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The future boom of the plant-based sector: how can the industry keep up with the demand?

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3 min read
AUTHOR: Ana Delgado contributor: AGRANA Fruit

The plant-based food market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.9% from 2020 to 2027 to reach $74.2 billion by 2027. As in stands, one third of consumers globally follow a mainly plant-based diet and four out of 10 consumers want to further reduce or avoid animal-based products in their diet.

Despite the steady growth of the plant-based market over the past few years, the global COVID-19 pandemic has boosted this consumer demand. Today, 25% of consumers are wanting to include more planted-based foods into their diet to improve their nutritional intake, their health, and to reduce their impact on the environment.

The future of the plant-based sector

Given these significant predictions of growth in the plant-based sector, there is a vast amount of opportunity to explore and capitalise on within the industry. When referring to plant-based nutrition, many of us automatically associate it with alternative products to dairy or meat, however, the full scope of the opportunity is a lot broader.

In fact, AGRANA Fruit, one of June 2021 Food Matters Live’s Ingredient Innovators, conducted a study to understand the plant-based sector on a global scale. The company are closely following the free-from dairy market for yogurt and ice cream.

In 2020, AGRANA Fruit conducted consumer research in USA, Australia, Germany, France, and Russia to better understand dairy alternative consumers and what the next trends in this market will be.

The company asked nearly 3,500 consumers online about plant-based dairy alternatives and found the following:

  • 60% consume plant-based dairy alternatives on a regular basis, meaning at least monthly
  • Only 2% of consumers who regularly consume these products are vegan. The main target group consists of omnivores and flexitarians who also consume animal-based products but want to increase their intake of plant-based foods
  • The primary target group for plant-based dairy alternatives are Generations Y and Z
  • The main drivers why consumers are turning to plant-based dairy alternatives are because they are ‘better for them’, because of the nutritional benefits and because they like the taste/flavour of these products.

How AGRANA Fruit meet the full scope of plant-based demand

On the back of this study, AGRANA Fruit put forth that incorporating more plant-based foods into our diets can be done in various formats besides alternative products. For example, ingredients like fruit, vegetables, cereals, botanicals, or many other plant-based ingredients can be incorporated into both dairy and ice cream applications to boost plant-based.

AGRANA Fruit have identified three main areas of plant-based nutrition for which they can offer tailor-made solutions:

  • Alternatives for dairy and ice cream
  • Naturally functional ingredients
  • 100% fruit and vegetable products (clean-label)

About AGRANA Fruit

AGRANA Fruit have a broad experience in working with plant-based solutions. Their expertise ranges from creating bases for yogurts or ice cream from various sources to even combining different plant bases in one product to enhance the nutritional profile.

AGRANA Fruit also provide fruit and brown flavour solutions, with or without pieces, which perfectly match the plant or dairy base of yogurts or ice creams. In addition, they also include botanicals or other plant-based ingredients in their preparations to add more plant-based ingredients to the final product.


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