Get ready for the 3rd plant-based (r)evolution

Get ready for the 3rd plant-based (r)evolution

A brief alternative-meat history

Alternative meats gained broad consumer awareness in the early 1990s, when vegetable-based patties from brands like Boca Burger appeared in the freezer aisle. Those products marked the first iteration of plant-based meats.

Get ready for the 3rd plant-based (r)evolution

Plant-based opportunities for grocers

Given that shoppers are largely driven by an interest in health and wellness when shopping for plant-based meat and dairy, it’s important that grocers communicate those attributes, experts say.

Plant-based meat sales have struggled in recent years, though alternative milks and creamers continue to perform well. But a new class of plant-based proteins is on the horizon, experts say, ready to transform the segment.

“Softness on plant-based on the meat side happened some time ago and we’re starting to see it on the dairy side a little bit,” says John Crawford, Circana’s VP of client insights for dairy.

Sales of meat-like burgers, crumbles and more in both the refrigerated and freezer case exploded, largely fueled by consumer trial at foodservice.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, plant-based foods must taste good for shoppers to keep buying them. But about half of all consumers said they’re at least “somewhat open” to trying plant-based alternatives, according to “The Power of Plant-Based Foods and Beverages” report released last year by FMI – The Food Industry Association.