Trends

World Vegan Day: plant-based is the key

As vegans around the world celebrate the 25th anniversary dedicated to their lifestyle, more and more people from the US to Italy are changing their dietary lifestyle by choosing healthier alternatives

Every year on 1st November, vegans around the world celebrate and champion for their vegan lifestyle. The commemoration of this event began in 1994 by a UK celebrity, Louise Wallis, who was at the time the chair of The Vegan Society, as they celebrated its 50th birthday, the coinage of the terms vegan and veganism, as well as the inception of The Vegan Society.

All around the globe, World Vegan Day is commemorated through exhibitions, seminars, public debates, workshops among others. The day presents a perfect opportunity for anyone looking to adopt the vegan lifestyle. During the event, they can learn, interact and maybe at the end of it; they will decide to become vegans.

THE PLANT-BASED KINGDOM FLOURISHES

According to the Innova Market Insights’ latest Consumer Lifestyles Survey, 8 in 10 US consumers have changed their own or their family’s diet to try to be healthier, with over 39% of them have increased their consumption of fruit and vegetables in order to be healthy.

Interest in plant based nutrition shows no signs of slowing down, with The Plant Kingdom being one of Innova Market Insights’ Top Trends for 2019. Companies and brands are greening up their portfolios to attract consumers who want to add more plant based options to their diets. For the mainstream consumer, going plant based is about achieving a healthy and sustainable balance between meat and vegetables rather than adopting an all-or-nothing way of eating.

The appeal of plant based alternatives has widened far beyond the relatively small group of people who avoid animal products for ethical reasons, to the much larger group of people looking for healthier, cleaner foods. As a result, vegan labeling and certification schemes are now increasingly common in the mainstream food and beverage market across a whole range of product sectors.

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VEG BEYOND VEGAN

The broadening interest in plant based diets has also resulted in meat alternatives moving beyond their original vegetarian and vegan domain to encompass a much broader base of flexitarians, as NPD has been focusing on improving quality to replicate real meat. Meat substitutes accounted for 14% of global meat launches in the first nine months of 2018, up from 6% in 2013. There has been considerable activity and innovation from new plant based meat brands targeting opportunities for good-tasting, nutritious and sustainable options among vegetarians, vegans, meat reducers and flexitarians.

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The dairy alternatives market has also been a beneficiary of the interest in plant based diets, with the growing availability and promotion of plant based options to traditional lines, especially dairy beverages, but also cultured products such as yogurt, frozen desserts, and ice cream, creamers, and cheese.

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In the move to offer something new, we are also seeing an increasing variety of non soy plant based ingredients for beverages, including cereals such as rice, oats and barley and nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, walnuts and macadamias, as well as coconut and more unusual options such as lupin, hemp and flaxseed.

BEING VEGETARIAN IN ITALY

According to Eurispes data, the number of Italians who in 2018 declared that they had chosen to eliminate meat from meals is equal to 7.3% of the population: 5.4% of Italians are vegetarian, while the remaining 1.9% are vegan. The market response to this food trend has been immediate in many cities in Italy. For some time now, many food companies and restaurants have not missed the opportunity and adapt their menus to meet the needs of this niche market.

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