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The Path to Daily Plant-Based Consumer Adoption

May 31, 2024

Setting the Scene:
The world population continues to increase and is set to reach 10 Billion by 2050, putting incredible pressure on our food system. This combined with global warming, it’s clear that we need to make a change!

How We Can Do More Good?
Protein scarcity will require multiple approaches. At IFF, we believe one of them is to help people move to a more balanced diet by incorporating more plant protein in their food and beverages. It could reduce CO2 emissions significantly, decrease land use and limit potential denutrition. For example, by replacing just one kilo of animal protein, like beef, with our soy protein, we can reduce the GHG emissions by up to 73 times.

We continue to expand our knowledge on how to incorporate plant proteins into daily diets, how to process these proteins with our flavor portfolio and add in taste technologies, transforming these foods into irresistible cravings for the consumer – this incredible knowhow creates unstoppable innovation and potential for the future.

Meeting Consumers Wants and Needs to Increase Plant-Based Adoption:
Research notes that most consumers worldwide want to rebalance their diets with plant-based food and beverages. At the same time, we see that the plant-based industry is not what it was projected to be a few years ago.

So, we ask ourselves, what’s the reason for this? Why is the plant-based market not booming in the way the industry predicted?

There are clear challenges with taste & texture, price, health and nutrition of plant-based foods and beverages, causing roadblocks for consumers’ adoption. Our consumer intelligence team dove in and discovered a few additional significant barriers for plant-based diet adoption – a lack of variety in the products offered to consumers and the lack of products targeted to different consumer groups.

The need today is to expand plant-based diets to the mass market, representing a heterogeneous group of people. And at the same time, the plant-based options on the market currently are not fit for all eating occasions of the day, and the varied consumer’s needs. These challenges must be addressed now, for consumers to adopt plant-based products every day, for every meal.

By putting targeted consumer liking and preferences at the center of our designs of new dishes, desserts and drinks, we are addressing their most important priorities: taste, nutrition, affordability, variety and convenience.

Let’s explore each of these plant-based market drivers to see what we must address to gain daily adoption of plant-based diets.

Key Consumer Drivers in the Plant-Based Market:
1. TASTE & TEXTURE: As many consumers incorporate plant-based foods for health benefits, taste and texture override all other motivators. If the food does not taste good, consumers will not repurchase.
2. AFFORDABILITY: Affordability is a key market driver currently. With economic pressures prompting people to reevaluate what they value; consumers are becoming more mindful of their priorities. People are more than ever considering the impact of their choices on their wallets, health and planet.
3. HEALTH & NUTRITION: Consumers admit to eating more plant-proteins and less meat for health motivation. Health is very important for consumers looking to incorporate plant-based foods into their diet.
4. VARIETY: In a recent study, two thirds of global consumers surveyed have a willingness to explore different food and beverages. People want options for every eating occasion. This means, new, diverse formats not – the same plant-based burgers and nuggets over and over.
5. CONVENIENCE: Studies show that 50% of consumers value convenient formats when choosing plant-based products, and brands are addressing these preferences with easy-to-prepare and on-the-go versions of plant-based dishes.

Plant-Based Innovation in Action:

Explore our Cuisine Redefined by Greenfield Design virtual festival, where we’ve transformed these areas of opportunity into an interactive menu of innovative plant-based cuisine, with recipes that speak to consumers’ desire for global flavors, elevated nutrition, and new creative formats for meal, beverage, dessert and snack opportunities throughout the day. Dive into consumer preferences with our metahumans that take real-life challenges of what consumers face, and watch as their wants and needs are met and exceeded with our innovative, unique foods and beverages.

Our concepts developed by IFF Chefs and Food Designers are packed with limitless flavors, taste technologies and functional ingredients and they play a vital role in bringing their cuisine expertise and technical application knowledge. The future of plant-based food and beverage is limitless, with new, exciting and innovative dishes waiting to be created.

Let’s pioneer a new era of plant-based innovation, together for the health of people and our planet.

Explore our plant-based technologies, offerings and innovations here.

Creativity & Imagination, Creativity & Innovation, Plant-Based, Sustainable Innovation