US & Global Economic Impact Analysis and Forecasts

Freedonia analysts and economists are sharing their insights on how major events are impacting different parts of the US and global economies.

We’re in the Midst of “Veganuary”… But What Does That Mean For Long Term Eating Habits?

Despite the increasing availability of vegetarian and vegan options at restaurants of all varieties, from fine dining to fast-food, many diners still struggle to find a happy medium. Diners are increasingly aware of a variety of ethical factors when they choose what to buy at grocery stores and restaurants:

  • Environmental impact/sustainability
  • Animal welfare effects
  • Treatment of workers/fair trade

Still, taste, price, and convenience to prepare are front-of-mind with regard to food.

Additionally, consumers are paying attention to the personal health impact of their food as part of a holistic consideration of their wellbeing. This might include rising consciousness of the effect of their diet on blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and weight maintenance or increasing awareness of how eating food makes them feel whether they have diagnosed allergies or an intolerance.

However, regardless of their personal ethical or health choices, consumers are finding that they don’t want to give up the culture and social aspects of their food. This has led to what some call a “social omnivore” lifestyle where they eat vegetarian or vegan at home but will eat meat in social settings. These consumers are recognizing that eating local meat dishes while traveling are a part of the experience they don’t want to miss, while a holiday brisket or their mother’s Sunday roast are imbued with love and social significance.

Whether it is a “flexitarian” who intentionally includes plant-forward meals as part of their standard diet, “reducitarians” who are looking to reduce their meat consumption, or “social omnivores” who distinguish between eating at home and eating in social settings, consumers increasingly seek options to reflect their values and needs.

For more information on sustainability and ethical consumption, see research from Freedonia’s Packaging Group, including Sustainability in Packaging, Food Packaging Consumer Insights, Food Packaging, and Frozen Food Packaging. For more information about consumer eating and shopping habits, see research from Packaged Facts’ Food and Beverage reports, including Vegan, Vegetarian, and Flexitarian Consumers; Meat, Poultry, & Seafood Alternatives: Plant-Based & Cell-Cultured Types; Dairy & Egg Alternatives: Plant-Based & Animal-Free Products; and Food Waste & Upcycling: Trends & Opportunities in Sustainability.