Consumer Views on Alternative Proteins: Trends and Challenges
Grains and seeds are some of the sources from which alternative proteins can be obtained.
The modern consumer is increasingly aware of the importance of healthy and sustainable eating. This has led to an increase in demand for alternative proteins, such as those obtained from plants or microorganisms, instead of traditional animal protein.
But how do consumers feel about these alternative proteins? In general, there is a growing acceptance of these options among consumers. Many argue that alternative proteins are healthier and more sustainable, and are also more economical than animal protein. In addition, many consumers are concerned about animal welfare and the carbon footprint of the animal protein industry, and consider alternative proteins to be a more ethical and sustainable option.
What are the main consumer concerns about alternative proteins?
However, there are still some consumers who have concerns about the taste and texture of alternative proteins. Many argue that plant proteins do not have the same taste or texture as animal protein, and may be less versatile in cooking. There are also concerns about the availability and accessibility of these alternative proteins in some areas of the world.
Despite these concerns, many consumers are willing to try alternative proteins and are open to incorporating them into their diet. According to a study by market consultant Mintel, 49% of consumers in the United States are interested in trying alternative proteins. And according to another study by market consulting firm Euromonitor, the alternative protein market has experienced 8% annual growth over the past year.
In addition, many consumers are willing to pay more for alternative proteins if they consider them to be healthier and more sustainable. According to a Nielsen study, 58% of U.S. consumers would be willing to pay more for foods and beverages that are healthier and more sustainable.
What influences the availability of and access to alternative proteins?
In terms of alternative proteins in particular, many consumers are interested in learning about the production process and how it compares to animal protein production in terms of environmental impact and animal welfare. For example, soy or bean-based protein production may be more sustainable than beef production, as it requires fewer resources and has a lower carbon footprint.
In addition, microorganism-based protein production, such as yeast-based protein or fungal-based protein, may be even more sustainable than plant-based protein production, as it can be produced under controlled conditions and uses fewer resources. Many consumers are interested in learning more about these options and how they can contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly diet.
Another factor that can influence consumer opinion on alternative proteins is availability and access. Although demand for alternative proteins is growing, they can still be difficult to find in some areas of the world. Many consumers may also feel that alternative proteins are more expensive than animal protein, which may deter them from trying them.
What can be done to increase the availability of and access to alternative proteins?
To increase the availability of and access to alternative proteins, it is important that more companies offer alternative protein options and make an effort to reduce costs and make them more accessible to consumers. It is also important to promote education about alternative proteins and highlight their health and environmental benefits so that more consumers are willing to try them.