Over Half of Americans Say Future of Food Is Plant-Based – New Poll

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More than half of Americans believe that the future of food is plant-based, a new consumer poll has found.

A new survey conducted by The Harris Poll reveals that over half of American consumers see plant-based foods as a trend here to stay. The polling, commissioned by vegan food tech Alpha Foods, saw 52% of all respondents agree to the statement, with the figure rising to 61% among those who are already plant-forward eaters. 

Consumers who had already tried plant-based foods viewed it as part of their long-term lifestyle, with 83% saying they are going to either maintain or increase consumption of plant-based items in the future. 

Flexitarianism on the rise

Among the over 2,000 American adults surveyed, 51% have already tried or are interested in adopting a flexitarian diet. Younger generations were the most receptive, with nearly 60% of Gen Zs and 56% of millennials fitting into the category. These results fit into broader global trends, which suggest around 4 in 10 consumers around the world are now flexitarian. 

Over a third (35%) of all respondents described themselves as “plant-curious” and two-thirds (66%) said they have already tried plant-based foods. The main drivers were health (64%) and sustainability (29%). 

Interestingly, Latino and Black Americans were even more likely to have tried plant-based foods compared to the general American population, with 78% and 74% having done so respectively, against the 66% average recorded overall. 

Related: Gen Z are spending more on food than anything else and prioritise conscious brands

Plant-based community matters

One of the key findings from the poll was that Americans are seeking healthy, more sustainable options, but inclusivity, when it comes to plant-based dietary choices. 

Nearly two-thirds (65%) said they had altered their diets due to stigma or judgement, but 75% said they were actually craving inclusiveness and flexibility and would “rather not label my food choices under a certain diet”. 

For Alpha Foods CEO and co-founder Cole Orobetz, this was a finding especially pertinent to his brand, which was created to “making plant-based food accessible to all, with no judgement, wherever they are on their plant-based food journey.” 

“Judgement and food stigma are rife in our culture as this report shows,” added Orobetz, who is himself a self-described flexitarian. “We’re looking for places of inclusivity, connection and comfort.”

That’s why, according to the survey, Americans are actually looking for low-barrier settings to try new plant-based foods. 88% said they would like to eat plant-based meals as part of a social setting, such as dinner parties and work events. 

Orobetz says one of the most “exciting” findings was that those who are trying plant-based foods are also beginning to form a community focused on well-being. “Plant-based food eaters are more likely to support local business, minimize waste, support minority-owned business and engage in meditation or mental health exercises,” he shares. 

All images courtesy of Alpha Foods.

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