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Representative survey conducted on behalf of HelloFresh SE reveals call for more plant-based options

December 7, 2023

HelloFresh SE, one of the world's leading meal kit companies and integrated food solutions groups, has published a representative survey among consumers in Germany, the UK, Denmark, Sweden and Norway around plant-based nutrition that showed that even though meat consumption is still very popular across the countries surveyed (Germany 66.3%, Denmark 81.9%, Norway 85.2%, Sweden 77.1%, UK 74%), more than two thirds of respondents (Germany 68.6%, Denmark 68%, Norway 58.6%, Sweden 71.3%, UK 66%) are at least slightly convinced that plant-based nutrition is more environmentally friendly than eating meat and dairy products.

More than half of all respondents across the markets surveyed are at least slightly convinced that more consumers should switch to plant-based diets (Germany 61.2%, Denmark 53.1%, Norway 51.2%, Sweden 64.8%, UK 50.3%). While currently only one in five consumers across the countries surveyed mostly or fully avoid meat (Germany 28.7%, Sweden 18.5%, UK 20.8%), there is a big appetite to try more plant-based meals: More than half of the people surveyed in Europe (Germany 57%, Denmark 54.3%, Norway 57.4%, Sweden 64.8%, UK 61%) want more opportunities to try plant-based meat alternatives in their meals.

As the owner of the richest and largest customer database on taste preferences, HelloFresh can predict a growing demand for plant-based proteins. In Germany, HelloFresh’s pioneer market for plant-based product offerings, the amount of customers who picked a vegan preference in their HelloFresh profile quadrupled the past year. Globally the number of flexitarians among HelloFresh customers has grown significantly. By further rolling out a menu modularity feature globally, HelloFresh will offer customers even more product variety and give them the opportunity to switch their proteins – including to ones with a smaller carbon footprint.

More than every second survey participant said they wouldn’t want to follow a plant-based diet because it would be too hard to prepare (Germany 50.3%, Denmark 50.1%, Norway 53%, Sweden 52.1%, UK 51.3%).

Other barriers preventing consumers from switching to more plant-based nutrition are the price and taste. More than a third responded that they would eat plant-based meat alternatives more often if it was cheaper (Germany 42.9%, Denmark 40.3%, Norway 44.1%, Sweden 43.9%, UK 41.0%) and tastier (Germany 38.2%, Denmark 40.3%, Norway 39.8%, Sweden 42.6%, UK 41.1%). Policy makers are being seen as enablers for that. On average more than two thirds hold politicians responsible for making plant-based meat alternatives more affordable (Germany 77.6%, Denmark 62.3%, Norway 74%, Sweden 77.7%, UK 75.3%).

Three in four participants surveyed also see regulatory decision makers responsible for education around the health (Germany 78.7%, Denmark 67.4%, Norway 71.%, Sweden 71.2%, UK 75.3%) and environmental impact of plant-based nutrition (Germany 78.6%, Denmark 65.4%, Norway 72.3%, Sweden 74.8%, UK 50.8%).

HelloFresh’s in-depth Life Cycle Assessment showed that ingredients are responsible for on average 56 percent of the emissions across the HelloFresh value chain which makes them by far the most impactful lever to meet HelloFresh’s ambitious sustainability targets. In response to these findings,

HelloFresh introduced the climate conscious recipe tag in December 2022, which enables customers to make more environmentally friendly food choices and is the first step towards full menu transparency.

As part of the company's efforts to enable even more insights on the environmental impact of food, HelloFresh joined forces with industry and science stakeholders to lobby for a unified food label that offers carbon transparency for consumers within the project 'Together for Carbon Labeling'.

In order to offer customers even more options to make sustainable food choices, HelloFresh will further roll-out a modularity feature which will in long-term give the opportunity to switch proteins, turning the recipe into a simple tasty plant based option. This will enable customers to lower their carbon footprint as they could use plant based meat burger patties, instead of beef. At the same time HelloFresh will be working on bringing further plant-based protein suppliers to the table and offer customers more variety to the menu. Ideally, in the long run, customers can choose between standard protein, organic meat or alternative protein for recipes. This way we would maximize the more sustainable options.

"Half of consumers surveyed said they wouldn’t follow plant-based diets because they find it too hard to cook," commented Tilman Eichstädt, COO Upstream at HelloFresh. "HelloFresh's approach is very unique. We don't just send customers the ingredients, we also support them throughout the cooking process. This gives us the chance to help customers to try out plant-based food in recipes which we are confident they will love. We want to show them it can be very delicious to use ingredients that are better for the environment. Our main goal is to expand the variety of products we offer to our customers while educating them about the environmental footprint of their food choices. We will continue to invest in developing our vegetarian and plant-based offering while further improving the quality of our animal proteins. With the implementation of the modularity feature, German customers will be able to switch to organic meat – this is something we would like to bring to further markets as well.”

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with us, please email info@futureofproteinproduction.com

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