We recently wrote about B2B trends in the food industry for 2020. One particularly exciting trend concerns veganism and vegan products. Let’s take a look at how vegan trends will influence B2B in the food and beverage business in 2020.
To avoid animal cruelty, vegans avoid any food or beverage that contains animal products of any kind. With that in mind, smart food and beverage professionals need to make adjustments in order to cater to these specific needs.
Veganism, A Growing Trend
Many assumed that veganism was just another fad, quickly to fade away. Current trends, however, show that veganism is becoming a diet that people follow long-term, even if it’s not growing as fast as it used to.
Let’s take a look at what the vegan trend entails.
Dairy-free Vegan Products
While it all started with almond milk and soy milk, the options are nowadays almost endless. Different types of vegan milk sit alongside plant-based cheeses and butter. People doing their shopping in supermarkets have many choices when it comes to dairy alternatives.
Food companies and new entrants in the food and beverage industry are investing and experimenting with new concepts such as vegan ice cream and vegan chocolate. Once people have shopped and tasted these alternatives, they will want to find the same choices in restaurants and cafes around the world.
The real battle for most innovators is how to make the best meatless meat which tastes like animal-based meat but without any animal products in it.
Many businesses and food pioneers have studied and experimented with the production of meatless burgers and chickenless nuggets. The required and expected taste and texture which would remind people of animal-based meat are what businesses are trying to achieve.
Many existing food companies have either invested in in-house plant-based meat research or have acquired businesses that have delivered such products. The meatless meat industry is still at its developmental stage. Once plant-based meat becomes profitable and reaches people’s expectations, disruption in the food and beverage industry will occur.
Veganism’s expansion into new market segments
The vegan trend is moving in new directions. Frozen foods and frozen ready-meals are now available in supermarkets. The chilled section in supermarkets has a whole area dedicated to vegan choices. Vegan tinned food, cookies, and chocolates are widely seen on shelves.
People are getting more accustomed to seeing these products and will eventually demand to eat them wherever they go. Also, more and more products include crops like hemp, algae, seaweed or spelt. These are alternatives to wheat, rice or corn and offer interesting food choices.
The Food and Beverage industry needs to innovate
Restaurants, cafés, catering services, and hotels need to innovate in order to satisfy their existing clientele and attract new ones.
Millennials are increasingly health-conscious and environment-sensitive. They are the population segment choosing a plant-based diet in order to protect the environment and take better care of their health. They demand more plant-based meals with interesting ingredients and pleasing cooking techniques. They will not be satisfied with a couple of average vegan options on a menu. They demand quality, creativity, and variety in their meal choices.
Taking this a step further, restaurateurs need to constantly innovate with creative plates that mimic plant-based dishes.
Vegan products are for everyone
It is important to remember that not all people who try vegan products are dedicated vegans.
Across the West, consumers are choosing diets that include less meat and fewer animal-derived products. People are actively trying to cut down on their meat consumption, although not on a permanent basis. When eating or drinking out, they want to see food options that will keep them away from meat-dishes while introducing them to new tastes and flavors.
Veganism as an environmental concept
Being vegan is not only about avoiding animal cruelty or being more careful about one’s diet. It is also a whole concept that relates to environment protection: consumers are worried about the depletion of the seas, climate change and harmful emissions caused by the transportation of food products across the world. Environmental sustainability is increasingly at the top of people’s minds when it comes to their food choices.
People eating or drinking out are more and more informed and aware of issues touching upon the food industry. They will want to see dishes made with local, home-grown or organic plant-based products.
Professionals involved in the food and beverage industry need to provide honest food with numerous healthy nutrients and vitamins, interesting flavors, and plant-based products grown in an environmentally-sensitive way.
Conclusion: Vegan products are here to stay
It now looks like veganism is not a passing fad. People choosing this type of diet have high expectations when eating out.
Food and beverage professionals need to invest in a brand image that mirrors these people’s requirements. They also need to research new products that cater to vegetarian and vegan needs. Only then can they meet this growing market segment’s demands.
This is an exciting time to be in the F&B industry, for sure!
Are you looking for ways to enter the vegan market? Our platform, Errand Pro, can connect you with producers and professionals who can help! Contact us now to find out more.