Veggie food options not good enough

By Bethan Grylls

- Last updated on GMT

Vegetarians in UK and US find plant-based less appealing than vegans. Credit: Getty/Tero Vesalainen
Vegetarians in UK and US find plant-based less appealing than vegans. Credit: Getty/Tero Vesalainen

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Vegetarians in the US and UK are disappointed with the choice of food products available to them.

The online poll of 1,000 consumers found that the net satisfaction* rate among vegetarians had risen by 8%, a dramatic fall since 2018 where satisfaction had been recorded at +47%.

The findings commissioned by Ingredient Communications, revealed that UK vegetarians had seen a negative swing of 35%, dropping from +55% in 2018 to +20%.

In the US, net satisfaction among vegetarians slumped slightly less, by 48% between the same period.

In stark contrast, net satisfaction among vegans has seen an increase, from a 2% rise in 2018 to +17% today. US vegan satisfaction now stands at -3% versus -9% in 2018. In the UK, it’s +25%, compared to +28% five years earlier.

Plant-based is more appealing to vegans

The survey also found that plant-based in more appealing to vegans, with 95% of those following this diet saying the options looked tasty. This was compared to 56% of vegetarians.

For alternative dairy products, 91% of vegans said they found them appealing, compared to 60% of vegetarians.

Commenting on the results, Richard Clarke, managing director of Ingredient Communications, said: “The question has to be asked: in the rush to go 100% plant-based, have brands and retailers neglected the needs of vegetarians, who are usually happy to eat dairy and egg ingredients? If so, are more hybrid products the answer?

“In any case, the findings of our survey reinforce the golden rule of food manufacturing: that it’s essential to use the very best ingredients to deliver an excellent eating experience. The days have long gone when vegans and veggies were simply grateful to have something – anything – they could eat. They want and expect the best.”

*Net satisfaction = % dissatisfied subtracted from % satisfied.

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