More than half (60 percent) of Americans have started eating a more plant-based diet since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to a new poll of 2,000 adults conducted by market research firm OnePoll and Eat Just, Inc., a food tech company best known for its plant-based JUST Egg product made from mung beans.
According to Plant-Based News, nearly six out of 10 survey respondents said they have been “transitioning to a more flexitarian, or semi-vegetarian, diet” since the pandemic began. They cited their health as the No. 1 reason for making the change.
“Nearly 60 percent of respondents in the national general population survey said they ‘strongly agree’ or ‘somewhat agree’ when asked whether their eating habits were increasingly shifting to plant-based [food], with 39 percent of participants 18-25 years old and 23 percent of participants 26-41 years old stating that their diet already excludes animal products,” OnePoll told Plant Based News.
“When it came to the motivations for plant-based purchases,” OnePoll added, “half cited their desire to make healthier food choices, while about four in 10 said purchases were driven by a desire to eat fewer animal products (42 percent) and wanting to live a more sustainable lifestyle (39 percent).”
September is Better Breakfast Month, and the survey found a majority of respondents were more open to trying plant-based food at breakfast. More than 80 percent said they were open to trying a plant-based meal one day a week.
“The results dispelled the notion that plant-based products available today aren’t as tasty or are more difficult to cook with, signifying the industry has made major strides in creating offerings that are not only delicious and nutritious but also easy to prepare,” said OnePoll.
The vegan trend applies to pizza as well, as demand for plant-based meat toppings grows. “Plant-based options are the fastest growing sections on pizza menus and part of a larger trend in foodservice in general,” Daniel Levine, director of The Avant-Guide Institute in New York, told PMQ recently. “What was once marginalized as ‘vegetarian’ is now being normalized by being called ‘plant-based’—and, for pizza, this includes vegan cheese, vegetable-based crusts and meatless ‘meats. ’”