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The rise of flexitarianism

​Last year, more than 400,000 people signed up to follow a vegan diet during Veganuary, smashing the previous year’s total of 250,000. A whopping 1,200 new vegan products were also launched in January 2020, tying in with the increased promotion of plant-based diets. Headline grabbing new products included Greggs’ vegan steak bake, KFC’s vegan burger and Marks & Spencer’s Plant Kitchen No Chicken Kiev.

Despite the high levels of media attention around campaigns like Veganuary, only 3% of the UK population still actually claim to be vegan (AHDB/YouGov Tracker, September 19) and Kantar usage data suggests this figure may actually be even lower at 0.7% (Kantar Worldpanel Usage, 52 w/e December 2019).

Even though the number of vegans in the UK is still relatively small, there’s one target consumer which is becoming increasingly important – the flexitarian.

According to Kantar, flexitarians account for 9.2% of the UK population and have grown in size by 21% since 2018 (Kantar Worldpanel Usage, 52 w/e December 2019). That number is only set to grow with the Sainsbury’s 2019 Future of Food report predicting that half of us will identify as flexitarian by 2025.

Here at ZERO2FIVE we have worked with a number of companies to help them develop new products which capitalise on this increasingly important consumer trend.

We have worked with a Cardiff-based company to support the expansion of their range of plant-based frozen meals for kids. They wanted to improve the nutritional content of two existing plant-based products as well as redevelop two other products to remove the meat element. First, we carried out a market review for the company looking at market dynamics, competitor products, and consumer trends which was used as the basis for an ideation session. Through a collaborative process we then developed new product recipes which the company plans on launching in spring this year.

We have also worked with a well-known Welsh brand to develop a vegan ice-cream style dessert to meet increasing consumer demand. The brief highlighted an existing product to benchmark against. Using this as a starting point, the new product development team at ZERO2FIVE explored using different types of plant and non-animal fats with the aim of minimising the use of emulsifiers, preservatives and stabilisers. Utilising equipment at our Centre we were able to create a product that the company would be able to produce at their site.

In addition, we have recently started projects with companies that are interested in developing plant-based and non-dairy milk substitutes, non-dairy chilled desserts, Indian vegan ready meals and vegan protein shakes.

If your company is thinking about how to develop plant-based products which satisfy consumer trends, then get in touch with us today and find out about the funded support which we can offer through Project HELIX: