It is no secret that meat has become the hot topic of conversation in the retail and health discussion these days. A few years ago health front runners advised us to get as much meat as possible – for the protein – and today they are telling us (along with others) to cut back on the meat and substitute it with other products rich in protein (what is protein? – read here: Proteins)
But, how many Danes think it is important to get protein from other sources than meat? According to the Danish Vegetarian Association 1,8% of Danes are vegetarians, but 3,2% of Danes would define themselves as vegetarians! Only 20-30% of the vegetarians (around 25.000) are actual vegans. But a new trend is rising – the age of flexitarians has begun where 8,2% of Danes are flexitarians (this including vegetarians and vegans). In 2010 this number was 3,8% so even though the group is small, it is growing, and 28% of the Danes have at least one meatless day a week, this was 17% in 2010.
…The sales of vegetarian and vegan products are increasing, but from a low base. It is difficult these days to define these categories 100%, because nuts, fruit, vegetables, beans and peas play a big role in the meat free diet. Even so, in 2017 we saw a growth of products (with dedicated vegan or vegetarian brands and products with “vegetarian” or “vegan” in the product name) increasing by 40%, from a base at around 180 mio to 250 mio DKK. It is especially among the younger consumers that the interest is great. In a Nielsen survey 17% of Millennials say they try to avoid red meat entirely and 28% of Millennials say they look for products that are an alternative to meat.
The launch of of plant-based meat (plantebaseret fars) in December 2017 caused a lot of media attention and in a research in Søndagsavisen 18% of Danes say they have tasted the product in 2018. Nielsen data shows that in competing with minced red meat, plant-based meat accounts for 0,1% in the total grocery market and has been stable since the launch. But the product is also difficult to produce and therefore difficult to continuously get on shelf. Furthermore, in mid-March 2018 several media houses reported concerns about these products stating that the products are filled with non-beneficial ingredients, thereby going against another major consumer trend – the “free from” trend. So it is definitely a category in growth and development, with a big number of launches recently, but also with room for development and improvement.