Discover what drives consumers’ purchase behaviors when it comes to plant-based / vegan / dairy-free sweet products.
Vegan & Dairy-free are gaining momentum
Veganism is globally booming and drives new product development across every food category.
Within Western markets, i.e. North America, Western Europe, and Australasia, milk alternatives and meat substitutes are expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.4% between 2020 and 2025.1
Once associated with the hippy culture, vegan products have gone mainstream, in part thanks to the rise of planet-conscious flexitarians. Flexitarians follow a plant-based diet most of the time but allow an occasional meat or fish dish. According to Euromonitor, flexitarians are on the rise, stemming from Gen Z, of whom 52% say that they try to reduce meat and animal-based products in their diets.2.
Brands have a great opportunity to increase their market share among flexitarians: under a third (30%) use a meat or dairy substitute at least weekly.
On top of it, dairy-free products, once only linked to dairy-intolerance or allergies, are making their way into the plant-based aisles.
Vegan, dairy-free, lactose-free, free-from, flexitarian, plant-based… The claims in the plant-based aisles are plenty, but consumers’ motivations to consume plant-based products are the same.
What is driving the consumers towards plant based food?
Conscientious vegan or dairy-free consumers are looking for 4 key benefits:
1 - Environment
Animal welfare and a lesser climate impact are the key environmental issues that consumers relate to. They take a stand against animal exploitation and look to lower their carbon footprint by avoiding animal products.
2 - Health & Nutrition
15% of consumers globally are concerned about lactose intolerance, prompting them to seek dairy-free alternative protein sources3. But further than that, consumers who avoid dairy are looking to reduce cholesterol or lower blood pressure for example.
3 - Price
Plant proteins such as pulses, nuts and soy, can offer a cheaper, more affordable protein alternative to meat and dairy.
4 - Taste exploration
The adventurous consumer can explore new ingredients or different formats. A whole new world of possibilities!
What is happening in the different sweet food categories?
All food categories are impacted by the vegan / dairy-free wave. From ice cream to confectionery, bakery, pastry and snacking; plant-based NPD is a growth opportunity not to miss.
In 2027, the plant-based food market is projected to reach $74.2 billion, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 11.9% from 2020.4
Across all categories, 2 product positionings emerge:
Better-for-you products, focusing on the goodness of plants
Indulgent products, that happen to be plant-based
See below some examples of how this trend is taken to the market.
Watch our Webinar: How to create indulgent Plant-based treats - with live Q&A
In collaboration with Food Ingredients First & Innova Market Insights, rewatch Barry Callebaut's webinar to make your plant-based creations truly indulgent. Watch Barry Callebaut's chef chocolatier, Joël Perriard, demonstrate a deliciously decadent plant-based ice cream recipe and learn more about his take on taste and textures combinations in plant-based creations. You'll also learn the latest insights about plant-based trends across all sweet categories.
Euromonitor Health and Nutrition 2020, February 2020
Canadean’s global consumer survey, 2014
Market Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecasts by Meticulous Research