Meals components and agricultural commodities firm ofi (previously Olam) has launched new findings about shopper urge for food for plant-based dairy, together with insights on ingredient tendencies that might win over shoppers within the coming yr.
Based on ofi’s proprietary analysis, the worth of the European retail marketplace for plant-based drinks, desserts and ice cream stands at €5.3bn, having expanded by 16% over the past 5 years.
To determine areas of alternative, ofi performed analysis amongst greater than 1,500 European shoppers from throughout the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Sweden, asking them about plant-based milk, yogurt and ice cream dairy-free alternate options amongst different meals classes.
The outcomes confirmed that 58% of these polled acknowledged that they anticipated to eat extra plant-based merchandise within the subsequent two years, with 25% open to lowering their dairy consumption. Among the many core shopper teams, flexitarians had been the bulk (41%) with 2% figuring out as vegan and 5% as vegetarian and pescatarian. Virtually 1 / 4 (23%) stated they didn’t prohibit their eating regimen.
Regardless of this openness, the information revealed that some shoppers are nonetheless not sure concerning the class – and a portion determine to not return to it after having been dissatisfied with what’s on supply.
Based on ofi’s analysis, 35% of shoppers polled haven’t discovered a plant-based dairy product that satisfies their preferences, whereas 8% have dropped out of plant-based consumption altogether. The primary barrier is unhealthy style and texture, with 61% stating this has stored them from attempting extra plant-based merchandise. Value (56%) and low availability (56%) share the second most-common motive forcing shoppers to rethink their plant-based meals consumption.
So, style is king – however what else?
Whereas style is king, there are a number of different tendencies recognized within the analysis on which producers can capitalize throughout 2023. Natural components, sustainable claims and low sugar content material are among the many main traits shoppers search in a product, with ‘excessive protein’ and ‘much less processing’ additionally recognized by the shoppers polled. “We discovered that natural and low sugar claims – which may be achieved by including spices to maintain the sweetness however reducing the sugar, for instance – can really improve folks’s worth perceptions of the product,” stated Laura Barber, vice-president, shopper and market insights at ofi. “So when you can’t match the worth of conventional dairy or meat merchandise, you possibly can improve the worth by components like natural or low sugar.”
ofi, who’s a significant commodity participant with experience in cocoa, spices and nuts amongst others, thinks nuts are the tried and examined ingredient that might assist producers sway extra shoppers in direction of the plant-based dairy alternate options class because of offering superior texture and taste properties in addition to vitamins. “We talked to shoppers about almonds, oats and soy because the three most prevalent bases available on the market at present,” Barber mirrored. “48% stated that nuts are ‘actually tasty’ and extra so than soy and oat – in actual fact, nuts are seen as extra nutritious than each oats and soy. Nuts even have a comparatively sturdy place on the protein content material, which is a transparent power.”
Kamesh Ellajosyula, ofi’s chief innovation and high quality officer, added: “Producers have an enormous alternative to dial up style and well being advantages however face ongoing formulation challenges. At ofi, we are able to work with clients to supply nutritious and scrumptious plant-based merchandise similar to ice-creams and drinks. Equally, it doesn’t need to be all or nothing – our dairy group is co-creating with our nuts R&D specialists to seek out thrilling hybrid options that may mix the practical, dietary and sustainability advantages of each dairy and plant-based.”
The corporate’s key takeaways are that chance within the plant-based section is incremental and there’s loads of scope to enhance merchandise to satisfy shopper expectations – notably on style, well being and wellness. In the meantime, nuts are seen as superior components to well-liked bases like oat and soy, with 43% of these polled stating that nuts are wealthy in vitamins (soy 24%, oat 36%) and 35% of the opinion that nuts are excessive in protein (in comparison with 26% for soy and 21% for oat).