NEW CENTURY, KAS. – Increasing demand in plant-based, alternative proteins is fueled by consumers’ perception of the foods being healthier and secondarily, that they are more environmentally friendly, based on new market research. According to DuPont Nutrition & Health, the 2018 Markets and Markets Meat Alternative survey, 96% of respondents attributed their motivation for eating non-animal-based proteins to the overall health halo associated with the products. Health attributes respondents specified included heart health, illness prevention and longer lifespan.

“With consumers embracing more plant-based foods, the meat alternatives category is really gaining momentum, and there’s lots of opportunity for growth,” said Mark Cornthwaite, marketing manager of DuPont Nutrition & Health.

The survey concluded that social and environmental factors were not reported as primary motivators among consumers. Additional growth is also possible as food companies improve the eating qualities of the alternative proteins. 

“Our research shows people see taste, texture and lack of variety in meat alternatives as barriers to eating more plant-based foods,” Mr. Cornthwaite said.

DuPont Nutrition & Health is focused on providing expertise to develop products offering improved eating attributes and taste.

“What sets us apart is we can provide, for many plant-based, meat alternative formats, the majority of the components needed to develop a product from plant proteins to hydrocolloids and antimicrobials to antioxidants and colors,” Mr. Cornthwaite said.

He added that opportunities to improve plant-based versions of breakfast patties, fajitas, sausages and burgers are among the products in highest demand among consumers.