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Plant-based puts punters off products

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Shoppers want products to drop the plant-based label in favour of clearer indication of their ingredients
Shoppers want products to drop the plant-based label in favour of clearer indication of their ingredients

Related tags alternative protein meat free

Consumers are less likely to choose food products that have ‘plant-based’ or ‘vegan’ labels on them, according to research commissioned by dairy-free cheese brand Julienne Bruno.

Almost half (45%) of consumers would order more ‘planet friendly’ food if the ingredients were listed instead of being labelled as ‘vegan’ or ‘plant-based’. This included including two fifths (42%) of meat eaters, over half of pescatarians (55%) and vegans (54%).

Plant-based’ has become more deterrent than the term ‘vegan’ with two in five (37%) consumes now disliking the term compared to just under a third (32%) for ‘vegan’.

Plant-based boom

Despite the pushback, three quarters (74%) of retailers did not think the plant-based boom was over, while almost half (45%) admitted they thought it has just become more mainstream.

However, taste and quality remained king, with one in three (33%) meat eaters and pescatarians admitting to getting up and leaving restaurants if there are no plant-based options that are good enough.

Axel Katalan, founder of Julienne Bruno, said: “Being labelled as plant-based isn’t a unique selling point. The research indicates diners want their food to be original, taste good and offer quality produce regardless of whether it’s vegan and along with including trusted brand items on menus, this could be key to getting more diners to eat more sustainably very easily.

Shift in how we talk about plant-based

“With vegans even being put off vegan labelling, I think it’s time for a shift in how we talk about and label food.”

Katalan’s sentiments echo the message shared by FMCG Gurus head of research and insight Mike Hughes at this year’s FoodEx.

Hughes called for an end of ‘plant-based’ monikers for food​– phrases that invoke visions of substitute products or alternatives are associated with compromise and the one thing consumers don’t want it compromise.

Remove the plant-based label

Top ten dairy dishes Brits want an environmentally friendly version of on restaurant menus – just don’t label it as ‘plant-based’ or ‘vegan’

  1. Lasagne (26%)
  2. Cheesecake (25%)
  3. Margherita pizza (23%)
  4.  Cheesy chips (23%)
  5.  Mac and cheese (23%)
  6. Grilled cheese sandwich (20%)
  7. Quiche (19%)
  8. Spaghetti Carbonara (19%)
  9. Cauliflower cheese (19%)
  10. Cheese board (18%)

Related topics NPD Plant-Based

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