BENEO survey shows 'flexitarians' are an important demographic for retailers

Private label ingredient manufacturer BENEO's latest survey gives insights for retailers and their plant-based private label portfolios.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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plant based meat

BENEO, a leading manufacturer of functional ingredients for private label use, has released a new survey on plant-based trends. The global survey was conducted by the market research agency Insites Consulting, on behalf of BENEO, with 11,990 consumers in 10 countries.

The study found that only 7% across the world (10% in the US) identifying themselves as vegan, vegetarian, or pescatarian, making ‘flexitarians’, or those who limit meat intake, an important demographic for private label plant-based products.

A recent study from Grand View Research found that the global plant-based meat market was valued at roughly $5 billion in 2021, and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) OF 19.3% from 2022 to 2030.

“Flexitarians are the driving force within the plant-based segment, and they are also a sophisticated target group,” said Myriam Snaet, head of market intelligence and consumer insights at BENEO. “They are looking for a convenient way to include innovative and adventurous taste experiences in their daily diet and aren’t willing to compromise on enjoyment. Delivering on taste and texture is key to building a loyal consumer base. Thanks to ingredients such as those from BENEO it is possible for ‘plant-based’ and ‘indulgence’ to go hand in hand for a wide variety of applications.”

Approximately half of the flexitarians already buy alternatives to meat (45%) and dairy (49%), with almost one in three also buying plant-based sweets like chocolate (32%). With another third interested in meat and dairy alternatives, BENEO says flexitarians can be converted to plant-based categories with the right products.

84% of flexitarians say they are concerned about climate change and the environment, and 86% want to know how their food is made and what is in it. 60% consider product quality and traceability labels when shopping (compared to 41% of the general population).

BENEO found that flexitarians are also interested in health and exciting new food experiences. The majority take active steps to make their nutrition healthier, with about 7 in 10 paying attention to on-pack information and nutritional claims (compared to 5 in 10 in the general population). Half of the flexitarians want to keep up with the latest food trends, creating opportunities for private label brands who can meet their demand for more adventurous foods.

Formed in 2007, BENEO is active in over 80 countries, employs more than 1,000 people, and has five state-of-the-art production sites in Belgium, Chile, Germany and Italy.