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Who is the animal-alternative product shopper?

August 10, 2022

In the inaugural Power of Plant-based Foods and Beverages 2022 report, which is the Food Industry Association's (FMI) first-ever comprehensive review of the plant-based topic broadly, the organization has looked at naturally plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains and alternatives to traditional animal-derived items. Its analysis finds nearly half (42%) of shoppers put either a lot or some effort into selecting plant-based foods or beverages.

But first, let's drill down and look at a specific plant-based foods and beverages shopper – the shopper looking for alternatives to dairy, meat and seafood, referred to as animal-alternative product shoppers here. What are their demographics, their motivations, their mindsets?

The FMI research finds these consumers tend to be younger, with the majority in Gen Z or millennial households. They tend to live in larger households with at least three people and many have households with children. And 31% have household incomes of +US$100,000, and there is also a skew towards minorities – specifically Hispanic and Black shoppers. Animal-alternative product shoppers also are more likely to live in urban or suburban areas.

The consumer survey finds these animal alternatives shoppers have a higher-than-average weekly grocery spend of US$184 versus US$163. They also have a higher propensity to order groceries online and spend more on groceries online. These consumers are also likely to shop around more – visiting Mass, Club, no frills, online-only or natural food retailers.

Animal-alternative product shoppers are more likely to put a lot of effort into selecting nutrition and healthy alternatives than the average grocery shopper. Almost half of animal-alternative product shoppers are impacted by food allergies or intolerances. While these shoppers are about twice as likely as all shoppers to be vegetarian, vegan or pescatarian, 80% of them do not classify themselves that way. Most animal-alternative product shoppers follow a specific approach to eating including heart-health, gluten-free and low carb.  

What does all this mean? The picture of the animal-alternative product shopper is a bit clearer, but their motivations and habits still vary. Food retailers and suppliers can use these research findings to create insightful shopping experiences and products for the animal-alternative product shopper. After all, the more we know about our shoppers, the better we can meet their needs.

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

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