TURNERS FALLS, Mass., March 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans attitudes towards plants are changing. No longer relegated to a humble side dish or natural food stores, plant protein options are in abundance, sought out and enjoyed by consumers regardless of diet. Research by ORC International on behalf of Lightlife, a pioneer in the plant protein category, uncovered that 87% of Americans eat plant protein with nearly two-thirds (62%) doing so once a week or more often. Not surprisingly, the Millennial generation is leading the charge to reduce the amount of animal protein they consume, more likely to do so than Generation X or Baby Boomers.
Why the popularity? The top reasons for eating plant protein are its easiness to prepare, followed by watching cholesterol and weight loss goals. Millennials are also more than twice as likely as Baby Boomers to cite environmental benefits and animal rights as their motivation for incorporating plant protein into their diets.
"We've been providing consumers with delicious plant protein options since the brand's inception in 1979, long before plant-protein had gone mainstream," said Roy Lubetkin, CEO of Lightlife. "We're excited to see this shift in consumer behavior that is leading more people to choose Lightlife products, not only as a replacement for animal protein, but simply as delicious high-protein food that tastes good and makes you feel good."
And choosing plant protein doesn't come as a sacrifice. In fact, 72% agree that plants can be a complete source of protein, and 54% agree that recipes made with plant protein are just as, if not more, delicious than recipes based with animal protein. Simple recipes like Veggie Meatballs with Apricot Balsamic Glaze, Black Bean Burger Pita Sandwiches and Tempeh Pasta Sauce of Spaghetti Squash make incorporating plant protein all the more desirable and doable, regardless of culinary skills.
Knowing that the demand for plant protein is only increasing, and with 40% of Americans wanting to see more innovation in the snack category, Lightlife recently launched Smart Jerky, entering the $1B+ jerky category with a plant-based option. Smart Jerky is the first and only Certified Vegan and Non-GMO Project Verified jerky and is available in Original and Teriyaki flavors for on-the-go noshing. Lightlife's Smart Jerky joins the brand's robust refrigerated portfolio including best-sellers Lightlife Tempeh and Smart Dogs, and other tasty favorites like Gimme Lean Sausage, Smart Patties and more.
"It's an exciting time to be innovating in this category with such a growing appreciation – and appetite – for plant based foods," continued Lubetkin.
Survey Methodology: Online quantitative survey with ORC International conducted among a sample of 1,047 adults 18 years of age and older, fielded December 15-18, 2016.
A pioneer in plant proteins, Lightlife was founded in Western Massachusetts in 1979 with a passion for creating great tasting vegetarian food. Over the years, the brand has grown by sticking to its roots emphasizing quality and care in everything it makes, and giving 5% of its profits back to organizations that support a healthier "you" and a healthier planet. Today, Lightlife strives to make plant-based eating more accessible, delicious and easy with a variety of products for all diets. Lightlife believes that plant based foods are not simply meat substitutes, they are meat, meat made from plants. Meat Without the Middleman™. To learn more about Lightlife, visit www.Lightlife.com or visit its social media channels at www.Facebook.com/Lightlife, www.Twitter.com/Lightlife and www.Pinterest.com/LightlifeFoods.