[:en]How to Appeal to Consumers Who Eat Plant-Based Foods[:]

[:en]Yep. You gotta please ‘em. Private research firm Mintel found that 2 in 5 Americans want to add plant-based proteins to their diet.

Just a small percentage want to go vegan or vegetarian. Most want to just add some plant-based proteins to their diet, rather than foregoing meat entirely.

Regardless of how you want to view it, it’s clearly a trend your c-store needs to cater to.

1. First, Who Are Flexitarians?

“Flexitarians,” as their name suggests, want the flexibility of eating some meat and some plant-based proteins.

Flexitarians tend to be older women, while vegans and vegetarians tend to be younger consumers of both genders.

2. Why Do Consumers Want to Eat Plant-Based Proteins?

The main driver is health, according to Mintel. Plant-based proteins are much easier on blood pressure and cholesterol than meat-based proteins.

The second reason? Ethics. Here, think the treatment of animals and the impact consuming animal products has on the environment.

Finally, flexitarians tend to be driven mostly by health concerns while vegans and vegetarians focus on ethical and environmental issues.

3. Taste = Sales

Yeah, so all three of these consumer market segments say they focus on health. And they do.

But, what really keeps consumers coming back to plant-based products (or any food product for that matter) is craveable taste.

You should have healthy foods available, like veggie grain bowls. But alongside that, consumers want delicious foods like fried Buffalo cauliflower.

4. Consumers Still Love the Taste of Meat

Now, even though many consumers are reducing their meat consumption or eliminating it entirely, they still just love the taste of meat.

Mintel found that more than half of consumers want meat alternatives which closely mimic the taste of meat.

So, you’ve got to find vendors with products that do a good job of making that happen.

5. Get Unique Vendors In Stock

In reality, most vendors of meat alternatives and plant-based foods use essentially the same ol’ ingredients.

You might get a different product with a unique name and original packaging, but the food product still tastes essentially the same.

So, give customers a reason to come to your c-store instead and find a unique niche vendor or negotiate exclusive rights to resell their product.

Tough to do. But well worth it if you can make it happen.

Mintel researched and found this data. And you can learn more about it and other c-store trends at their website.[:]