The Hunger for Vegan, Vegetarian Foods
Though we eat more meat than any other population in the world, Americans’ appetite for vegan and vegetarian foods is voracious. Mintel reports about 36 percent of consumers say they’re buying meat alternatives and plant-based foods, and The Huffington Post reports some 16-plus million people consider themselves vegan or vegetarian.
In 2012, Americans ate 12.2 percent less meat than five years earlier, and 12 percent of the global food and drink products launched in 2013 carried a vegetarian claim, up from 6 percent in 2009, according to Huffington Post. In 2014, the Huffington Post predicted that by 2050, America may be a “vegan country” – or at least a significant percentage of Americans will be vegans.
Our emergent love of plant-based foods and the healthy, organic, clean-label food movements are prompting mainstream food producers to slip in more veggies. In 2015, more than 100 plant-based meat substitutes were introduced in grocery stores, according to Supermarketnews.com.