Half (50%) of European consumers are eating more meat alternative products since the COVID-19 pandemic began, while 80% have changed the way they consume meat and/or meat alternatives, a new study by Amcor has found.
The research, which surveyed 1,000 shoppers across the UK, Germany, France, Italy and The Netherlands, found a growing level of awareness about the origins of food and its ingredients.
The UK has seen the biggest shift away from meat, according to the study, with 12% indicating that they have stopped consuming meat since the start of the pandemic. Companies such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have been among the main beneficiaries of the move towards meat alternatives.
“The research shows that there are two reasons that stood out: concerns about animal welfare and wanting to incorporate more vegetables into their diets,” commented Rosalia Rosalinova, senior marketing manager, Amcor Flexibles.
More Information On Packaging
The report also found that one fifth of consumers now demand more detailed information about products on their food packaging, while 95% say that they want to be able to understand the finer details of what they are consuming.
A previous report by Amcor in 2020, It's A Wrap, found that some 72% of European consumers were willing to pay 5% more for food products in sustainable packaging.
According to its latest study, among those consuming meat alternative products, this figure has now risen to 75%.
“The European meat alternatives market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 28.67% from 2020-2027,” said Rosalinova. “While the pandemic has seen some changes in consumer attitudes to meat and meat alternatives, attitudes to sustainability have remained largely the same, and consumers are still willing to pay more for brands that can demonstrate their packaging’s sustainability credentials.
"Brands should pay attention to these findings as they highlight a growing shift towards more eco-conscious consumers, who supplement their reduced meat consumption with a keener awareness of packaging and labels.”