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Understanding consumer shifts from animal-based to plant-based foods in the retail environment

The sales growth of plant-based foods is well documented, but are consumers purchasing fewer animal-based foods as their engagement with plant-based foods in retail increases? The Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) engaged 84.51° to understand how Kroger shoppers engaged with animal- and plant-based foods and where customers shifted their spend between 2019 and 2021. The Association aimed to uncover consumer attitudes and sentiment, leveraging 84.51° data science and insights experience.

Households that increased plant-based spend ultimately lowered animal-based spend overall

Households that engaged with plant-based foods were found to decrease their spend by the highest amount in the animal-based meat product group, with a change in spend decreasing by an average of $31 year over year. The average household that maintained their total plant-based spend, decreased their total animal-based spend by an average of $28.21.

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This suggests that plant-based households continue to substitute more animal-based products with their plant-based alternatives. Even among consumers who lowered their spend with plant-based categories (Plant-Based Decreaser Households), their spend per household in animal-based foods decreased by a more significant degree, $60.48, than their decrease in plant-based spend, $41.71.

It is also worth noting that 20% of plant-based shoppers were new to the category. Looking at the Plant-Based Shopper Survey, not only did Plant-Based Increasers indicate they were actively purchasing plant-based foods in place of their animal-based counterparts, but they listed interest in health and convenience as their top motivation for doing so.

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