A European survey looks at consumer attitudes towards plant-based foods. Spain is among the EU countries most interested in plant-based nutrition.
Most Spaniards are aware of the health problems associated with high meat consumption. Results showed in the pan-European study ‘What consumers want: a European survey on consumer attitudes towards plant-based foods, with a focus on flexitarians’. The survey involved 7,500 people from 10 European countries (Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom).
Almost half of Spaniards eat less meat than a year ago. 62% of respondents in Spain consider themselves omnivores, 30% say they are flexitarians (sometimes eat meat but try to limit consumption). Another 6% follow a plant-based diet (vegan or vegetarian). 63% have been following their current diet for more than 5 years.
Plant-based alternatives to meat, fish, cheese and bakery products
According to the survey, Spain is among the countries most interested in plant-based nutrition. 47% of Spanish consumers are likely to choose plant-based alternatives to meat regularly, once they have the same taste and texture as meat of animal origin. Also, 23% are willing to pay more for them.
The plant-based products consumers would most like to buy in Spanish supermarkets are substitute burgers (50%), chicken breast (44%) and minced meat (39%).
Spanish consumers would also like to be able to buy substitutes for fish, particularly fish fingers (34%) and canned fish such as tuna (33%).
Furthermore, of all the countries surveyed, Spanish consumers are more likely to eat vegetable cheese (36%) than regular cheese, to buy it regularly (38%) and even to pay a higher price for it (28%). All this depends on the taste and texture being the same.
Spanish consumers also place the highest value on bakery products (e.g., bread or biscuits) that do not contain animal ingredients (42%). Spanish people are more willing (41%) to eat vegan products than traditional baked goods, to buy them regularly (39%) and to pay a higher price for them (25%).
Better information needed
Despite their interest in plant-based products, 52% think they need more information about them. 49% of Spanish consumers think that currently available plant products are too expensive; while 32% think they do not look attractive or tasty. 46% feel there are too few non-vegetable options available when eating out.
The most important factors in choosing a plant-based product are that it tastes good (38%), is healthy (31%) and is cheap (28%). In addition, there is a high level of confidence in plant-based protein foods. Almost 60% of Spanish consumers trust that they are safe and that the labels provide complete and correct information.