Over Half Of Young U.S. Consumers Are Now Flexitarians, According To New Study

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In a recent study conducted by One Poll, more than half of Americans between the years of 24-29 described themselves as flexitarians, those who prefer to consume less meat, while not necessarily eliminating it from their diet completely.

To understand more about diets and the eating habits of Americans, around 2,000 young Americans between the ages of 24 to 29 were surveyed by a study commissioned by Sprouts Farmers Market and conducted by One Poll. More than half of these young Americans identified themselves as flexitarians.

Flexitarians are those that consciously make an effort to reduce meat in their diet and instead replace it with plant-based alternatives.

47% of respondents from the study identified with being flexitarians and the poll further observed that 43% of respondents call being flexitarian as a ‘permanent lifestyle change’.

The interest in plant-based foods and a flexitarian diet is evident. Shoppers are more engaged with their food than ever. [They] are seeking innovative and alternative products to mix up the meals they prepare for themselves and their families

Jack Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer, Sprouts Farmers Market

Additionally, 63% mentioned that they would be ‘willing to swap meat for a plant-based alternative if it fulfilled certain conditions’. 68% said they would swap meat for a plant-based alternative if the taste hasn’t been compromised and 60% of respondents mentioned that they would switch to plant-based diets if it had the same nutritional value.

Aside from this, 63% of respondents, nearly two-thirds would make the shift to plant-based meals as it is ‘more ethical’. Surprisingly, 36% i.e over a third, were not entirely sure what being a flexitarian meant, let alone being identified as one. 

Plant-based product sales grew exponentially last year, indicating consumers are craving innovative items to try at home.We believe consumers will remain focused on incorporating healthy foods into their lifestyles to support immunity and overall wellbeing in 2021. This includes introducing consumers to things they never considered before, like plant-based foods and meat alternatives

Jack Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer, Sprouts Farmers Market

According to a report by the Good Food Institute, the U.S. plant-based market grew to US$5 billion in 2019. Further, as of March last year, the growth of plant-based foods that directly replace animal products has increased by 29% in the past two years.

In an interview with Plant Based News, Sprouts Chief Executive Officer Jack Sinclair, said he believes consumers are looking for more plant-based foods. “The interest in plant-based foods and a flexitarian diet is evident. Shoppers are more engaged with their food than ever. [They] are seeking innovative and alternative products to mix up the meals they prepare for themselves and their families.”

The survey also shows that 68% of respondents believe that eating healthier foods will help them understand the world better, while 69% said that it can also help them understand their bodies better.

More than six in ten Americans will try out plant-based meals to feel better and 59% would definitely experiment with plant-based foods if they were easily available at their local grocery mart.

The poll also questioned the respondents about their motivations behind eating healthier, with more than half the poll (53%) saying they want to improve and strengthen their immune system while 44% wanted to adopt a healthy lifestyle to refrain from falling sick. 12% said they would eat healthier because it’s better for the planet.

Sinclair added: “Plant-based product sales grew exponentially last year, indicating consumers are craving innovative items to try at home. We believe consumers will remain focused on incorporating healthy foods into their lifestyles to support immunity and overall wellbeing in 2021. This includes introducing consumers to things they never considered before, like plant-based foods and meat alternatives.”

In September last year, One Poll conducted another study commissioned by Eat Just, creators of the plant-based JUST Egg, that found that around 60% of Americans are shifting to a flexitarian or plant-based diet since the pandemic began. Many of the respondents had stated that health was the main reason for this shift and others cited desires to reduce animal intake thus living a sustainable lifestyle.

Aside from this, similar consumer trends have been noticed in surveys that have been conducted from the U.S to Hong Kong to the U.K that show a spiked interest in plant-based diets as well as swapping meat for sustainable alternatives.

In an interview with Green Queen, Green Monday’s founder and CEO David Yeung mentioned that the meat crisis is pushing both consumers and manufacturers to shift towards plant-based options. “This is a catalyst to ramp up plant-based and reduce animal agriculture as the pandemic has shown there is no choice but to re-examine the system.”


All images are courtesy of Unsplash.


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