales of meat alternatives, by channel
                                                                                        • Figure 18: Conventional channel, natural supermarket, and specialty supermarket sales and forecast of meat alternatives, by channel, at current prices, 2010 and 2012
                                                                                    • Leading Companies and Brands

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Kellogg’s MorningStar Farms commands 61% of category sales
                                                                                          • Leading companies' sales of meat alternatives
                                                                                            • Figure 19: Conventional channel, natural supermarket, and specialty supermarket sales of meat alternatives, by leading companies, Q1 2012 and 2013
                                                                                          • Brand analysis: MorningStar Farms
                                                                                            • Figure 20: Brand analysis of MorningStar Farms, 2013
                                                                                          • Online initiatives
                                                                                            • Figure 21: MorningStar Farms website, 2013
                                                                                            • Figure 22: MorningStar Farms website, 2013
                                                                                          • TV presence
                                                                                            • Figure 23: MorningStar Farms TV ad, “Tasty Grill,” 2012
                                                                                          • Print and other
                                                                                            • Figure 24: MorningStar Farms website, 2013
                                                                                            • Figure 25: MorningStar Farms print ad, 2013
                                                                                          • Brand analysis: Boca Foods
                                                                                            • Figure 26: Brand analysis of Boca Foods, 2013
                                                                                          • Online initiatives
                                                                                            • Figure 27: Boca Facebook Page, 2013
                                                                                          • Print and other
                                                                                            • Figure 28: Weight Watchers website, 2013
                                                                                            • Figure 29: Boca website, 2013
                                                                                          • Brand analysis: Beyond Meat
                                                                                            • Figure 30: Brand analysis of Beyond Meat, 2013
                                                                                          • Online initiatives
                                                                                            • Figure 31: Beyond Meat Pinterest, 2013
                                                                                          • Print and other
                                                                                            • Figure 32: Beyond Meat Facebook Post, 2013
                                                                                        • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                                          • Category growth may be limited by cautious innovation
                                                                                            • Figure 33: Meat alternatives launches, by launch type, 2008-12
                                                                                          • Vegan claims heat up
                                                                                            • GMO-free claim likely to resonate in this health-focused category
                                                                                              • Figure 34: Meat alternatives launches, by top 10 claims, 2008-12
                                                                                            • Ethnic-inspired offerings on-trend, expand consumer base
                                                                                              • Spicy trend also finds a place in meat alternatives
                                                                                                • Distancing products from meat
                                                                                                  • Focus on vegetables
                                                                                                    • Focus on protein
                                                                                                    • Social Media – Meat Alternatives

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Key social media metrics
                                                                                                          • Figure 35: Key brand metrics, May 2013
                                                                                                        • Market overview
                                                                                                          • Brand usage and awareness
                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Usage and awareness of selected meat alternative brands, March 2013
                                                                                                          • Interaction with brands
                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Interaction with selected meat alternative brands, March 2013
                                                                                                          • Online conversations
                                                                                                            • Figure 38: Percentage of consumer conversation, by selected meat alternative brands, Feb. 16-May 15, 2013
                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Online mentions, selected meat alternative brands, percentage of daily mentions, by day, Feb. 16-May 15, 2013
                                                                                                          • Where are people talking about meat alternative brands?
                                                                                                            • Figure 40: Mentions, by page type, selected meat alternative brands, percentage of daily mentions, Feb. 16-May 15, 2013
                                                                                                          • What are people talking about?
                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Mentions, by type of conversation, selected meat alternative brands, Feb. 16-May 15, 2013
                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Major areas of discussion surrounding meat alternative brands, percentage of daily mentions, by day, Feb. 16-May 15, 2013
                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Major areas of discussion surrounding meat alternative brands, by page type, Feb. 16-May 15, 2013
                                                                                                          • Brand analysis
                                                                                                            • MorningStar Farms
                                                                                                              • Figure 44: MorningStar Farms key social media indicators, May 2013
                                                                                                            • Key online campaigns
                                                                                                              • What we think
                                                                                                                • Quorn
                                                                                                                  • Figure 45: Quorn key social media indicators, May 2013
                                                                                                                • Key online campaigns
                                                                                                                  • What we think
                                                                                                                    • Lightlife
                                                                                                                      • Figure 46: Lightlife Key social media indicators
                                                                                                                    • Key online campaigns
                                                                                                                      • Figure 47: Selected Lightlife Twitter mentions, Oct. 1, 2012
                                                                                                                    • What we think
                                                                                                                      • Tofurky
                                                                                                                        • Figure 48: Tofurky key social media indicators, May 2013
                                                                                                                      • Key online campaigns
                                                                                                                        • What we think
                                                                                                                          • Boca
                                                                                                                            • Figure 49: Boca key social media indicators, May 2013
                                                                                                                          • Key online campaigns
                                                                                                                            • What we think
                                                                                                                              • Amy’s Kitchen
                                                                                                                                • Figure 50: Amy’s Kitchen key social media indicators, May 2013
                                                                                                                              • Key online campaigns
                                                                                                                                • What we think
                                                                                                                                • Use of Meat Alternatives

                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                    • More than one third of consumers use meat alternatives
                                                                                                                                      • Meatless burgers are a popular choice
                                                                                                                                        • Meatless breakfast alternatives are tops among high frequency users
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Use of meat alternatives, by any usage frequency, March 2013
                                                                                                                                        • Variety appears as a path to growth in the category
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 52: Repertoire of usage of meat alternatives, by any use of meat alternatives, March 2013
                                                                                                                                        • Women exhibit slightly higher usage, but men seek variety
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 53: use of meat alternatives, by gender, March 2013
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 54: Repertoire of usage of meat alternatives, by gender, March 2013
                                                                                                                                        • 18-44s appear as target user group
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 55: Use of meat alternatives, by age, March 2013
                                                                                                                                        • Young consumers are also high frequency users
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 56: Use of meat alternatives, by age, March 2013
                                                                                                                                        • High usage among lower income earning HHs implies affordability
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 57: Use of meat alternatives, by household income, March 2013
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 58: Use of meat alternatives, by household income, March 2013
                                                                                                                                        • Households with children may view products as convenient
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 59: Any use of meat alternatives, by presence of children in household, March 2013
                                                                                                                                      • Reasons for Use

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Health and taste rise to the top of reasons for eating
                                                                                                                                            • High-frequency users want variety
                                                                                                                                              • Category can appeal to curiosity of low-frequency users
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 60: Reasons for use, by usage frequency, March 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Men curious about products, women attracted to health attributes
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 61: Reasons for use, by gender, March 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Young consumers show preference for flavor, points to future growth
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 62: Reasons for use, by age, March 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Ways in Which Meat Alternatives are Used

                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                • Less than half of consumers are using products as a meat substitute
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 63: Ways in which meat alternatives are used, by any use of meat alternatives, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                • Women more likely to make products the center of attention
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 64: Ways in which meat alternatives are used, by gender, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                • Meatless burgers stand as mains, crumbles work for improvisation
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 65: Ways in which meat alternatives are used, by any use of meat alternatives, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 66: Ways in which meat alternatives are used, by any use of meat alternatives, March 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Attitudes Toward Meat Alternatives

                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                  • The majority of consumers want details about meat alternatives
                                                                                                                                                    • Women want to know what’s inside, men are interested in variety
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 67: Agreement with attitudes toward meat alternatives, by gender, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                    • Clear product messaging may attract older consumers
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 68: Agreement with attitudes toward meat alternatives, by age, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                    • Higher income earners willing to pay more for health, want variety
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 69: Agreement with attitudes toward meat alternatives, by household income, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                    • Opportunity exists to expand tempeh/seitan offerings
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 70: Agreement with attitudes toward meat alternatives, by any use of meat alternatives, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 71: Agreement with attitudes toward meat alternatives, by any use of meat alternatives, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Reasons for Not Using Meat Alternatives

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • Nonusers prefer real meat, pointing to need for repositioning
                                                                                                                                                        • Men criticize product taste, likely due to comparison to meat
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 72: Reasons for not using meat alternatives, by gender, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Stronger promotion needed to grow consumption among core audience
                                                                                                                                                          • Category can represent opportunity, not limitation, for older consumers
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 73: Reasons for not using meat alternatives, by age, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Impact of Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                            • Asians and Hispanics over index in use of meat alternatives
                                                                                                                                                              • Focusing outreach efforts on Asians and Hispanics will be key in growing sales
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 74: Any use of meat alternatives, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 75: Use of meat alternatives, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Non-whites select for taste over health, open to variety of promotion
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 76: Reasons for use, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 77: Opinions, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2011-November 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Asian and Hispanic shoppers use products alongside meat
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 78: Ways in which meat alternatives are used, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Hispanic shoppers interested in more variety
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 79: Agreement with attitudes toward meat alternatives, by Hispanic origin, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Food and Drink Market Drivers

                                                                                                                                                              • Consumer confidence
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 80: University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment (ICS), 2007-13
                                                                                                                                                              • Unemployment
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 81: U.S. Unemployment Rate, by month, 2002-13
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 82: U.S. Unemployment and underemployment rates, 2007-13
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 83: Number of employed civilians in U.S., in thousands, 2007-13
                                                                                                                                                              • Food cost pressures
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 84: Changes in USDA Food Price Indexes, 2011 through April 25, 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Obesity
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 85: U.S. Obesity, by age group, 2008 and 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Childhood and teen obesity—highest in decades
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 86: Prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents aged 2-19, 1971-2010
                                                                                                                                                              • Racial, ethnic population growth
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 87: Population, by race and Hispanic origin, 2008, 2013, and 2018
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 88: Households with children, by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Shifting U.S. demographics
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 89: Population, by age, 2008-18
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 90: Households, by presence of own children, 2002-12
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                              • Use of meat alternatives
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 91: Use of meat alternatives, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 92: Any use of meat alternatives, by gender and age, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 93: Any use of meat alternatives, by age and household income, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 94: Use of meat alternatives, by gender, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 95: Use of meat alternatives, by gender and age, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 96: Use of meat alternatives, by age and household income, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Reasons for use
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 97: Reasons for use, by household income, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Ways in which meat alternatives are used
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 98: Ways in which meat alternatives are used, by household income, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 99: Ways in which meat alternatives are used, by repertoire of usage of meat alternatives, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Attitudes toward meat alternatives
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 100: Attitudes toward meat alternatives, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 101: Agreement with attitudes toward meat alternatives, by any use of meat alternatives, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Social Media

                                                                                                                                                              • Brand usage and awareness
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 103: Brand usage or awareness, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 104: MorningStar farms usage or awareness, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 105: Boca usage or awareness, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 106: Tofurky usage or awareness, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 107: Amy’s Kitchen usage or awareness, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 108: Lightlife (e.g., Smart Dogs, Smart Deli) usage or awareness, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 109: Quorn usage or awareness, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Interaction with brands
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 110: Activities done, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 111: MorningStar farms—Activities done, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 112: Boca—Activities done, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 113: Amy’s kitchen—Activities done, by demographics, March 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Online conversations
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 114: Percentage of consumer conversation, by selected meat alternative brands, Feb. 16-May 15, 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 115: Online mentions, selected meat alternative brands, percentage of daily mentions, by day, Feb. 16-May 15, 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 116: Mentions, by page type, selected meat alternative brands, percentage of daily mentions, Feb. 16-May 15, 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 117: Mentions, by type of conversation, selected meat alternative brands, Feb. 16-May 15, 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 118: Major areas of discussion surrounding meat alternative brands, percentage of daily mentions, by day, Feb. 16-May 15, 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 119: Major areas of discussion surrounding meat alternative brands, by page type, Feb. 16-May 15, 2013
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                              • American Soybean Association
                                                                                                                                                              • Boca Foods Company
                                                                                                                                                              • ConAgra Foods, Inc
                                                                                                                                                              • Kellogg Company
                                                                                                                                                              • Kraft Foods Inc. (U.S.A.)
                                                                                                                                                              • Organic Trade Association
                                                                                                                                                              • Premier Foods plc
                                                                                                                                                              • United Soybean Board (USB)
                                                                                                                                                              • Weight Watchers International Inc.

                                                                                                                                                              Meat Alternatives - US - June 2013

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