The trend of consumers adopting diets that involve avoiding or moderating animal-based products is spreading globally. These individuals look to align their dietary choices with their ethical, environmental, and health goals.
However, many consumers find it challenging to completely give up dairy and meat in the long run. Interestingly, the plant-based market has experienced a slowdown in sales over the past year. This presents an opportunity for brands to explore new possibilities within the plant-based market. By creating innovative products, they can attract late adopters to the market and assist consumers in adhering to alternative, flexitarian dietary plans.
In this blog, we will delve into consumer perceptions, various diet approaches, and the potential for protein hybrids. Examining the environmental concerns surrounding food production, we will explore how protein hybrids have the potential to address environmental issues and contribute to a more sustainable and eco-friendly food system.
What are Protein Hybrids?
Protein hybrids offer a range of advantages, including the ability to elevate nutritional value, facilitate the creation of plant-based alternatives for meat and dairy products, and align with diverse health and wellness trends. Plant proteins extend beyond food and beverages, but also encompass fields such as supplements, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and biotechnology. Moreover, protein hybrids are gaining popularity due to their multitude of benefits.
Health and the Environment
Consumer motivations around dietary choices are increasingly driven by health, environmental, and ethical considerations. As people become more aware of the challenges posed by animal agriculture, they are finding plant-based alternatives more appealing due to their perceived ethical and environmental benefits, with particular concerns surrounding dairy products. For instance, FMCG Gurus’ consumer insights reveal that 45% of global consumers eat/drink dairy alternative products. Of these consumers, 70% do so because they deem plant-based alternatives as healthier than regular milk products.
Additionally, over half of consumers view plant-based products as more trustworthy in comparison to their traditional counterparts.
Food Shortages are Intensifying
The global food supply is facing the challenge of food scarcity and FMCG Gurus’ market research highlights that 43% of global consumers are concerned about food shortages. Meat-based protein hybrids present promising solutions to address these shortages. By enabling increased protein production, these hybrids offer the potential for a more resource-efficient alternative to traditional animal agriculture. This can help alleviate the environmental and resource impact associated with livestock farming, leading to a more sustainable, environmentally conscious, and resilient food system.
Furthermore, meat-based protein hybrids can complement plant-based diets by providing a balanced intake of essential amino acids and nutrients. This ensures that consumers can meet their daily dietary requirements while minimizing the reliance on traditional animal-derived products.
Consumer Attitudes Toward Protein Hybrids
Protein hybrids have the potential to make the shift to plant-based alternatives more appealing for individuals who follow meat-based diets. For those who find it difficult to completely give up animal products, protein hybrids provide an opportunity for imitation. For instance, FMCG Gurus’ consumer insights reveal that 58% of global consumers found the idea of protein hybrid products appealing or very appealing. Of these consumers, 44% said this appeal is because they struggle to give up animal-based products completely. This allows consumers to continue enjoying the familiar taste and nutritional qualities of certain products while incorporating plant-based and alternative ingredients.
By incorporating protein hybrids into their diets, individuals can make the transition to different dietary choices more manageable, especially for those who have specific preferences or habits related to animal-based products.
Additionally, protein hybrids offer the advantage of being more environmentally friendly. In fact, more than a third of consumers perceive them as such. This further emphasizes the potential benefits of protein hybrids in terms of sustainability.