Meat-Eaters Gravitating Toward Alternatives

Mintel, a Chicago-based research company, released surprising numbers relating to purchases of meat alternatives at the supermarket. While only 7 percent of all shoppers surveyed identified as vegetarians, 36 percent said they bought meat alternatives on a regular basis.

One-third of consumers said they bought meat alternatives because they believed they were healthier, while approximately the same number of people said they were trying to reduce their overall meat consumption.

Additionally, since 2011, vegan advertising claims have surpassed vegetarian claims on food products and the "no animal ingredients" claim saw the strongest growth between 2008 and 2012, with a 200 percent increase!

Beth Bloom, Mintel food and drink analyst, had this to say: "This data suggests participation in the alternative meat category stretches far beyond necessity, and creates an opportunity for future growth based on the products' ability to meet general consumer food interests, such as health, price, variety and convenience." She added that the "bottom line" is that "vegetarians and vegans aren't the only people eating 'fake' meat; meat eaters are also exploring this newfound protein superpower."

While per capita meat consumption continues to decline, companies like Gardein, Beyond Meat and Field Roast are creating meat alternatives that taste like the real thing without the environmental degradation, negative health effects and disturbing animal abuse inherent in meat production and consumption. To learn more about going vegetarian and for a slew of meat alternative ideas, visit