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WARY OF PLANT-BASED – Three key consumer insights that may be holding back vegan product sales

FastTrack | 60-second read

Convenience, cost and enjoyment are key factors contributing to the pace of growth for plant-based

Plant-based seems an unstoppable phenomena. According to Global Market Insights, global plant milk sales alone are expected to cross $21 billion by 2026.

But an in-depth overview of relevant sector research by the Department of Psychology at Bath University identified three key barriers to further expansion:

1. Convenience. Many consumers still see vegan dishes as being difficult to prepare and believe they encounter a lack of vegan options when eating out. So, it seems, perceived inconvenience of vegan products is still a major barrier to both consideration and purchase.

2. Cost. Amongst other studies, the university cites a VoucherCodesPro UK survey, which found that the high cost of meat substitutes was a barrier for 58% of consumers.

3. Enjoyment. Finally, much of the research they viewed continued to pinpoint the simple enjoyment of eating meat as being the number one reason for not becoming vegetarian or vegan.

From the research, better-tasting vegan product seemed to be the key to sustained market growth. But even in the short time since the research was undertaken it is abundantly evident that the most innovative brands have embraced the 'Enjoyment' question - how long before a similar step change in 'Convenience' and 'Cost' will deliver mass acceptance?