The ongoing concern for future sustainability of the global food chain and ingredient source transparency is having far reaching consequences for food manufacturers and consumers alike. One area of new product development to benefit from a continued focus on sustainability and health in general, is vegetarian foods. Innova Market Insights revealed an 18% increase in tracked global product launches with a vegetarian positioning from 2014 to 2015, and a further 2% increase from 2015 to 2016. Growth may stagnate for vegetarian positioned new product launch activity in preference to using the more specific vegan positioning due to the increasing popularity of this lifestyle trend.
This renewed interest in vegetables and their inherent health benefits should inspire and further drive innovation by food manufacturers in producing, for example, more exciting and tasty meat substitutes, vegetarian ready meals and meal kits. In regard to meat substitutes in particular, what is most interesting is the breadth of products now available, providing consumers with a lot more choice and also convenience.