It’s no surprise that plant-based food has become more and more popular over the years. In the US, plant-based milk makes up 20% of the broader plant-based foods category, the largest segment. What’s driving consumers to these plant-based milk alternatives? Based on Euromonitor International’s Voice of the Consumer: Health and Nutrition Survey (2021), 42% of global consumers restricted their dairy consumption for digestive health reasons and said using plant-based alternatives made them “feel healthier.” In this same survey, 27% of global consumers linked this behavioral change to ethical reasons, which includes environmental and animal rights concerns. Oat milk is a big winner in plant-based milk options because of its neutral flavor that doesn’t overpower the aromas and flavors of coffee, that sweet nectar of the gods. Bonus points for oat milk having prebiotic fiber, boosting its health reputation even more! If you haven’t already done so, check out Oatly, whose goal is to deliver maximum nutritional value with minimal environmental impact.
Nestle is heading into 2022 with a focus on the growing plant-based trend, investing in plant-based meat alternatives, with an eye on other trends in coffee and snacking. In the U.S., chicken is a top animal protein, so the company created Mindful Chik’n Strips under the Sweet Earth Foods brand, which continues to outpace category growth. There’s also a new trend alert known as “mini meals”, which means we just tend to be more fluid in how we consume our “meals,” driving brands to look at the next step beyond traditional snacking. Perhaps a Hot Pocket could fill that role? A snack or a power lunch, the decision is up to you.