Vegan and plant-based foods are the fastest growing food category people order, according to top food delivery companies in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Delivery services enjoyed greater popularity during the coronavirus lockdown, and with it, they enjoyed greater access to data about the food people bring home.
“We were quite surprised to find that a third of our customers are adding plant-based products to their carts,” said Laurentia Romaniuk, trend expert at Instacart, based in San Francisco, “so that was very exciting for us.”
In the UK, vegan orders were up 107 percent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the first quarter of 2019, said Elena Davis, Deliveroo’s senior business manager. (First quarter results are boosted Veganuary advertising). In the first quarter of 2021, they were up 163 percent from 2020.
“The vegan and plant-based space has been really interesting for Deliveroo,” Davis said this week at the Vegan Women’s Summit. “It has been the fastest growing category for us for the last three years. And it is something that we not only see in London and the big cities, but also all over the UK. “
Up to 15 percent of Deliveroo’s pizza and burger orders now include vegan products.
In the US, the move toward plant-based foods appears to be led by almond milk, according to Instacart data:
“Most customers, when they first add a plant-based product to their cart, it will be an alternative milk product and it will usually be almond milk,” Romaniuk said. But almond milk appears to be the gateway to other plant-based products, and Impossible Foods, known for its plant-based meats, is the single leading brand in the category.
“If they buy almond milk or other plant milks, they go for other vegan products,” he said, “and if they are customers who mix their products, they usually buy for their family. There may be a person in the home who is plant-based, or there may be a flexitarian in the home and they are building a cart for the whole family. “
Customers under the age of 35 prefer plant-based milks, while customers over 35 prefer conventional milk, he said. The top search terms for these products are “vegan,” “vegetarian,” and “dairy-free,” he added, and not the industry term “plant-based.”
In the United States, plant-based foods have traditionally been more popular on the West Coast, Romaniuk said, but now the most growth is occurring in the East.
Instacart picks up and delivers groceries in the United States and Canada. Deliveroo picks up and delivers to grocery stores and restaurants in the UK, where Deliveroo data shows more people are ordering vegan fast food classics, Davis said.
“We are already seeing a lot of this on our platform. For example, Burger King is a great example. They have a vegan steak and a plant-based Whopper, and those are driving a significant proportion of their sales. “
Restaurants and grocery stores that don’t sell vegan products may be “losing about 20 percent of orders and potentially a large number of customers that are at stake,” Davis said.
“Customers want brands that represent something and that allow them to indulge themselves without compromising the taste, absolutely, the taste is always non-negotiable, but then those brands that offer something more, and that are good for the planet, good for our health. , and the best possible for the animals. “