There is rising global interest in developing meat-free ready meals in many markets, particularly in developed economies. Although many products in the global prepared meals sector are naturally vegetable-based and meat-free, a significant number are now also being specially positioned on a vegetarian platform. Innova Market Insights reports that 8.6% of all food & beverages launches in 2018 have a vegetarian claim, of which 43% are in Europe and 40% in Asia.
This trend is not only driven by vegetarians and vegans, but also by a large number of meat and dairy reducers, flexitarians, the lactose intolerant, and people, especially the millennial demographic, who enjoy non-meat options. They are seeking new food experiences and always looking for the next big thing in terms of food trends.
This interest is also reflected in the retail and the foodservice industry with extensive and exciting menu changes in restaurants and plant-based product placement alongside meat products in the aisles. Furthermore, there is still lots of room for innovation, as demand for vegetarian and vegan shows no sign of slowing down. Therefore, providing vegetarians and vegan options on the menu makes clear commercial sense.
Top market categories of food & beverages launches with a “vegetarian” claim (Global, 2018):
Market category Penetration (%)
(Source: Innova Market Insights)