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Plant-based Proteins - US - May 2019

Covered in this report

For the purposes of this report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

Plant-based proteins are proteins utilized in foods and have been derived from a plant or vegetable source, such as beans/legumes (eg soy, chickpeas, lentils, peas), nuts (eg almonds, cashews), seeds (eg chia, hemp, sesame), and grains (eg wheat, quinoa), as well as others.

Excluded from this report, except for comparison’s sake, are proteins derived from any animal product: egg whites, poultry, meat, dairy, etc

"The plant-based proteins market is growing with no signs of slowing. The challenge moving forward will be for brands to find ways to please consumers with vastly different dietary and taste preferences. The majority of consumers report no specific dietary restrictions and are most focused on taste over specific ingredients if selecting a plant-based protein option."
Karen Formanski, Health and Wellness Analyst

This report will cover the following areas:

  • Specialized diets create challenges
  • Avoidance of soy, gluten remain obstacles
  • Protein opinions are complicated
  • Innovations should combine health and taste
  • Many reasons for avoiding animal products
  • Women, parents are key demographics

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Specialized diets create challenges
            • Figure 1: Dietary guidelines followed, February 2019
          • Avoidance of soy, gluten remain obstacles
            • Figure 2: Soy-based foods are unhealthy – Any agree (net), by age and gender, February 2019
          • Protein opinions are complicated
            • Figure 3: Select attitudes toward plant-based protein – Any agree (net), February 2019
          • The opportunities
            • Innovations should combine health and taste
              • Figure 4: Trying to add more plant-based foods into diet, by dietary preference, February 2019
            • Many reasons for avoiding animal products
              • Figure 5: Reasons for avoiding animal products, by age, February 2019
            • Women, parents are key demographics
              • Figure 6: Sources of plant-based protein consumed, any use or interest (net), by parental status, February 2019
              • Figure 7: Select dietary motivations, by gender, February 2019
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Plant-based foods make dent in mainstream shelf space
                • Meat eaters driving the plant-based protein market
                  • Consumers seeking protein, open to sources
                    • Dietary restrictions can cause roadblocks
                      • Plant-based foods good for the planet
                      • Market Perspective

                        • Plant-based foods continue to invade mainstream market
                          • Figure 8: Meat alternative use in household, Fall 2018 NCHS 12-month study
                        • Carnivores and flexitarians drive the market
                            • Figure 9: Trying to add more plant-based foods into diet, by dietary preference, February 2019
                          • Plant-based substitutes upping the protein ante
                            • Figure 10: Non-dairy milks stating protein content
                            • Figure 11: Non-dairy yogurts stating protein content
                          • Trending ingredients, diets challenge full move to plant-based diet
                            • Figure 12: Good Seed hempseed burgers
                        • Market Factors

                          • Interest in plant-based protein spans generations
                            • Figure 13: Population aged 18 or older, by age, 2013-23
                          • Plant-based for the planet
                            • Plant-based protein beyond the main course
                              • Figure 14: Occasions when plant-based proteins are consumed, February 2019
                              • Figure 15: Breakfast foods stating plant-based protein content
                          • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                            • Plant-based meat substitutes see significant growth
                              • Major players investing in plant-based
                                • Legacy brands adapting to compete
                                  • Disconnect between brands and consumers
                                    • Consumers seek sustainability
                                      • Whole food options compete with processed alternatives
                                      • What’s Working?

                                        • Plant-based meat substitutes see significant growth
                                          • Figure 16: Multi-outlet sales of select plant-based meat substitutes, by companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2018 and 2019
                                          • Figure 17: Meat alternatives stating plant-based protein content
                                        • Newer brands see success with plant-based substitutes
                                          • Figure 18: Meat alternatives stating plant-based protein content (continued)
                                          • Figure 19: Meat alternative brands used by households who currently use meat alternatives, Fall 2018 NCHS 12-month study
                                        • Major players see value in plant-based brands
                                        • What’s Struggling?

                                          • Boca struggles to keep up with competition
                                            • Figure 20: Multi-outlet sales of select plant-based meat substitutes, by companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2018 and 2019
                                          • Disconnect between brands and consumers
                                          • What’s Next?

                                            • Sustainability increases in importance
                                              • Plant-based eggs have been long awaited
                                                • Whole foods approach challenges processed options
                                                  • Figure 21: Plant-based protein bowls
                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                • Most consumers still crave meat, but looking to add plants
                                                  • Gluten-free is not going away
                                                    • Younger consumers most likely to avoid animal products
                                                      • Well-known sources most consumed, but interest in variety is evident
                                                        • Protein desired, more education needed
                                                          • Parents consume more varied sources of plant-based protein
                                                          • Dietary Preferences and Guidelines

                                                            • Most consumers still crave meat
                                                              • Figure 22: Dietary preferences, February 2019
                                                            • Younger consumers most likely to avoid animal products
                                                              • Figure 23: Dietary preferences – Vegetarian and vegan, by age, February 2019
                                                            • Gluten-free is not going away
                                                              • Figure 24: Dietary guidelines followed, February 2019
                                                            • Gender reveals differences in dietary preferences
                                                              • Figure 25: Dietary preferences, by gender, February 2019
                                                              • Figure 26: Dietary guidelines, by gender, February 2019
                                                            • Hispanics more likely to follow special diets
                                                              • Figure 27: Dietary guidelines, by Hispanic origin, February 2019
                                                          • Dietary Motivations

                                                            • Consumers seek more plant-based foods
                                                              • Figure 28: Dietary motivations, February 2019
                                                            • Younger consumers, women seeking plant-based options
                                                              • Figure 29: Trying to add more plant-based foods to diet, by age, February 2019
                                                              • Figure 30: Trying to add more plant-based foods into diet, by gender, February 2019
                                                            • Meat eaters looking to add more plants
                                                              • Figure 31: Trying to add more plant-based foods to diet, by dietary preference, February 2019
                                                            • Younger consumers avoid animal products for many reasons
                                                              • Figure 32: Reasons for avoiding animal products, by age, February 2019
                                                            • Vegetarians identify with multiple motivators for avoiding meat
                                                              • Figure 33: Reasons for avoiding animal products, by dietary preferences, February 2019
                                                          • Sources of Plant-based Protein

                                                            • Well-known sources most approachable
                                                              • Interest indicates opportunities
                                                                • Figure 34: Sources of plant-based protein consumed, February 2019
                                                              • Most consume multiple plant-based proteins
                                                                • Figure 35: Repertoire analysis – Plant-based protein sources (currently eats), February 2019
                                                              • Parents consume more varied sources of plant-based protein
                                                                • Figure 36: Sources of plant-based protein consumed, any use or interest (net), by parental status, February 2019
                                                            • Plant-based Proteins – Preferred Food Types

                                                              • Familiar foods gateway to plant-based proteins
                                                                • Figure 37: Preferred plant-based protein food, February 2019
                                                                • Figure 38: Sources of plant-based protein
                                                              • Parents seek plant-based proteins in family-friendly foods
                                                                • Figure 39: Select preferred plant-based protein foods, by parental status, February 2019
                                                              • Those who consume meat substitutes are concerned with protein content
                                                                • Figure 40: Select protein considerations by total and consumers of meat substitutes, February 2019
                                                              • Variety in meat substitutes shows appeal
                                                                • Figure 41: Meat alternative types used by households that currently use meat alternatives, Fall 2018 NCHS 12-month study
                                                            • Protein Considerations

                                                              • Protein desired, considered a healthy option
                                                                • More protein education is needed
                                                                  • Figure 42: Protein considerations, February 2019
                                                                • Those seeking plant foods are more focused on protein
                                                                  • Figure 43: Protein considerations, by total and those seeking to add more plant foods, February 2019
                                                              • Attitudes toward Plant-based Proteins

                                                                • Consumer perspective on protein is complex
                                                                  • Figure 44: Attitudes toward protein – Any agree (net), February 2019
                                                                • Opportunities and challenges across age groups
                                                                  • Figure 45: Select opinions on protein – Any agree (net), by age, February 2019
                                                                • Most men still think meat is tops for protein
                                                                  • Figure 46: Select attitudes toward protein – Any agree (net), by gender, February 2019
                                                                • Soy continues to have image issues
                                                                  • Figure 47: Soy-based foods are unhealthy – Any agree (net), by age and gender, February 2019
                                                                • Majority want more plant-based options when eating out
                                                                  • Figure 48: Restaurants should offer more plant-based protein options – Any agree (net), by age, February 2019
                                                              • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                • Data sources
                                                                  • Sales data
                                                                    • Consumer survey data
                                                                      • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                                          • Terms
                                                                          • Appendix – Key Players

                                                                              • Figure 49: Multi-outlet sales of select plant-based meat substitutes, by companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2018 and 2019
                                                                              • Figure 50: Multi-outlet sales of select plant-based yogurt and cheese substitutes, by companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2018 and 2019

                                                                          Plant-based Proteins - US - May 2019

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