According to the latest consumer research, two thirds of all US consumers are drawn to meat free alternatives, and despite its traditional image of providing a big variety of meat offerings, Denmark scores 7th best country in Europe for meat alternatives. Over the past four years, dairy alternatives have risen by more than 20%, the vegan market penetration has trebled and 14% growth can be detected in meat alternatives overall. Looking at the Nordics, an Ernst and Young study found that 24% of Nordic consumers predict they will eat less meat in the next five years, mostly quoting health and environmental reasons.
Our close neighbours such as the UK, Germany, Belgium and France all show similar trends. France demonstrates an annual growth rate of 17% for the vegetarian and vegan market for the next three years, while the number of vegans in the UK quadruplet over the past five years - the UK counts more than 600,000 vegans now, which is a population percentage of 1.16%. At the tip of the vegan trend, the German market shows significant growth as 14% of all food and drink launches carry a vegan claim. Further supporting this change in diet is Belgium. The Kingdom of Belgium went as far as launching a campaign that encourages people to try a vegan food diet for one month.
Hence, there is no surprise that more and more restaurants respond by offering meat alternatives on their menu. Furthermore, we do not only talk about vegan only anymore - the term “plant-based” has entered the game and is increasingly used in the industry when offering dishes that exclude meat.
Oftentimes, we see these words used interchangeably and at first sight, they seem to be talking about the same thing. Yet, what exactly is vegan, what is plant-based and where is the difference - if there is such?