Chew on This: One-Third of Americans Eat Veggie Meats

Written by Erica Meier

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When it comes to the foods we choose to eat, you might think that vegans and meat-eaters don’t have all that much in common. A new eye-opening report by market research firm Mintel, however suggests otherwise.

According to Mintel’s survey conducted earlier this year, 36 percent of consumers – that’s over one-third of shoppers – say they buy meat alternatives even though only 7 percent of them identify as being vegetarian.

Why are so many meat-eaters dining on veggie meats? Health concerns appear to be a driving force. In fact, the report reveals that just over half of those buying meat alternatives are doing so because they believe it’s healthier than real meat while a third are specifically trying to reduce meat consumption.

It’s hard not to notice that as the demand for hearty meat-free options continues to rise, grocery stores and restaurants everywhere – even national chains like Chipotle and Tropical Smoothie – are stocking up on a variety of veg options. And sales are skyrocketing.

According to Mintel, in 2012, veggie meat sales reached $553 million, which is an 8 percent jump from 2010. Veggie burgers are the most popular meat alternatives followed by “fake poultry” products, like Tofurky, as reported by NPR.

Mintel food and drink analyst Beth Bloom says, “The bottom line is vegetarians and vegans aren’t the only people eating ‘fake’ meat, meat eaters are also exploring this new-found protein superpower.”

This is good news for animals! And it’s further proof that vegan eating has not only reached the mainstream marketplace but that it’s here to stay. You can help keep up this momentum simply by sharing this story as well as sharing delicious vegan food with your pre-vegan friends and family.

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