Plant-based food is on the rise – even in the United States, where 48 % aims to eat more plant-based food. Consumers do prefer that term to vegan food, which sounds too strict and negative.
Plant-based is positive, vegan negative
According to 83 % of Americans, the future is “100 % plant-based food” as opposed to the term “vegan”. Brands and manufacturers would need to label the products “plant-based”, rather than to call them vegan according to researchers at the food development firm Mattson. Consumers compare vegan to a rather restrictive lifestyle, with focus on animal rights or the environment and a strong engagements towards these goals. That is why the term is looked at negatively by non-vegans: it is about saying no, about denying yourself some things.
The surveyed people did not feel that way about “100 % plant-based”: these are considered tastier and healthier and the term is looked at more flexibly and positively. Other communication could help give consumers the perception that food can be looked at in a more agreeable manner, Mattson CEO Barb Stuckey said.
One in three Americans is flexitarian
48 % of surveyed people want to eat more plant-based food and 29 % of Americans is already a flexitarian, data backed by HealthFocus International. It previously noticed that 17 % of Americans claim to eat mostly plant-based food and 60 % indicated a willingness to eat less meat.
Health, weight loss and general wellbeing are the main reasons to ditch animal-based products. The researchers did notice that most people had no answer when asked why plant-based food would be better for their health.