Health And Wellness News: Meat Alternative Demand Surges During COVID-19

September 1, 2020

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During the height of the pandemic, we tracked a dramatic spike in consumer interest in meatless alternatives, driven by concerns about pandemic-related shortages, as well as an overall increased consumer interest in health and wellness, nutrition, and sustainability.

The pandemic has spurred a revolution in product innovation, especially around food. In this case, with a huge emphasis on alternatives to meat. We have seen many new meat alternative products available in grocery stores, mass merchandisers and restaurants. This new variety and abundance of meatless food and meal options makes it essential for brands to meet people’s needs on taste, health, convenience and price in order to stand above the competition.

As a market research company, we at Leger naturally wanted to dig in to these emerging marketplace trends to understand the true motivations, consumption habits of both meat and meatless alternatives, and ultimately look ahead to where the market will likely move forward.

Why are consumers seeking out meat alternatives? To answer this, we conducted a Meat & Meat Alternative Consumption Attitudes and Behaviors Survey among our proprietary market research online community; 360 Health and Wellness. Information gathered from these users, who are attuned to consumer trends in health and wellness, enabled us to understand how meat consumption and meatless alternatives habits are evolving due to the impact of COVID-19 on the health and wellness market.

60% of our health-conscious buyers had purchased a meat alternative product within the last month! This is higher than even we expected, so we dug deeper, learning the motivations for their purchasing decision, the factors that drove them to seek meat alternatives, where they shopped, and more.

Insights uncovered include consumer preferences surrounding meat alternatives and which ingredients are preferred.

  • Consumers consider alternative meat products to be a healthy, tasty, plant-based and all around good-for-you option. So, when they go to actually purchase meatless alternatives, it comes as no surprise that beans and legumes are the number one option chosen by consumers as a meat alternative. In fact, 58% of our healthy living consumers chose this as a preferred meatless option. The close runner ups? Mushrooms and nuts, which landed 2nd and 3rd on the list. Quinoa, lentils, cauliflower, and soy protein followed closely.


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Our research into ingredient preferences as well as overall behaviors and attitudes has helped our clients with product innovation and messaging, ultimately driving trial and repeat purchase. These consumer insights, along with additional information from our full report and other brand focused research, will help you build or modify an optimal meatless alternative strategy, ensuring a successful launch, relaunch, or marketing campaign.

In our Meat & Meat Alternative Consumption Attitudes and Behavior report, you’ll find answers to important questions facing alternative meat products brands as well as meat suppliers.

  • What are the motivations for consumers buying meatless alternatives?
  • What are the top meatless products that consumers want to buy?
  • What is the purchase cycle of meatless alternatives?
  • What is the meat alternative target demographic profile?

Interested in learning more? Contact us, we’re happy to set a time to share our strong industry knowledge, review our full report on this rapidly expanding category and talk about possible implications to your brand. Thanks for reading, we hope this was helpful.


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