Know Why Millennials, GenZ Are Shifting Towards Alternative Meat Options
Image Credit: Alternative Meat Options

Sixteen months after the first lockdown, it’s safe to say that the COVID-19 pandemic completely changed our lifestyle, sleeping patterns, diet, mental and physical state, and even communication preferences. With lots of time at our disposal, people have contemplated significant aspects of their lives. For instance, since the importance of a robust immune system came to the fore, people began exercising and adding nutritional food and supplements to their diet. Apart from the lifestyle changes, one specific difference that the lockdown inflicted worldwide was the unusual positivity in the overall environmental conditions. This included reports of better air quality, reduced carbon emissions, and sights of almost extinct species that resulted from negligible amounts of commercial and industrial activities. These changes, coupled with the increasing sensitisation, information, and awareness about pollution sources, convinced the Gen Z and millennial population to take conscious steps towards an ecologically sound future. 

Sustainable future and environmental rejuvenation

Mr Sohil Wazir, Chief Commercial Officer of Blue Tribe, states that "one major step towards environmental rejuvenation and a sustainable future is choosing plant-based meat products instead of traditional meat because meat over-consumption contributes significantly to global methane emissions. Considering such drastic effects of meat over-consumption, the modern-day youth have started opting for greener food items. In fact, according to GlobalData, 71% of people worldwide find plant-based claims to be more appealing than regular meat products."

But, why now? 

  • With the increasing penetration of social media and the internet and evolving social structures, new-age consumers are far more informed, alert, compassionate and conscious than their predecessors. On top of that, youngsters today value fitness and health more than ever before, and they have the new-age technology at their disposal to further their beliefs. 
  • Before buying everyday items, these individuals consider animal welfare issues, environmental concerns, natural ingredients, and food sources. As a cherry on top, several celebrities, sportspersons and social media influencers in India and abroad have started enthusiastically supporting plant-based lifestyles, significantly contributing to raising awareness about such alternatives. On the other hand, in 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the WHO's cancer-centric agency, stated that processed meat like bacon and ham could cause cancer. Such crucial revelations are also an important reason behind the raging drive towards plant-based food items. 

Why Gen Z and millennials are opting for plant-based foods? 

According to Mr Sohil Wazir, consumers today are aware of the inhumane treatment that animals go through to fulfil the insatiable needs of humans. Simultaneously they are also mindful that meat products are a brilliant source of protein and Vitamin B12. Earlier, people used to say that a non-vegetarian diet is a must to stay healthy and strong. However, with the help of futuristic technology, extracting pea-protein and other nutrients from vegetables, fruits, whole grains, pulses, nuts, seeds and legumes, has become much more manageable. This is the reason why Gen Z and millennials today are increasingly opting for plant-based food items, as they can satisfy their hunger with equally yummy, nutritious and fantastic food while also supporting environmentally friendly solutions. 

Lastly, food for thought 

Several international media reports have highlighted that the plant-based food industry is estimated to grow from 2020 to 2027. The stats, as mentioned earlier, clearly indicate that the future is in safe hands. Furthermore, it is said that plant-based meat items are becoming the new organic. With more people becoming acquainted with the harmful effects and over-abundant usage of animals as food consumption, this better, sustainable, greener, safer and ecological-friendly alternative, aka plant-based food, will become more popular.