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Trend description Consumers are looking for solutions that remove the obstacles associated with a vegan diet and are looking for healthy vegan options, such as vegan smoothies, unique bites, and lattes. Brands should consider meeting customers' demand by making the vegan lifestyle more convenient and suitable for a busy lifestyle.


Trend drivers

A report from the NPD Group shows that the Gen Z and Millennial generations will be almost entirely responsible for the growth of dairy and meat alternatives through 2024. According to a report from Produce Blue Book, 79% of Gen Z want to have a plant-based diet, while 79% choose to eat plant-based once or twice a week. Chantal Fülber, a 22-year-old living in Frankfort, Germany, is not surprised that young people are leading the plant-based movement. "The older generation seems to not believe in a vegan diet and doubt that it's beneficial in any way," says Fülber, who went vegan in 2019, after being vegetarian for nine years, to sentient media. Furthermore, Brits have reduced their dairy, egg, and meat intakes over the lockdown, suggesting the coronavirus has increased the popularity of veganism. 


Customer preferences are changing, and customers are becoming more demanding. Even though there is an increasing amount of vegan products in the regular supermarket, customers can still struggle with having their plant-based diet fit their busy, modern lifestyle. Customers are looking for solutions that remove the obstacles associated with a vegan diet and are looking for easy and quick vegan options, such as vegan smoothies, unique bites, and lattes. Brands should consider meeting the customer's demand by making the vegan lifestyle more convenient.


According to a study by First Insight, 73% of Gen Z consumers reported that they were willing to pay more for sustainable products, with 54% saying they would pay more than a 10% increase in price for a sustainably made product. Gen Z is the generation most concerned with global challenges. Gen Z, born in the digital age, seems more concerned with global challenges, more health conscious, and socially aware, which leads them to become vegan.

One factor that makes plant-based fast food popular amongst consumers is convenience. Convenience is the main purchase factor for 40% of Gen Zs, whether ordering in or preparing a meal, according to a study by Fona. Gen Z is all about food culture but less about daily cooking. With research showing that Gen Zs wants a plant-based diet and are looking for convenience, it opens up strategic opportunities for the food industry. There is a need in the market for products for younger customers wanting to be vegan, but that still offers flexibility and convenience.

Vegan Meal Kits

Gen Z represents a set of challenges and opportunities for the food industry. Some of the most innovative businesses we have seen develop over the past few years are in the meal-kit delivery industry.


The meal kit makes it a lot easier to cook homemade meals. Meal kit services are easy to customize and therefore offer many personalization options, which sits well with Gen Z. According to Bloomberg, Gen Z wants tailor-made products. According to WARC, 53% of Gen Z prefer brands that offer customized or personalized products. We will see a continuing market for personalized products as Gen Z grows older and values personalization, that will transfer to the food industry.


The meal kit delivery industry is estimated to be worth $11.6 billion in 2022 and to continue to grow in 2023. Out of the Millennial population, 29% have tried meal kit services. This trend is predicted to be here to stay. 49% of consumers aged 18-34 say meal kits are now part a part of their weekly grocery routine, according to research from Culinary Visions. 

With changing lifestyles and technology making consumers more demanding, DYI meal kits could potentially meet Gen Z's demand for more convenience. In terms of waste, meal kits are also more environmentally friendly than going to grocery stores.


Dispatch is a company that  delivers meal kits from the UK's finest restaurants and offers several vegan options. They offer finish-at-home meal kits from the UK's best chefs and have sprung up under lockdown. Dispatch has released a series of DIY feasts to make food for dinner parties and special occasions easier and reduce the time spent in the kitchen. It works like this: you choose your menu from a range of inspiring chefs and restaurants. The food is cooked in the restaurant by the chefs and arrives cold in a fully isolated box on your doorstep.


Another company tapping into the meal-kit trend is purple carrot which is a vegan meal kit service that provides customers with high-protein, gluten-free, and chef's choice meals weekly. Customers can choose between meal kits or freshly prepared meal that needs to be headed up and will be ready in less than 5 minutes. 


The company Daily Harvest is also specializing in plant-based meal kits. They ship everything from morning oats to smoothie bowls to dinner bowls and also offer desserts, such as vegan bites and ice creams. Everything comes frozen. Frozen vegan food is a growing industry that can provide costumers with the convenience that that are looking for. 


Picture: Daily Harvest


Picture: Dispatch


Picture: Purple Carrot

Vegan Frozen Food


Consumers' need for convenience, their demand for ready-to-eat meals, combined with their desire to cut down on meat has seen the plant-based frozen food category rise. 


The fast-food sector has started to offer more vegan products. KFC, Burger King, Carl's Jr., and McDonald's have partnered with vegan meat brands, such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Meat, to offer vegan burgers nationwide. Bloomberg Intelligence has reported that the market for plant-based food is expected to grow from being worth $29.4 billion in 2020 to $162 in 2030. 


According to American Frozen Food Institute, more than 50% of Millennials have reported that frozen food is equal to or better for you than fresh food. A Deloitte study showed that frozen category sales shopping soared to a record 23% increase, 200% above fresh food during the pandemic. Currently, Millennials make up 48% of the frozen food segment, however, Gen Z is expected to drive the long-term growth of this industry since products offer convenience, a healthy alternative, and an exciting flavor, according to AFFI's Power of Frozen in Retail 2021 report.


Vegan frozen food is expected to drive the growth of the frozen food market. The global frozen food market is projected to reach a valuation of US$ 602,257 Mn by 2032, with sales growing at a positive CAGR of 6.7% from 2022 to 2032, according to a report conducted by Future Market Insights Global and Consulting Pvt. Ltd. Scaling up from a value of US$ 314,285 Mn in 2022, the target market is driven by heightened demand for convenience foods according to the report by Future Market Insights Global and Consulting Pvt. Ltd. According to the report the frozen food market in North America will account for 33.4% of the global frozen food market, while Europe’s frozen food market will hold about a 40.9% share of the overall frozen food market.


Companies have now looked into launching new vegan frozen food products, such as vegetable balls, vegan burgers, and fillets. PBFA data shows that plant-based frozen meals were up almost 30% in 2020. 

With the increasing awareness about the health and environmental benefits that vegan food can provide and the demand for convenience is driving the vegan frozen food market. Consumers will turn to ready-to-eat lamb chops, kebabs, ham slices, and burgers in colorful sustainable packaging with cleaner ingredient labels. Ready-to-eat frozen meals are easily stored, have an extended life, and can be a simple, quick meal for consumers with a busy lifestyle.


Oumph is a 100% plant-based food brand with mouthwatering flavors and juicy textures. Their products are inspired by big flavors from all around the world. Its product categories range from The Classic Burger, The Sticky Smokehouse Rib style, The Spiced Kebab, and The Pulled BBQ Chunks to their Döner Style Kebab. Soy, peas, and wheat protein are turned into innovative, plant-based frozen food products. 


Fry Family Food is a plant-based food company crafting over 40 different products in order to make quality vegan alternatives accessible. The idea behind the brand was to make nutritious, high-quality products for families passionate about a plant-based diet. The brand is crafting quality meat made from the best quality plant proteins found. Their frozen product range from seafood, burgers, sausages, nuggets, and snacks, to name a few. Currently, their products are available in over 40 different countries.


No Meat believes food can still taste great and be good for the planet. Their no meat range is food products created for vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, flexitarian, or meat-eaters created from 100% plant-based ingredients. From sandwiches to salads to tacos to spaghetti bolognese, No Meat creates dishes intended to be enjoyed by the whole family. 


Picture: Fry Family Food


Picture: No Meat


Picture: Oumph

Plant-Based Mood Snacks


According to a report published Grand View Research, the vegan snack market is expected to reach 80.53 USD by 2023. Per Segmenta, 36% of Gen Z are emotional snackers, reporting that negative emotions such as stress, anxiety, and sadness are drivers that lead them to snacks. With the rise of  healthy and vegan alternatives, consumers are starting to demand "good for you" vegan snacks with functional effects that help them with stress and anxiety. 


Across Europe, as consumers begin to emerge from varying degrees of lockdown, people are determined to put their health at the top of the agenda, whether physical, mental, or a combination of both. For many, this impacts the choices made in the food and drink aisle – especially when it comes to snacking. "Our research has found a surge in demand for healthier snacks. Consumers seek out better-for-you, not necessarily best-for-you, as they are not prepared to compromise on taste," Sonja Matthews, senior manager of strategic Insights EMEA and ASPAC at Glanbia Nutritional, tells Confectory Production.The rise of functional vegan snacks has emerged, making it easy and guilt-free for consumers to snack to support their mental health.


The company Tree Fort Farms has created its Full Spectrum CBD Vegan Fruit Snacks, which are all-natural, vegan, and gluten-free fruit snack bites. The CEO was inspired to offer natural ways for people to manage their stress. The snacks benefit from the calming and stress-relieving benefits of the CDB, while not compromising the taste. Each pack contains a mix of Strawberry, Watermelon, and Lemon-flavored chews. Furthermore, the company yAir makes personalized plant-based nutrition bars packed with research-backed botanical blends to give customers a stress-relieving effect. An online questionnaire considers the individual's response to stress, guiding the company to create personalized, functional and vegan snack bars to its customers.

Picture: My Air

Picture: Tree Fort

Action Steps


Consider how vegan frozen food meals could have functional benefits that helps towards mental health issues.





Consider creating vegan mood food that Gen Z snack guilt-free when feeling depressed without compromising on taste.

Consider how to create easy-to-prepare vegan meal kits that can easily be customized.

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