Consumption habits: Plant-based nutrition on ...
Consumption habits

Plant-based nutrition on the rise

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Pulses are a plant-based protein source whose potential is being explored by consumers, chefs and the food industry.
Pulses are a plant-based protein source whose potential is being explored by consumers, chefs and the food industry.

BERLIN Half of European consumers have significantly reduced their meat consumption. Plant-based alternatives are said to be cheap and taste good.

Across Europe, the survey conducted as part of the Smart Protein Project registers a shift toward plant-based diets: 46 percent of consumers have reduced their meat consumption in the past year. At 51 percent, the figure in Germany is above this average. The survey was conducted by ProVeg, Innova Market Insights, the University of Copenhagen and Ghent University. Flexitarian diets are followed by 30 percent of the consumers surveyed, meaning they are reducing their consumption of foods of animal origin, according to the study. The proportion of vegans or vegetarians was highest in Germany in this study at 10 percent.

More than 7,500 people in 10 European countries took part in the survey. The questions related to their attitudes towards plant-based foods, their trust in these products, their consumption habits and their main reasons for their food choices. The results are available on a country-by-country basis.

The values determined for Germany

  • More than half of the respondents (51 percent) said they had already significantly reduced their meat consumption.
  • 2 out of 5 participants (41 percent) see themselves reducing their meat consumption in the near future.
  • Around 1 in 3 (32 per cent) would also like to reduce their consumption of dairy products.

Consumer opinions on plant-based products

  • Over half of respondents (55 percent) cited price as the biggest barrier to switching to plant-based products. However, 1 in 4 (26 percent) said they would be willing to pay a higher price for plant-based than animal-based meat.
  • 43 percent of respondents would try plant-based alternatives with the taste and texture of animal meat, and 41 percent would buy them regularly.
  • Respondents particularly wanted plant-based ground beef and burger patties (32 percent each) and chicken breasts and sausages (30 percent each) in supermarkets.
  • Plant-based fish fingers (27 percent) and smoked salmon (22 percent) also topped the wish list.
  • In terms of plant-based cheese, respondents particularly wanted cream cheese (32 percent), sliced cheese (32 percent) and mozzarella (31 percent).
  • The most commonly consumed plant-based products were milk (28 percent), yogurt (21 percent), poultry and beef (20 percent each, all at least weekly).
  • Potatoes, rice and lentils are the preferred main ingredients for plant-based foods.
"Consumers are showing the way: they want even more and even better plant-based foods. The demand is there, now the supply should also grow," says Dr. Kai-Brit Bechtold about the results. As Senior Consumer Research Scientist ProVeg she says: "Our diet is changing at great speed, the demand for innovative protein alternatives is increasing. With climate goals in mind, this trend gives us hope."
Smart Protein Project
The Smart Protein project is funded by the EU with €10 million. The aim is to develop a new generation of foods that are cost-effective, resource-efficient and nutrient-rich. Plant-based meat, seafood, dairy and bakery products, among others, will be developed from alternative protein sources such as pulses and by-products of beer and pasta production. Interested parties can find the full report of the project here.

This article first appeared on the sister platform

Source:, / dfv Mediengruppe


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