Chicago — Research from Barry Callebaut shows consumers are open to trying plant-based chocolate, as the sector continues to show growth. The global research on plant-based indulgence across confectionery, bakery, pastry and ice-cream shows that 74 percent of respondents aged 18 to 44 claim to eat plant-based chocolate occasionally. In addition, only 45 percent of global consumers are satisfied with the current offering of plant-based milk chocolate and 60 percent of consumers aged 18 to 44 want broader offerings.
The key motivations to try plant-based chocolates were listed as health (43 percent), enjoying the taste (41 percent), and adding variety to their diet/trying something new (34 percent), before concerns about climate change and animal welfare, with just 12 percent reporting they had tried plant-based products because of food allergies. Key barriers to eating plant-based chocolate were reported as taste concerns (28 percent), price (25 percent) and 19 percent noted they did not have enough information on plant-based products.
According to the research, millennials and GenZ (ages 18 to 44) are more likely to actively follow a plant-based diet, with 60 percent expecting food brands to offer a plant-based option versus 43 percent for Gen X and Baby Boomers. The research also shows that 34 percent of global consumers are prepared to pay more for a plant-based option.
On average, 40 percent of global consumers report to have been consuming more plant-based products during the past 12 months and 44 percent expect to increase their consumption of plant-based products. That figure rises to 72 percent for flexitarians.
When it comes to pricing, 34 percent of global consumers are willing to pay more for a plant-based option, with 42 percent of GenZ and millennials more prepared to do that than older generations (25 percent).