Plant-based food conquers Italian families (not only vegans)

They buy plant-based foodsthat is to say exclusively vegetable, even without being vegan, vegetarian or reducer: Italian families are more and more won over by this new category of products, demonstrating that they appreciate them as a complementary offer.

In short, we buy vegetable drinks and the famous meat not meat as well as we buy fish, chicken and other foods of animal origin.

This is confirmed by a survey conducted by GFK and focused on the consumption of plant-based foods in Italy. The result? The market is expanding, there is more choice and therefore products that were once considered niche are now on family tables in the same way as cheese and eggs.

Vegetable diet: all foods with more vegetable protein

What does herbal mean?

But first let’s clarify a concept: what it means plant-based diet? It is a mainly vegetarian diet foods of plant origin.

Compared to veganism, is less strict because it allows the occasional consumption of eggs and dairy products (some also fish and meat) as long as they come from certified farms, possibly at zero kilometers and where the animal wellbeing.

Those who adopt a plant-based diet pay more attention to a speech than to health and respect for the environmenthe will therefore also avoid particularly refined and industrialized foods, preferring fresh products, preferably from small producers, respecting seasonality.

The trolley of Italian families


55% of Italian families buy vegetable products at least once for their domestic consumption. “Within a year – he underlines Marco Pellizoni, commercial director consumer panel of Gfk – an average family buys at least four herbal products in the different categories.

The target is therefore no longer just that of vegans: “Today, the basic pants are characterized as an additional offer that allows families to differentiate themselves: in fact, it is food purchased even among those who normally consume meat”.

Jackfruit as an alternative to meat?

The most requested plant products


In recent years, the most significant growth, both in terms of average spend and in terms of penetration rate, has been:

  • Vegetable drinks: + 13% vs. 019
  • Vegetable yogurt: + 14% compared to 2019
  • Gastronomy of fresh vegetables: + 26% vs. 2019
  • Frozen vegetable gastronomy: + 32% vs. 2019

These percentages indicate that there are still huge margins for growth for this type of product and in different categories, ranging from all families.

Also because there are emerging trends that will probably play a fundamental role in the near future: one above all? THE products like meatwhose appearance and taste are similar to those of meat but whose content is 100% vegetable.

Who buys herbal?

Who are the buyers of plant-based foods? “The target is very transverse – assures Pellizzoni -: it is above all a question of families with one or more children, residing mainly in central and northern Italy and of all age groups except the over 65s at the moment. development and expansion prospects“.

Also because in recent years the penetration in all sales channels has increased a lot, from supermarkets to discount stores and online stores.

Eating vegetables away from home

And outside the house? Consumers increasingly appreciate the ability to find vegetable proposals even outside the home: salads, fresh fruit, smoothies, extracts, dried fruit, vegetable drinks, soy cappuccino, are all alternatives that are awarded during the sales phase because they are sought after and in demand.

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