A new report by Mintel has found that Germany is the world leader for vegan product launches. The data found that 15 per cent of all global vegan food and drink products that were released between July 2017 and June 2018 were launched in Germany.
The UK followed closely, with 14 per cent of new product launches, and the US accounted for 12 per cent of new vegan product launches. In total, vegan products accounted for 5 per cent of all food and drink items launched in the same period. Veganism has experienced rapid growth, and over the past five years vegan product launches have grown by 175 per cent.
With Germany renowned for having meat-based cuisine, the increase of vegan products is even more recognisable. Mintel reports that from July 2013 to June 2018, products that claim to be vegan have increased by 240 per cent. Younger consumers are fuelling the growth, with 20 per cent of 16-24 year olds buying meat-alternatives.
The survey also revealed that 17 per cent of Germans believe plant-based protein sources taste better than animal-based sources, and that 50 per cent think that plant proteins are as nutritious as meat.
Katya Witham, global food and drink analyst at Mintel, said: “In recent years, consumers around the world have increased their intake of plant-based foods and Germany is no exception. Our research shows that stricter plant-based diets like veganism are still niche, while a much higher percentage of consumers are embracing ‘flexitarianism’.
“The majority of consumers are not giving up meat; they are making room for more vegan products as part of ‘flexitarian’ dieting, opening opportunities for plant-based food and drink innovation. Moreover, the rapid growth of vegan products in Germany also reflects the rise of ethical consumerism, especially among younger consumers.
“The appeal of products without animal-derived ingredients has extended far beyond the limited pool of steadfast vegans and vegetarians, carving a place within overall healthy and varied diets. Food and drink manufacturers would do well to incorporate vegan claims into wider health and ethical-related product positioning, serving the purpose of providing transparency, and communicating product sustainability to the widest range of consumers.”