Part-time Vegetarians Drive Growth

Jun 03, 2002

Although the number of full-fledged vegetarians has declined during the last few years, vegetarian food consumption remains unaffected. This is because the growing number of occasional vegetarians compensates for the decline, according to Frost & Sullivan.

The market for vegetarian foods is flourishing. ConAgra, Heinz, Kellogg, Kraft, and Unilever have been busily vying for a share of the vegetarian food market through acquisitions and alliances.

Manufacturers are raising the bar on the quality and selection of vegetarian food products offered. Flavor technologists are working to bring out new flavor profiles exclusively for vegetarian foods. Advances in texturizing technology are helping meat alternatives gain wider acceptance. Restaurants have increased the number of vegetarian dishes on their menus.

Moderator Comment: What do mainstream retailers need
to do to convince dedicated vegetarians and natural healthniks that they are
a viable source for these products?

One way they don’t do it is by stocking Sunny Delight
and similar beverages in their natural foods refrigerated section. Think we’re
kidding? If you’re ever in Garwood, N.J., go to the refrigerated case located
in the Nature’s Path section of the Pathmark there. A sign just above these
juice drink products will tell you that if you want Silk Soy Milk you need to
go to another part of the store. It has been that way for six weeks at last
count. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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