Acosta Group Study Highlights Plant-Based Shopper Insights


Jacksonville, FL — One-in-three shoppers are consuming plant-based products on a regular basis, according to a recently released study from Acosta Group.

In the past four years, sales of plant-based products have been steadily growing, reaching $8 billion in 2022, according to SPINS data. While 88 percent of active users report a moderate to high commitment to continue making plant-based purchases, one-third of shoppers say they would like to see more plant-based offerings at stores.

“We asked our shopper community what initially influenced their consumption of plant-based products, and they cited overall health reasons, nutritional concerns and animal welfare as the top mentions, especially for the longer-term users,” says Kathy Risch, SVP, consumer insights and trends at Acosta Group. “Shoppers place equal importance on obtaining reliable and accurate information from brands, retailers and the media about plant-based foods so they can make well-informed choices – especially those beginning their plant-based journeys.”

Other key findings and implications from the study include:

  • Active users are more likely to believe that plant-based products have staying power, while only 20% of non-users say the same, believing it to be more of a fad
  • Over half of all shoppers cite that affordability is the main barrier to purchasing plant-based products
  • Gen-Z and Millennials are eager adopters of plant-based products and more likely to be influenced by sustainability – this is very similar to another Acosta Group study this year on Sustainability Shopper Insights, in which 52 percent of Gen Z and millennials said they are more inclined to buy sustainable products
  • Active plant-based shoppers would like to see more plant-based soups and snacks, while new plant-based shoppers will gravitate towards alternative milk, creamers, protein shakes and pizza

“This study shows significant potential for brands and retailers to explore alternate methods of educating and connecting with all plant-based shoppers – whether they are active users or not,” notes Andrew Fleming, SVP natural channel, Acosta. “To stimulate ongoing growth and build brand loyalty within this segment of shoppers, we encourage brands and retailers to strengthen their omnichannel plan and focus on all aspects of the consumer journey, including clear and engaging signage, sampling, and promotions to encourage trial and remind shoppers of product benefits.”