The consumption of plant-based proteins has been on the rise in recent years, as more and more people are choosing to incorporate them into their diets for a variety of reasons.
Last year, we published an article entitled “The Boom of the Vegan market in France : review of 2021 and 2022 market outlook”. One year later, it is time for us to write an up-to-date review about the perception of plant-based proteins among French consumers.
This article is based on fresh data from the 6th edition of a survey conducted by Protéines France in 2022. The report aimed to understand the knowledge, practices, and perceptions of French consumers regarding plant-based proteins.
Changes in dietary habits
The survey, which was conducted between May and June 2022, involved approximately 1,000 consumers. One of the main findings of the survey was that 22% of French consumers reported changing their dietary habits in the past 12 months to include more plant-based proteins. The majority of these changes were motivated by a desire to diversify their diet (91%) or to be more environmentally friendly (74%).
Perceptions of plant-based proteins
The survey also found that plant-based proteins are becoming more well-known among French consumers. In fact, 41% of respondents considered plant-based proteins as the third most important source of protein, behind meat and eggs and ahead of fish. This is a significant increase from the previous year, when only 35% of respondents considered them as an important source of protein.
Plant-based proteins are perceived as healthy by 85% of French consumers, environmentally-friendly by 73% and better than animal proteins by 44%.
Additionally, the survey revealed that the majority of those who had consumed more plant-based proteins in the past 12 months were influenced by the media (64%) and health professionals (50%). This suggests that there is still a need for increased awareness and education about plant-based proteins among the French population.
Despite the growing awareness and acceptance of plant-based proteins, the survey also found that they still face challenges. Some respondents considered them to be “unknown” and “difficult to cook,” highlighting the need for more education on how to prepare and incorporate plant-based proteins into meals.
Vegan meat remains the most consumed alternative in France
44% of French people say they have purchased plant-based protein products, a high figure but down 15 points from the previous year. The proportion of consumers who regularly purchase these products remained stable compared to 2020, at 11%.
Consumers continue to be curious and diversify the types of products they buy: 59% have already bought plant-based alternatives to meat (+20%), 39% have bought plant-based desserts (+24%), 38% plant-based drinks (+17%), plant-based ready meals (+14%) and plant-based protein bars.
In conclusion, the findings reveal that there is a growing awareness and acceptance of plant-based proteins, but there is still a need for increased education and awareness about these proteins to overcome challenges like lack of knowledge on how to cook them.
As the trend of plant-based proteins continue to rise, it is important that stakeholders in the industry work to make plant-based proteins more accessible and user-friendly for consumers to ensure its continued growth.
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