• Sizzling 90% growth for plant-based burgers, while sales of sandwiches fall
  • Annual consumer spend finally exceeds pre-COVID 19 levels, but visits to OOH hospitality venues remain lower at -10%
  • 25% of Europe’s Big 5 population follow a flexitarian diet – a trend that is set to grow in 2024


BRACKNELL, UK – 8 November 2023 – According to research from Circana, the leading advisor on consumer complexity that formerly traded as IRI and The NPD Group, the trend towards eating alternative plant-based meat protein products in out- of-home (OOH) eateries, such as quick-service restaurants (QSR), cafes, pubs and bars has increased by 48% in servings compared to 2019 across Europe’s ‘Big 5’ countries. While in other food protein categories, the number of total product servings declined, including Beef (-5%), Pork (-16%), Chicken (-5%), Fish/Seafood (-13%) and Other Meat (-20%).

Typically made from ingredients such as soy, peas, lentils and mushrooms, plant-based products have gained popularity in recent years as fast-food chains and restaurants throughout Europe cater to growing consumer demands for sustainable, healthier and cruelty-free menu options. When asked about factors influencing their choice of where to eat out, 45% of consumers overall said they are more loyal to restaurants that care about sustainability, with Italy voicing the strongest concern (56%) followed by Spain (49%) and the UK least concerned (38%).

Burgers buck the trend

Compared with other protein categories, plant-based meat has shown the strongest growth across all formats since 2019. The overall number of servings across each protein category has dropped with one exception – burgers. While the number of servings in other formats, such as sandwiches and wraps, have declined, the burger has shown solid growth (Beef +4%, Chicken +16%, Fish +11%, Other Meat +14%).

Despite the overall decline in visits to OOH venues, plant-based burgers grew significantly by +90% during year ending August 2023 vs 2019, and +20% year-on-year ending Aug 2023, representing a quarter (25%) of the total contribution made to growth in burgers.

Please read the full article here.

Source photo: Kent Wild Life Trust

A new study from the Culinary Institute of America and University of California-Davis, published in the Journal of Food Science, explored the flavor-enhancing properties of mushrooms and found that blending finely chopped mushrooms with ground meat enhances flavor and nutrition.

The study, Flavor-Enhancing Properties of Mushrooms in Meat-Based Dishes in Which Sodium Has Been Reduced and Meat Has Been Partially Substituted with Mushrooms, conducted by University of California Davis (UC Davis) and the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) was published in the Journal of Food Science.

Please read the full study overview here.

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