Hello and welcome again to one more post from our Blog! Last week, we talked about the trends going strong in 2019, among which the world of plants was present. In this post we would like to provide a summary about the different consumers that exist nowadays.

In the past decade, new trends regarding food have appeared. These are based on a change in the consumers’ diet and sometimes they are linked to a change in their mentality too. How are these changes affecting the development of new trends and the industry-product-customer relationship? Let’s have a look at it!

In the first place, there are four types of consumers according to different diets and the food that is consumed in each of them:

  • Omnivorous: the traditional ones. They consume all kinds of meat, fish, dairy, eggs, vegetables, fruits, legumes…
  • Vegetarians: they consume vegetables and fruits. Some of them consume animal products such as eggs and dairy products (ovo-lacto vegetarian), but never meat or fish.
  • Vegans (or strict vegetarians): it is the fastest growing trend in the market with more and more followers each day, especially young people. They base their diet on vegetables, fruits, seeds and cereals, rejecting the consumption of animal origin products. In addition, they fight animal testing, (from food to perfumes, makeup, hygiene products, or textiles). They aim to respect and care for all animals, thus they condemn their exploitation and mistreatment.
  • Flexitarians: they stand on a vegetarian diet but occasionally allow themselves to consume meat and/or fish. Hence, more ‘flexible’ as their name suggests, flexitarians are fierce competitors for the kind of consumers above mentioned.

According to 2018 data, 92.2% of the Spanish population is omnivorous, while the remaining 7.8% (about 3.6 million people!) base their diet exclusively or almost exclusively on vegetable products. In addition, according to a study provided by The Green Revolution, in 2020, a vegetable products world market worth 5,000 million dollars will be reached. There is no doubt that this figure needs to be taken into consideration by the food industry.

Now back to the types of consumers we were analysing, other minority groups also include raw vegans (they only consume raw fruits and vegetables), pescetarians (they eat fruits, vegetables and seafood), or the so-called “fruitarians”, an extremely restrictive and almost ruled out vegan diet in which only fruits are consumed.

So, here we are dealing with a very interesting debate that does nothing but become more of a hot topic as the number of plant-based eaters increases.

On one hand, those who oppose these diets take the preservation of health as their main argument. They allege that the vitamin deficiency that some people experience because of these diets causes health issues. For instance, a vitamin B12 deficiency may lead to anaemia, as an iron deficiency can do.

In addition, when it comes to ingredients and additives, most of the new vegan products are highly industrially processed with a high proportion of ingredients whose quality may be questionable.

On the other hand, supporters of plant-based diets argue that many products containing sufficient amounts of proteins to compensate for the non-consumption of animal products can be found. However, the focus of their arguments on environmental sustainability is even more important.

Livestock activities on this planet are linked to negative environmental impacts such as deforestation, water and air pollution, global warming and loss of biodiversity, among other things. Besides, more than 70% of the land is used for growing food for cattle. This shows the need to change the way we feed in order to prevent the serious environmental impact that endangers our planet

In conclusion, it is clear that there are different opinions on the matter and that we must respect all of them. We must as well be very aware of all trends and possibilities to be able to adapt to changes. In Amerex, we are already searching for innovative food solutions and applications to cover all kinds of needs

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