Plant-Based Report: Texture, Price Among Top Concerns for Consumers

84.51° and the Plant Based Foods Association have released a new report detailing how plant-based offerings can be improved for consumers.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
Zachary Russell profile picture
Kroger Simple Truth

Consumers overwhelmingly like health benefits the most about plant-based foods, while price and texture/consistency remain drawbacks, according to a new report from 84.51° and the Plant Based Foods Association.

Kroger’s retail data firm and the trade group surveyed 60 million households in the top 50% of plant-based spend across age groups to field the insights for its Unmet Needs: Insights & Solutions report. Shannon Weis, lead consultant and insights account manager at 84.51° and spokesperson for the Plant Based Food Association, spoke with Store Brands about some of the report’s findings at Natural Products Expo West 2023.

Across the four age brackets, health benefits were overwhelmingly what consumers said they liked most about plant-based foods, including meats, milks and cheeses. Consumers under 44-years-old disliked the consistency/texture of many plant-based foods, and consumers between the ages of 25 and 34 most disliked the high price of many items.

Consumers between the ages of 55 and 64 said they disliked that plant-based foods were “too processed” or had “too much sodium.” More than half (54%) of those surveyed said they agreed that plant-based foods still have hidden unhealthy ingredients despite being healthier overall.

In the report, cheese is described as the “final frontier” for plant-based foods, with consumers stating that they are unhappy with the taste and texture of plant-based cheese. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of those surveyed said they wished there was a better non-dairy cheese alternative that “tasted like regular cheese, melted well, and didn't have a grainy texture."

Looking forward, 84.51° and the Plant Based Foods Association cited three areas of unmet needs for consumers: Exciting, bold flavors, pre-made meals, and advancements in cheese.

The full report can be found here.