It's clear that plant-based meat is the hottest trend in fast food — whether it's because Burger King is rolling out Impossible Whoppers nationwide or because Arby's felt the need to stand up for carnivores by making meat-based plants. But though the news continues to tell us that meat-free options are all the rage, one question that often remains unanswered is who exactly is driving the trend? I mean, I'm interested in plant-based meat, but are you interested in plant-based meat?
Impossible Foods — one of the biggest and best-tasting producers in the game — understands this question (not to mention that it's imperative to their business model), so the company has released the results of their most recent insights report looking into consumer attitudes. Their biggest takeaway: Millennial parents are "driving the acceleration of plant-based meat in households."
The Impossible Burger producer hired an independent research firm to survey 1,000 Americans about plant-based meat. "The survey shows striking differences among age groups," Impossible Foods' final report states. "Young people are far more likely to eat plant-based meat than older generations. And the trend is quickly accelerating as Millennials become parents."
Specifically, younger generations' growing acceptance of climate change appears to be playing a vital role. "When Impossible Foods launched the Impossible Burger in 2016, concern for the environment wasn't even in the Top 10 reasons consumers cited as motivating their purchase," the brand continues. "Now it's No. 3. We see this trend accelerating too, as young people take to the streets to protect the planet they're inheriting."
Further highlighting the generational gap, Impossible says their research found that just two out of ten Baby Boomers consume plant-based meat at least once a month, but when it comes to the younger Generation Z, that number jumps to over half of respondents.
However, the findings about millennial parents are likely both the most interesting and the best news for companies like Impossible Foods. "Millennials with children are more likely to consume plant-based meats than millennials without children at home: 72 percent of millennials with kids are consuming plant-based meat more often, vs. 60 percent of Millennials without kids compared to last year," the report states. "This shift means increasingly early exposure for the world's youngest generation — who develop a lifestyle and palate for mindful, plant-based eating much earlier than previous generations."
As a result, overall, it's not surprising that one of Impossible's top takeaways is that "we're confident that the plant-based food category is poised for inevitable, long-term growth." No wonder Beyond Meat's stock has been surging.
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