San Francisco, CA – Vegan Women Summit™ (VWS), a media and events organization dedicated to empowering women to build a kinder, more sustainable world, hosted an industry experts panel, VWS Deep Dive: Plant-based Consumer Trends, with grocery and food delivery platforms, Instacart and Deliveroo, on June 29, 2021. The event was the world’s first plant-based event bringing together global on-demand delivery experts and featured breaking insights on the plant-based industry from senior experts Laurentia Romaniuk, Trends Expert at California-based Instacart, and Elena Devis, Vegan Category Lead at UK-based Deliveroo.
Up to Half of Grocery and Food Delivery Consumers Now Buy Vegan Products
In a conversation led by VWS founder Jennifer Stojkovic, industry leaders shared that their respective platforms are seeing a huge shift to consumers purchasing plant-based products. Laurentia Romaniuk shared that one third of all Instacart consumers have purchased a vegan dairy or meat item and added that plant-based milk continues to be the dominant purchase of choice. Elena Devis shared, “During our Veganuary partnership, 50% of Deliveroo grocery orders contained vegan items, while 35% of fine-dining restaurant orders contained vegan items.” Both speakers underscored the diversity of consumers purchasing vegan items, with Devis adding, “half of the UK population are expected to have a flexitarian diet by 2025.”
Vegan vs. Plant-based: ‘Vegan’ Is the Unequivocal Winner for Consumer Search
While the industry labelling debate continues to heat up, the research is clear: ‘vegan’ is the dominant search term for consumers. Elena Devis shared, “Some people are concerned that the word “vegan” puts people off, but the data shows the search term ‘vegan’ is used five times more often than ‘plant-based’.” Underscoring a recent Instacart report showing the substantial rise in ‘vegan’ as a search term on Instacart, Laurentia Romaniuk added, “It’s not ‘plant-based’, it’s not ‘meatless’ — it’s ‘vegan and vegetarian.” Romaniuk implored brands to prioritize labelling to assist with indexing and categorization of their products so consumers can better find them, while Devis shared that the vegan category has grown 107% in the past year on their platform and is the fastest growing area of growth for Deliveroo.
Netflix Documentaries and Campaigns Drive Consumer Demand of Plant-based Products
Seaspiracy, Veganuary, TikTok’s viral feta recipe, and Lizzo were among the driving cultural influences listed by the expert speakers as significant drivers of plant-based demand on their respective platforms. Campaigns released in collaboration with the platforms, such as Veganuary, are highly effective at driving consumer demand towards plant-based products, shared Elena Devis. “When certain big cultural events occur, like the release of Seaspiracy, we see it reflected in consumer demands,” added Laurentia Romaniuk. VWS hosted a previous event on this topic with Seaspiracy co-creator Lucy Tabrizi and plant-based seafood founders, Kimberlie Le of Prime Roots and Sònia Hurtado of Kuleana.
On-demand Plant-based Consumer Buying Is Here to Stay and Brands Are Urged to Ramp up Online Presence
With on-demand grocery delivery soaring across both platforms during the pandemic, the expert speakers agreed that the shift will be permanent. Laurentia Romaniuk shared that more than three-quarters (77%) of Instacart customers who purchased items during the pandemic plan to continue using on-demand grocery delivery. With an increased eye to online buying, Elena Devis added, “plant-based brands must make sure to have an online presence” and underscored the need for “authenticity, sustainability, and diversity and inclusion as a priority for consumers.” Both Devis and Romaniuk agreed that brands should focus on broad consumer appeal across multiple demographics with Devis concluding, “Don’t be too niche [with plant-based consumer labelling], there’s such a mixed bag of customers out there.”
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About Vegan Women Summit®
Vegan Women Summit® (VWS) is a global events and media organization created to empower women to build a kinder, more sustainable world. VWS hosts events with the goal to foster a community of strong, ambitious rising leaders working to bring compassion to their careers. VWS is supported by leading CEOs, founders, investors, athletes, & nonprofit leaders from around the world. For more information, visit https://veganwomensummit.com.