Plant-​based Proteins Appeal to More than Just Vegetarians

BY Courtney Huckabay
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Gone is the idea that protein has to come from an animal, Well+Good reports. Pea and hemp proteins are popping up everywhere, in increasingly delicious powders for smoothies, in nutrition bars, in potato chips—and also at trendy restaurants like By Chloe and Momofuku Nishi, where the veggie burgers seem so real they sizzle and “bleed.”

Plant protein blossoms in a big way

Beyond Burger CEO Ethan Brown says plants are the future of protein. “Our sole mission is creating plant-​based meats that allow people to eat more of the traditional dishes they love while feeling great about health, sustainability, and animal welfare. We see 2017 as a time where the meat case is going to be called the protein case, and consumers will be able to buy plant-​based and animal protein side by side.” Tyson’s recent investment in Beyond Meat is a big sign that meat manufacturers see it this way, too.

Restaurants and retailers on the cutting edge are sure to tout their plant-​based protein options to add to smoothies and fresh fruit juices. The latest AudienceSCAN survey reported 22% of Americans drink smoothies/​fruit juice at least once a week.

Millennials are growing this market. They want what’s good for them—but also what’s good for the people and the environment,” says Vega’s founder Brendan Brazier. In the smoothie powder aisle alone, he adds, plant protein is growing 2.5 times faster than whey, and will soon outpace it.

Smoothie shops and cafes offering fresh-​pressed juices can let drinkers know about this "growing" option through TV commercials. The AudienceSCAN study revealed 41% of Smoothie/​Fruit Juice Drinkers took action after seeing TV spots in the past month.

Plant protein is no longer a niche market for vegans or athletes, confirms Vega’s Kim McDevitt. Their research shows that 80 percent of households have meatless Mondays.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.