Plant-based items are skyrocketing on menus. But how popular are they with consumers, really? Restaurant Business Senior Editor Pat Cobe recently spoke with Clare Aigner, manager of syndicated research at Technomic, an RB sister brand, to get some insights.
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We’ve actually found some very interesting tidbits, I think. When we think about [those terms], they are almost the same thing. Obviously, vegan is a little bit more restrictive, but vegetarian and plant-based are almost synonymous. Interestingly enough, 58% of consumers say they are likely to buy plant-based foods, versus 49% who would buy vegetarian and 43% who would buy vegan.
Additionally, consumers find vegan and vegetarian foods less tasty than plant-based foods. I think vegan and vegetarian have been put into consumers’ minds as taking away from a diet… but maybe, plant-based almost gives you something: You’re getting more plants, more nutrients. And along with the interest in protein—that’s consumers’ No. 1 nutrient they look for on menus—plant-based still gives you that protein component as well.
Source : Restaurant Business online