Description

“There has never been more variety in how consumers can incorporate protein into their diets. Animal-based options such a meat and cheese remain most popular, but plant-based alternatives continue to make inroads. In Canada there is perceived demand for more protein, meaning there remains runway for innovation in this space across a range of categories. While the past decade has seen an evolution in protein-based advances, nascent areas of innovation have the potential to be transformative.”
– Joel Gregoire, Associate Director for Food & Drink

This Report looks at the following areas

  • The dietary preferences of Canadians (eg vegan, flexitarian, etc), and how that informs what protein-based foods they eat.
  • Concerns Canadians have when it comes to animal-based proteins.
  • Reasons for eating protein.
  • Openness to protein-related innovations (including cell-based meat).
  • What sources of protein are more or less appealing to Canadians (eg yogurt, snack bars).
  • Which sources of plant-based protein Canadians prefer.

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
        • Definition
        • Executive Summary

            • Top takeaways
              • Meat and dairy remain popular with Canadians
                • Canadians are more likely to claim they are eating less meat than more meat
                  • No one format is a go-to for protein
                    • Consumer trends
                      • Most Canadians link to meat and dairy to climate change
                        • Younger consumers are more open to alternative sources of protein
                          • Figure 1: “I would like to see more plant-based alternatives on restaurant menus” (% agree), by age, 2022
                        • When it comes to why Canadians eat protein, balance is centrally important
                          • Figure 2: Most important reasons for eating protein, 2022
                        • Competitive strategies
                          • Protein can support tiering strategies
                            • Figure 3: Oikos Pro Vanilla Flavored Yogurt-Cultured Ultra-Filtered Milk (US), 2022
                          • Promote protein, but lead with enjoyment
                            • Figure 4: Kellogg’s Special K Protein Cashew Caramel Pretzel Bars (Canada), 2022
                          • Promoting protein can extend beyond ‘the what’ to be more resonant
                            • Figure 5: Lahli Morning Protein Bites (US), 2022
                          • Market predictions
                            • Conditions support plant-based alternatives’ future viability, but the pace of growth is in question
                              • With cell-based foods on the horizon, innovation will accelerate and competition will intensify
                                • Meat and milk in plant-based foods have lead the way for other protein alternatives
                                  • Figure 6: Outlook for protein and protein alternatives, 2023-28
                                • Opportunities
                                  • Half of Canadians are open to products that blend animal- and plant-based protein
                                    • There is a gap between perception and reality when it comes to getting enough protein in one’s diet
                                      • Figure 7: Halo Top Keto Pops Chocolate Cheesecake Chocolate Flavored Coated Frozen Dessert (US), 2022
                                    • Well-known plant-based protein ingredients are more trusted
                                      • Figure 8: Preferred plant-based protein ingredients, 2022
                                  • Market Factors

                                    • Innovative solutions are needed to sustainably feed the world’s growing population
                                      • Figure 9: Growth in global meat production vs global population, 1961-2018
                                    • Climate change will dominate the discussion over the next decade and beyond
                                      • Figure 10: Sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, 2018
                                    • Immigration continues to drive Canada’s population growth…
                                      • Figure 11: Overall actual/planned permanent resident admissions, 2021-25
                                    • …with Asia and India more specifically as the primary source
                                      • Figure 12: Permanent residents admitted to Canada, by country (top 10), 2021
                                    • Canada’s aging population is a headwind for plant-based alternatives
                                      • Figure 13: Percentage of Canada’s population aged 0-14 and 65+, 1988-2068*
                                  • Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

                                    • There is ample variety of sources when it comes to protein
                                      • Protein can help meet consumers’ demand for value
                                        • Figure 14: Annasea Shoyu Yellowfin Tuna Poke Mix & Serve Meal Kit (Canada), 2022
                                        • Figure 15: Wild Fork Prime Rib Beef Roast & Gravy (US), 2023
                                        • Figure 16: Good Catch Naked in Water Plant-Based Tuna (US), 2022
                                        • Figure 17: Nasoya Plantspired Superfood Skillet Breakfast Scramble (US), 2022
                                      • Flexible solutions offer consumers the protein they crave
                                        • Figure 18: Egglife Sweet Cinnamon Egg White Wraps (US), 2022
                                        • Figure 19: Lahli Morning Protein Bites (US), 2022
                                        • Figure 20: Quaker Triple Berry High Protein Instant Oatmeal (US), 2022
                                        • Figure 21: Gatorade Chocolate Chip Protein Bar (US), 2022
                                      • High-in-protein snacks empower consumers
                                        • Figure 22: Whisps Cheddar Cheese Crisps (US), 2022
                                        • Figure 23: Dream Pretzels Protein Pressels Salt Thin & Crisp[y Pretzel Chips (Canada), 2022
                                        • Figure 24: Oikos Pro Vanilla Flavored Yogurt-Cultured Ultra-Filtered Milk (US), 2022
                                        • Figure 25: Liberté Greek High in Protein Banana Yogurt (Canada), 2022
                                      • Indulgent cues build on the benefits protein offers
                                        • Figure 26: Kellogg’s Special K Protein Cashew Caramel Pretzel Bars (Canada), 2022
                                        • Figure 27: Eat Me Guilt Free Cotton Candy Protein Blondie (US), 2022
                                        • Figure 28: NuGo Nutrition (US), 2022
                                        • Figure 29: Signature Select The Emperor Wagyu Beef Patties (US), 2022
                                        • Figure 30: Halo Top Keto Pops Chocolate Cheesecake Chocolate Flavored Coated Frozen Dessert (US), 2022
                                      • Plant-based alternatives can be more specific with the value they offer
                                        • Figure 31: Beyond Meat Cookout Classic Plant-Based Burger Patties (US), 2022
                                        • Figure 32: The Meatless Farm Co Meat Free Ground (US), 2019
                                      • Cell-based innovations offer the potential for even more competition in the protein space
                                        • Figure 33: Cultured Meat: A Vision of the Future, 2018
                                      • Plant-based meat alternatives innovate in an increasingly competitive environment
                                        • Plant-based is moving beyond the burger (and milk)
                                        • The Protein & Protein Alternative Consumer – Fast Facts

                                          • Dietary Preferences

                                            • Most Canadians eat meat, but as a sector it’s vulnerable
                                              • Figure 34: Dietary preferences, 2021 and 2022
                                              • Figure 35: Dietary preferences, by age, 2022
                                              • Figure 36: Dietary preferences (select), Chinese Canadians and South Asians vs overall, 2022
                                              • Figure 37: Dietary preferences: carnivores, Prairie Provinces vs overall, 2022
                                          • Type of Proteins Eaten

                                            • Consumption of animal-based proteins far outpaces plant-based alternatives
                                              • Figure 38: Proteins eaten by category, 2022
                                              • Figure 39: Animal proteins eaten by those who eat specific plant-based proteins, 2022
                                              • Figure 40: Proteins eaten by category, by diet type, 2022
                                            • Plant-based proteins drop off among older consumers
                                              • Figure 41: Animal- vs plant-based proteins eaten (NET), by age, 2022
                                              • Figure 42: Proteins eaten by category, by age, 2022
                                              • Figure 43: Proteins eaten by category, South Asians vs Chinese Canadians vs overall, 2022
                                            • Plant-based proteins show momentum, while meat and seafood face particular challenges
                                              • Figure 44: Proteins categories consumers are eating more, the same and less of, 2022
                                          • Concerns over Animal-based Protein

                                            • Most Canadians link meat and dairy to climate change
                                              • Figure 45: Concerns related to animal-based proteins (% agree), 2022
                                            • Canadians are more likely to cut back on meat than dairy when looking to eat/drink healthier
                                              • Attitudes toward meat and health suggest a generational divide
                                                • Figure 46: Concerns related to animal-based proteins (% agree), by age, 2022
                                                • Figure 47: Concerns related to animal-based proteins (% agree), South Asians vs Chinese Canadians vs overall population, 2022
                                            • Attitudes toward Animal- and Plant-based Proteins

                                              • Plant-based offerings are a supplement to, but not a replacement for, animal-based proteins
                                                • Figure 48: Attitudes toward animal- and plant-based proteins (% agree), 2022
                                                • Figure 49: Attitudes toward animal- and plant-based proteins (% agree), by age, 2022
                                                • Figure 50: Attitudes toward animal- and plant-based proteins (% agree), Prairie Provinces vs overall, 2022
                                            • Openness to Innovation

                                              • With many viewing plant-based proteins as a means to supplement their diets, many also see a role for blended products
                                                • Figure 51: Openness to protein-related innovation (% agree), 2022
                                              • The next frontier: the willingness to explore the notion of lab-grown meat is increasing
                                                • Young adults are more accepting of protein-related innovation
                                                  • Figure 52: Openness to protein-related innovation (% agree), by age, 2022
                                                  • Figure 53: Openness to protein-related innovation (% agree), by education level, 2022
                                                • The Prairies continue to be a ‘tougher nut to crack’ for plant-based protein alternatives
                                                  • Figure 54: Openness to protein-related innovation (% agree), Prairie Provinces vs overall, 2022
                                              • Reasons for Consuming Protein

                                                • The most important reason for eating protein is balanced diet
                                                  • Figure 55: Most important reasons for eating protein, 2022
                                                  • Figure 56: Most important reasons for eating protein, by age, 2022
                                                  • Figure 57: Most important reasons for eating protein, South Asians vs Chinese Canadians vs overall, 2022
                                                • A third of Canadians cite difficulty getting enough protein in their diets
                                                  • Figure 58: Attitudes toward getting enough protein in diets (% agree), 2022
                                                  • Figure 59: Attitudes toward getting enough protein in diets (% agree), by age, 2022
                                                  • Figure 60: Attitudes toward getting enough protein in diets (% agree), South Asians vs Chinese Canadians vs overall population, 2022
                                              • Appealing Sources of Protein

                                                • Yogurt tops the list as an ‘appealing’ source of protein
                                                  • Figure 61: Appealing sources of protein, 2022
                                                • As Canadians age, the number of protein sources that hold appeal shrink
                                                  • Figure 62: Appealing sources of protein, by age, 2022
                                                  • Figure 63: Appealing sources of protein (select), men vs women, 2022
                                                • The appeal of different protein sources varies by region
                                                  • Figure 64: Appealing sources of protein (select), by region, 2022
                                                • South Asians are more likely to supplement their protein intake with powders and shakes
                                                  • Figure 65: Appealing sources of protein (select), South Asians vs overall, 2022
                                              • Preferred Plant-based Protein Sources

                                                • Nuts are the preferred plant-based protein source for Canadians
                                                  • Figure 66: Preferred plant-based protein ingredients, 2022
                                                • Younger consumers are more open to less ‘traditionally known’ proteins
                                                  • Figure 67: Preferred plant-based protein ingredients, by age, 2022
                                                  • Figure 68: Preferred plant-based protein ingredients, British Columbia vs overall, 2022
                                              • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                • Data sources
                                                  • Consumer survey data
                                                    • Mintel Trend Drivers
                                                      • Abbreviations and terms
                                                        • Abbreviations

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