“Plant-based” reads better than “vegan”

Bakers Journal
April 24, 2018
Written by Bakers Journal
Mattson’s Integrated Consumer Insights (ICI) released a U.S. study that indicated consumers responded better to food labelled “plant-based,” rather than “vegan.”

Results indicated that U.S. consumers see a vegan lifestyle as an austere or more limited in its range of food choice. When asked, “which tastes better?” 73 per cent of Americans replied that a 100 per cent plant-based diet tasted better than a vegan diet. The outcome was clear: A simple label could alter consumers’ perception of taste.

The online survey queried over 1000 Americans, and probed consumers’ responses to food choices. Most respondents seemed to recognize vegan options as an overall lifestyle choice that excluded animal products in food and clothing, such as wool or leather.

While a third of the study’s subjects identified as “flexitarian” (eating meat, grain, fish, fruit and vegetables) 68 per cent of the respondents answered that they thought “plant-based” was a healthier lifestyle than vegan.

When asking why a consumer might choose a plant-based diet, “health benefits” was the first choice cited by 76 per cent of respondents. 76 percent of respondents believed that plant-based meant a more flexible diet, where only 21 per cent thought vegan was more flexible than plant-based.

All respondents were only given two options as to what they thought healthier, vegan or plant based; a third option, “they’re both the same,” or “other” was not offered.

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