A study has been conducted into the growth of the packaged vegan foods in the USA, and the results are looking good. Research analysts have estimated that the industry will grow at a rate of 8.14% annually between 2017-2021. The study defines Packaged Vegan Food as ‘plant-based packaged food products prepared without the use of any ingredients or products derived from animals, including but not limited to meat, fish, and poultry products, dairy products, and honey.’
There certainly have been a rise in the number of these foods recently, with increased distribution of ‘the burger that bleeds’, the introduction of products such as yoghurt in a squeezable tube and more and more companies bringing out cheese alternatives.
Interestingly, the study attributed the new popularity of veganism to the way in which celebrities are dealing with the subject. They have suggested that celebrities have increasingly endorsed vegan products and that this has started to remove some of the stigma attached to the word. No longer is it considered strange, but a lifestyle and decision that is openly discussed.
Researchers also found that veganism is now considered mainstream and referred to popular figures such as Bill Clinton and Beyonce. Certainly the number of celebrities talking about their vegan lifestyle has increased recently, which can only be a positive thing for the movement.
Now that veganism is widely accepted, the benefits of the lifestyle are being discussed widely. The study discovered that the main draw to veganism was in fact the health benefits, although veganism has it’s roots in animal activism. This is unsurprising as a recent study in Australia discovered that more often than not, Australians have made the switch in order to lose weight. An increased interest in veganism also comes at a time when America are facing an obesity epidemic, and an increase in the health problems that go alongside obesity, such as heart disease and cancer.
The study showed that consumers actually looked for whole foods within packaged vegan foods such as grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. This shows that consumers aren’t just following veganism blindly but have a good understanding of the foods that will effectively fuel their body and reduce health risks.
Research also suggests that the main factor impeding further growth of the market, is the threat of contamination with non-vegan products. Manufacturers source their ingredients from third party suppliers and need to guarantee the they have been handled correctly to avoid giving consumers food poisoning.
Although there are still problems for manufacturers, this is good news for vegan advocates as packaged food increases the accessibility of vegan food across the USA.