These days it seems like vegan is the new black, from Dunkin Donuts releasing 40 plant-based flavors to Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park announcing a meatless menu. Investors from ConAgra to Jay Z are looking to get a piece of the plant-based market, which is estimated to reach $35 billion globally by 2027. There’s even a “VegTech” Dow Jones Index tracking plant-based stocks, so consumers can eat plant-based burgers and invest in them too.

Brands are also rising to meet evolving consumer expectations toward sustainable food in other ways. Epicurious quietly stopped posting beef recipes a year ago in an effort to promote sustainable cooking (and, shockingly, no one noticed). UK supermarket Co-Op is investing $2.36 million to cut prices on vegan foods as part of their mission to reach net zero by 2040. Target recently announced the launch of an in-house plant-based line with all items coming in under $8, further lowering barriers to entry. For consumers, access to plant-based foods has never been easier, making sustainable cooking and eating attainable.

Beyond flashy headlines, our Harris Poll Brand Platform shows that plant-based brands are best poised to drive value moving forward. Companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat that are perceived to be more socially conscious also have the strongest momentum in the category. While these plant-based alternatives are seen as intelligent, visionary, and energetic, more staid brands are known for value and practicality. Most importantly, plant-based alternatives are more likely to merit a premium price across the usage funnel, pointing toward promising potential for brands that are planting the seeds for a plant-based future to take root.

And it’s not just about lab-grown burgers — this plant-based movement is part of a larger trend we see of consumers placing higher value on sustainability. For brands that are able to follow in the footsteps of this plant-based trend, earning perceptions as being socially conscious, brand momentum and premium prices will follow.



Abbey Lunney

Managing Director

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