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Meat-free and Free-from Food Market - UK - September 2012

How many consumers are in the market for meat-free and free-from foods?

With just 6% of consumers describing themselves as ‘vegetarian’ and of the 41% who have an allergy, around 13% saying that they are prone to a specific food allergy, the market has looked to raise awareness of food intolerances, as well as looking to target mainstream consumers with brands such as Quorn and Mrs Crimble’s spearheading this campaign through investing in advertising and NPD that focuses on how they offer a real alternative to mainstream products even for those not limiting their diets.

Negative perceptions on taste and cost abound, however, with more than two fifths of consumers agreeing that they do not like the taste of meat substitutes, while just 14% of consumers say that free-from foods are ‘worth paying more for’.

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • How can the meat-free market capture the health-conscious consumer?
  • How much of a barrier are negative perceptions on taste for meat substitutes?
  • How can brands encourage usage through educating consumers?
  • What is the potential for growing sales among free-from users?
  • How can the sector engage the over-55s?
 

Negative perceptions on taste and cost abound, however, with more than two fifths of consumers agreeing that they do not like the taste of meat substitutes, while just 14% of consumers say that free-from foods are ‘worth paying more for’.

This report covers the retail market for vegetarian/meat-free foods and free-from foods or specialist dietary foods targeted at intolerance and allergy sufferers. For the purposes of this report, it can be broken down as follows:

  • Vegetarian/meat-free foods
  • Meat-free or vegetarian foods for in-home consumption, including ready meals, sausages, burgers, shaped, deli, ingredients (eg vegetarian mince), pastry products and snacks.
  • Within these categories, the market size includes meat substitutes, or dishes made using meat substitutes, as well as vegetable-based dishes, including mainstream dishes suitable for vegetarians or meat avoiders. Meat substitutes are products typically made from textured vegetable protein such as soy that imitate the texture, flavour and appearance of certain types of meat, such as beef, poultry or fish. This includes products like mycoprotein-based Quorn.
  • Free-from foods, or foods catering for food hypersensitivity ie food intolerance and allergies
  • Foods that are manufactured and targeted specifically at consumers who suffer from food intolerance and/or food allergies or who are following avoidance diets. Foods that have been specially manufactured (eg pasta, bread) to cater for a gluten-free diet, for instance, are included within this definition.
 

Foods targeted at intolerance and allergy sufferers include:

    • Wheat-free, gluten-free (WF/GF): the majority of products are marketed as being both wheat- and gluten-free, as gluten is present in wheat. Thus for this report they have been grouped together.
    • Gluten is found in a range of cereals, including wheat, barley, rye and spelt. Oats contain a similar protein and they are also included in the EU list of gluten-containing cereals. As well as gluten intolerance (coeliac disease), people can be allergic to wheat. Wheat-free products could still contain gluten from other cereals such as barley or rye, and gluten-free products could contain other allergenic proteins from wheat.
    • Dairy-free/lactose-free: this category includes all cow’s milk alternative products, including mammalian milk alternatives (eg goat’s milk) and non-mammalian milk alternatives (eg soya-based, rice-based and others), as well as lactose-free dairy products. Most people who are allergic to cow’s milk are also allergic to milk from sheep, goats, buffalo etc and so products sold as milk-free should not contain any animal milk – the EU legislation on the allergens that have to be listed does not just include cow’s milk. However, the proteins in goat’s milk, for example, are different and the fat particles are smaller and form a softer curd in the stomach. This means some people can tolerate goat’s milk much better than cow’s milk and it is marketed as suitable for those with a dairy intolerance. Nutritionally, the milks are very similar.
    • Others: egg-free foods and their derivatives. Egg allergy is not just to hens' eggs, it can include eggs from duck, geese etc. With the exception of nuts and peanuts, the other common allergens can more easily be avoided; hence foods are not specifically made to be ‘fish-free’ or ‘shellfish-free’, for example.
 

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Definition of food allergy vs food intolerance
          • Abbreviations
          • Executive Summary

              • The market
                • Figure 1: Value sales and forecast of the UK meat-free and free-from market, 2007-17
              • The future
                • Market factors
                  • Discretionary spending comes under consumer reassessment
                    • A growing need to engage the older population
                      • Health remains an issue
                        • Companies, brands and innovation
                          • Quorn and Alpro dominate the market
                            • Figure 2: Estimated brand shares in meat-free foods sector, 2011
                            • Figure 3: Estimated brand shares in free-from sector, 2011
                          • NPD continues to drive the market
                            • Quorn and Alpro dominate ad investment
                              • The consumer
                                • Sizeable minority buy into meat-free and free-from products
                                  • Figure 4: Types of vegetarian foods/meat-free or free-from foods bought, June 2012
                                • Scratch cooking is the preferred option for free-from
                                  • Figure 5: Attitudes towards free-from foods, June 2012
                                • Around half simply avoid dishes involving meat
                                  • Figure 6: Attitudes towards meat-free foods and substitutes, June 2012
                                • What we think
                                • Issues in the Market

                                    • How can the meat-free market capture the health-conscious consumer?
                                      • How much of a barrier are negative perceptions on taste for meat substitutes?
                                        • How can brands encourage usage through educating consumers?
                                          • What is the potential for growing sales among free-from users?
                                            • How can the sector engage the over-55s?
                                            • Trend Application

                                                • Edutainment
                                                  • Snack Society
                                                    • East Meets West
                                                    • Market Drivers

                                                      • Key points
                                                        • Vegetarians and meat avoiders remain a niche part of the population
                                                          • Figure 7: Agreement with lifestyle statements on meat avoidance and vegetarianism, 2008-12
                                                        • Health remains an issue
                                                          • Figure 8: Agreement with selected lifestyle statements related to healthy diets and weight loss, 2008-12
                                                        • Half of the population check ingredients
                                                          • Figure 9: Agreement with selected lifestyle statements on food ingredients and nutritional information, 2008-12
                                                        • Economy will dampen consumer spending
                                                          • Demographic changes
                                                            • Rise in under-35s bodes well for the overall market
                                                              • Figure 10: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2007-12 and 2012-17
                                                            • Changes to socio-economic groups will impact the market
                                                              • Figure 11: Forecast adult population trends, by socio-economic group, 2007-17
                                                          • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                                            • Strengths
                                                              • Weaknesses
                                                              • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Definition
                                                                    • Own-label takes on brands to further penetrate the meat-free and free-from markets
                                                                      • Figure 12: New product development in the meat-free market, by brand and own-label, 2008-12
                                                                      • Figure 13: New product development activity in the free-from market, by brand and own-label, 2008-12
                                                                    • Meat-free dishes see a revamp
                                                                      • Gluten-free launches account for less than 10% of bakery NPD
                                                                        • Figure 14: Share of gluten-free* products in all new bakery product launches, 2008-12
                                                                      • Expanding everyday essentials in free-from
                                                                        • Trends in new product launches in meat-free foods
                                                                          • Figure 15: Share of vegetarian/vegan products* in all new prepared meals product launches, 2008-12
                                                                        • Brands look to alternative fish products
                                                                          • Quorn taps into lunchtime meal market
                                                                            • Free-from dairy segment enjoys active NPD
                                                                              • Figure 16: Share of low/no/reduced lactose* products in all new dairy product launches, 2008-12
                                                                            • Non-specialist brands tap into free-from market
                                                                              • Figure 17: New product launches in the UK free-from market, by top ten companies, (sorted by 2011 data) 2008-12
                                                                          • Market Value and Forecast

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • Meat-free and free-from expected to see continued growth
                                                                                • Figure 18: UK retail sales of meat-free* and free-from** foods, by value, 2007-17
                                                                              • The future
                                                                                • Figure 19: Value sales and forecast of the UK meat-free* and free-from** market, 2007-17
                                                                              • Segmentation
                                                                                • The future of meat-free looks to be stable
                                                                                  • Figure 20: Value sales and forecast of the UK meat-free* market, 2007-17
                                                                                • Free-from to see robust growth
                                                                                  • Figure 21: Value sales and forecast of the UK free-from* market, 2007-17
                                                                                • Forecast methodology
                                                                                • Segment Performance

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • Meat-free
                                                                                        • Figure 22: UK retail value sales of meat-free foods, 2007-17
                                                                                        • Figure 23: UK retail value sales of meat-free foods, by type, 2010-12
                                                                                        • Figure 24: UK retail value sales of meat-free foods, by segment, 2010-12
                                                                                      • Free-from
                                                                                        • Figure 25: UK retail value sales of free-from foods, 2007-17
                                                                                        • Figure 26: Estimated UK retail sales of free-from foods, by value, by type, 2010-12
                                                                                      • Gluten/wheat-free bolstered by NPD
                                                                                        • Dairy-free sees steady growth
                                                                                        • Market Share

                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                            • Quorn leads the meat-free market
                                                                                              • Figure 27: Estimated value sales of leading UK brands in the meat-free foods sector, 2010 and 2011
                                                                                            • Alpro leads free-from sales
                                                                                              • Figure 28: Estimated value sales of leading UK brands in the free-from foods sector, 2010 and 2011
                                                                                            • Dairy-free
                                                                                              • Gluten/wheat-free
                                                                                              • Companies and Products

                                                                                                • Meat-free
                                                                                                  • Exponent Private Equity
                                                                                                    • Hain Celestial
                                                                                                      • Amy’s Kitchen
                                                                                                        • Tivall
                                                                                                          • Innocent
                                                                                                            • Free-from
                                                                                                              • Alpro – Dean Foods
                                                                                                                • Arla Foods
                                                                                                                  • Doves Farm Foods
                                                                                                                    • Dr Schär UK
                                                                                                                      • Finsbury Food Group
                                                                                                                        • Genius Foods
                                                                                                                          • Kallo Foods
                                                                                                                            • Mrs Crimble’s
                                                                                                                            • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Quorn dominates adspend with brand revamp
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 29: Adspend in the meat-free market, by leading brands, 2008-12
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 30: Quorn’s adspend, by product type, 2011 and 2012
                                                                                                                                • Free-from dairy brands invest in advertising to promote NPD
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Adspend in the free-from market, by leading brands, 2008-12
                                                                                                                              • Channels to Market

                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                  • The grocery chains dominate the meat-free market
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Retail distribution of meat-free foods, by outlet type, 2010-12
                                                                                                                                  • Trading on exclusivity
                                                                                                                                    • The grocers account for more than three quarters of the free-from market
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Retail distribution of free-from foods*, by outlet type, 2010-12
                                                                                                                                    • Specialists appeal to a small minority
                                                                                                                                    • Consumer – Usage

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • Sizeable minority buy into meat-free products
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Types of vegetarian foods/meat-free or free-from foods bought, June 2012
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 35: Index of purchasing habits of any vegetarian/meat-free foods, by gender, age, socio-economic group and annual household income (average = 100), June 2012
                                                                                                                                          • Free-from foods are bought by discerning consumers
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Purchasing of any free-from foods, by region and area, June 2012
                                                                                                                                          • Gluten-free bought by almost one in ten
                                                                                                                                          • Consumer – Foods Avoided

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • Less than a fifth of consumers avoid foods
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 37: Foods/ingredients avoided, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                • Free-from foods are beholden to a small consumer base
                                                                                                                                                  • More than a tenth avoid red meat as part of a healthy lifestyle
                                                                                                                                                  • Consumer – Attitudes Towards Free-from Food

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • Scratch cooking is the preferred option
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Attitudes towards free-from foods, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                        • NPD could appeal to more than a third
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Index of agreement with the statement ‘I would like to see a wider range of on-the-go/snack items in free-from foods’, by gender, socio-economic group and marital status (average = 100), June 2012
                                                                                                                                                          • Minority of buyers prefer specialists
                                                                                                                                                            • A reluctant consumer base
                                                                                                                                                            • Consumer – Attitudes Towards Vegetarian/Meat-free Food

                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                • The majority are willing to try new brands
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 40: Attitudes towards vegetarian/meat-free foods, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                  • Positive attributes such as lightness and variety appeal to a third
                                                                                                                                                                    • Cheaper alternative to meat/fish/poultry
                                                                                                                                                                      • Women are significantly more engaged
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Attitudes towards vegetarian/meat-free foods, by gender, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Consumer – Attitudes Towards Meat-free Food and Substitutes

                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                          • Around half simply avoid dishes involving meat
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 42: Attitudes towards meat-free foods and substitutes, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 43: Agreement with the statement ‘If I want to avoid meat, I choose dishes that do not require meat/meat substitutes’, by household size, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                            • NPD opportunities for buyers of vegetarian/meat-free foods
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Attitudes towards meat-free foods and substitutes, by most popular types of vegetarian foods/meat-free bought, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                              • Barriers to usage
                                                                                                                                                                                • Perceptions of taste remain negative
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Selected attitudes towards meat-free foods and substitutes, by gross household income, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Consumers uncertain on cost
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Education is an issue
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 46: Selected attitudes towards meat-free foods and substitutes, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Targeting Opportunities – Meat-free Foods and Substitutes

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Four target groups
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 47: Target groups based on attitudes towards meat-free foods and substitutes, May 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Uninterested (46%)
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Reluctant (17%)
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Enthusiasts (18%)
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Moderates (19%)
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Market Drivers

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Agreement with selected lifestyle statements, by demographics, 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 49: Agreement with selected lifestyle statements, by demographics, 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 50: Prone to specific food allergy, 2008-12
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 51: Prone to specific food allergy, by demographics, 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 52: GDP, PDI, consumer expenditure and savings, at constant 2012 prices, 2007-17
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 53: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2007-17
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: Forecast adult population trends, by socio-economic group, 2007-17
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Who’s Innovating?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 55: Share of meat substitute products in all new processed fish, meat and egg product launches, 2008-12*
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: Best- and worst-case forecasts for meat-free and free-from foods, by value, 2012-17
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 57: Best- and worst-case forecasts for meat-free foods, by value, 2012-17
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 58: Best- and worst-case forecasts for free-from foods, by value, 2012-17
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Consumer – Usage

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 59: Most popular types of vegetarian foods/meat-free or free-from foods bought, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 60: Next most popular types of vegetarian foods/meat-free or free-from foods bought, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 61: Other types of vegetarian foods/meat-free or free-from foods bought, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Consumer – Foods Avoided

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 62: Foods/ingredients avoided, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 63: Foods/ingredients avoided, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 64: Foods/ingredients avoided, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 65: Foods/ingredients avoided, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 66: Foods/ingredients avoided, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 67: Foods/ingredients avoided, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Consumer – Attitudes Towards Free-from Food

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 68: Attitudes towards free-from foods, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Consumer – Attitudes Towards Vegetarian/Meat-free Food

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 69: Most popular attitudes towards vegetarian/meat-free foods, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 70: Next most popular attitudes towards vegetarian/meat-free foods, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Consumer – Attitudes Towards Meat-free Food and Substitutes

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 71: Agreement with the statements ‘If I want to avoid meat, I choose dishes that do not require meat/meat substitutes’ and ‘I would not use meat substitutes for certain recipes’, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 72: Agreement with the statements ‘I do not like the taste of meat substitutes’ and ‘Vegetarian/meat-free foods taste bland’, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 73: Agreement with the statements ‘I don’t know how to cook with meat substitutes’ and ‘I do not understand what meat-free foods are made of’, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 74: Agreement with the statements ‘Vegetarian/meat-free products are healthier than meat-based foods’ and ‘I would like to see a wider variety of foods made with meat substitutes’, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 75: Agreement with the statements ‘I prefer dishes that are traditionally meat-free to meat substitutes’ and ‘Vegetarian/meat-free dishes are less filling’, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 76: Agreement with the statement ‘Meat-free products offer value for money’, by demographics, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 77: Target groups, by demographics, May 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 78: Types of vegetarian foods/meat-free or free-from foods bought, by target groups, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 79: Foods/ingredients avoided, by target groups, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 80: Attitudes towards vegetarian/meat-free foods, by target groups, June 2012

                                                                                                                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Alpro NV
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Amy's Kitchen Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Blue Diamond
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Carrefour
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Cauldron Foods
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Coca-Cola GB
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Doves Farm Foods Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Dr Schar UK
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Finsbury Food Group Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Glutafin
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Holland & Barrett Retail Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Innocent Drinks Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                              • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Kallo Foods Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Marlow Foods Ltd (Quorn)
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Mrs Crimble's
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Planet Organic Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Premier Foods plc
                                                                                                                                                                                              • R&R Ice Cream Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                              • The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Tivall (1993) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Waitrose
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Whole Earth Foods
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Wiltshire Farm Foods
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Wm Morrison Supermarkets

                                                                                                                                                                                              Meat-free and Free-from Food Market - UK - September 2012

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