Hey Hey, It's the Alt Meat Generation 🍔

Good Monday, fellow nerds! Here we are in the first full week of 🎄December:🎄 The world is still insane, but innovators keep innovating. So The Modern Health Nerd is here to bring you all the latest developments — plus a few headlines flying under the radar. 📰

It’s a grab bag of news this week from meat reducers to radishes in space. (You read that right. 🚀👩🏻‍🚀) Curious? Let’s go.

The Young Generation Has Something to Say About Meat

Alt meat is where it’s at for millennials and Generation Z. According to new research and surveys:

  • Consumers between the ages of 18 and 44 are “most likely” to buy and eat plant-based meat 🌿🥩
  • The 18 to 24 age bracket is 22% more likely than the general population to choose meat alternatives
  • Millennials currently dominate plant-based meat eaters, but that could change as Gen Z gains buying 💲💲 power
  • Flexitarians, vegetarians and vegans alike are choosing alternatives from all categories: meat,🍗 poultry 🐔 and seafood 🐟

What’s driving these choices? Top concerns include health, the environmental impact of meat production and the atrocious conditions on factory farms. However, while 51% of meat eaters around the world want to reduce or eliminate meat over the next year, some reservations about current offerings still remain.

About one-third of consumers are afraid plant-based alternatives will be bland and boring; 🤮 closer to three-quarters are concerned about taste. Texture is less of an issue, but it’s still important to 29% of consumers. The fact that such concerns still exist despite the rapidly growing interest in plant-based food suggests the need for existing and emerging brands to craft ever more compelling stories around their products.

Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

Transparency Rising: Food Origins are a Big Deal

It’s no surprise that transparency kicks off the Innova Market Insights 2021 trend list; food origins and production processes were already concerns lurking in consumers’ minds. The COVID-19 pandemic served to accelerate awareness and increase demand for cleaner labels, greener products and healthier food offerings. 🥗

According to a 2020 survey, 60% of consumers globally are “interested in learning more“ regarding the origins of their food. They want to know the foods they’re eating are sourced and produced ethically and in a way that does the least possible harm to the environment.

The top concern? Clean label.

Large companies and small brands are stepping up with new concepts incorporating traceable, sustainable ingredients. 🌱 They’re making changes in where and how they source ingredients and investing in improved conditions for existing ingredient providers. Some are opting for single-origin ingredients, which makes traceability and transparency much easier.

Whatever the solution, consumers are looking for a better brand story backed up by practices that truly make an impact.

Meanwhile, Farming Tech Soars to New Heights (Literally) 🚀

Technology has enabled farming to expand from its traditional roots into a variety of new and exciting spaces:

  • Babylon Microfarms is leveraging IoT to automate indoor vertical farming for institutions. The tech controlling the lighting, temperature and nutrients has the potential to integrate with a variety of vertical farming hardware solutions to expand opportunities.
  • In Australia, there’s 1,200 acres of parking area ripe for transformation into beneficial public spaces, including community gardens. 👨🏻‍🌾
  • NASA’s Advanced Plant Habitat on the International Space Station has successfully turned out a crop of radishes. This is a huge deal, given that gravity poses significant challenges when growing fresh produce and space. The crop represents a move forward in the ability to provide astronauts with fresher, healthier food and more dietary variety. 🥘

Out of all of the headlines this week, the clean label discussion fascinates me the most. There are so many different opinions and perspectives on it! I think it’s time for a more significant discussion about how the concept fits into the current plant-based trend and the consumer mindset as a whole. 💭

As a consumer or business owner, where do you stand? How important is clean label to you? And why? 👇🏻👇🏻

Love these insights? Get a deeper look into the world of food, foodtech and health on The Modern Health Nerd Podcast. New episodes every Wednesday!