Times and markets are changing fast; consumers are opting increasingly for a plant-based diet for health, environmental and ethical reasons.
Plant-based businesses are booming, providing significant, profitable opportunities.
In the UK, there is a reduction in profitability and consumption in the three farming sectors of meat, egg and dairy. New markets in plant-based cuisines and meat-free (processed) foods are emerging. Sales of the latter have grown 40% from £582 million in 2014 to an estimated £816 million in 2019. You could profit from being a part of this growth phenomenon.
The fashion industry has also seen a massive growth in plant-based products. The analytics organisation ‘Edited’ verified a 75 percent increase in products described as “vegan” in the UK between January 2017 and January 2018. Surprisingly, vegan footwear in the UK has only increased by 1% compared to 16% in the US over the same period which indicates a substantial opportunity for transitioning businesses.
The number of vegans in the UK has rapidly increased in recent years with an estimated 600,000 in 2019. Forecasts indicate that by the end of 2020 this figure will increase to 2.1million! Other areas of the world are following suit.
Consumption of meat and dairy alternatives (such as Quorn and plant milks) is increasing, even among people who are not exclusively vegan or vegetarian. This is resulting in the growth of flexitarianism, where people reduce the amount of meat they eat rather than totally avoiding it, offering further markets for plant-based products.
These trends do not take into account members of the population who have food allergies, such as those who are lactose intolerant - estimated to be up to 70% worldwide.
A growing number of consumers are demanding goods that are free from animal products.
The majority of vegans cite they go plant-based for the animals, meaning they don’t want to cause harm to living beings. They tend to be very loyal customers, especially to companies and businesses who are fully plant-based as they share the same values.
Changing to a plant-based business can reduce greenhouse gases, one of the leading causes of climate change.
The production of animal products is causing widespread environmental destruction and degradation - from crops and water required to feed the animals, to the transport and other processes involved from farm to fork. This is a significant contributor to deforestation, habitat loss and species extinction. Grazing and the loss of natural vegetation for animal feed is causing widespread soil erosion, leading to the loss of fertile land, causing pollution and increased sedimentation in our waterways. A plant-based diet requires much lower quantities of crops and water. Making the switch can drastically reduce our impact on the environment.
Animal agriculture contributes to developing world malnutrition by driving impoverished populations to grow cash crops for animal feed, rather than food for themselves.
A plant-based diet is the most efficient and sustainable way of feeding the ever-growing human race. It requires just one third of the land needed to support an omnivorous diet.
'With rising global food and water insecurity due to a myriad of environmental and socio-economic problems, there's never been a better time to adopt a more sustainable way of living. Avoiding animal products is not just one of the simplest ways an individual can reduce the strain on food as well as other resources, it's the simplest way to take a stand against inefficient food systems which disproportionately affect the poorest people all over the world.'
- The Vegan Society
Many people are adopting a plant-based diet for health reasons. There are many studies that suggest that eating plant-based lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, and decreases rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer, all major contributors to premature death or diminished quality of life.
Additionally, the WHO states that 75% of all new pathogens in the last 10 years (including Covid 19) were zoonotic. This is unlikely to change until animal use ends.
Don’t get left behind!
Many farmers have begun to switch from animal products to alternatives such as arable, milk alternatives and rewilding. Other businesses such as restaurants and fashion producers are also changing to accommodate the new market demands.
By utilising a wide range of experts, Grainwaves can facilitate your business to become successfully plant-based. We specialise in assisting businesses worldwide to transition their animal-based product lines to plant-based ones.