Over half of Americans are eating fewer animal products since the COVID-19 pandemic began and nearly six in 10 find themselves transitioning to a more flexitarian, or semi-vegetarian, diet, citing health as their top reason for making the change, according to a new survey conducted by market research firm OnePoll. The poll of 2,000 adults was commissioned by Eat Just, Inc., a company that applies cutting-edge science and technology to create healthier, more sustainable foods, ahead of Better Breakfast Month, observed annually in September.
Nearly 60% of respondents in the national general population survey said they “strongly agree” or “somewhat agree” when asked whether their eating habits were increasingly shifting to plant-based, with 39% of participants 18-25 years old and 23% of participants 26-41 years old stating that their diet already excludes animal products. When it came to the motivations for plant-based purchases, half cited their desire to make healthier food choices, while about four in 10 said purchases were driven by a desire to eat fewer animal products (42%) and wanting to live a more sustainable lifestyle (39%).
The survey found that many respondents were going plant-based during breakfast versus other meals and more than 80% were open to trying a plant-based meal one day a week. Seven in 10 said they believe breakfast is the most important meal of the day and more than half said they look for high protein and low sugar options when making breakfast choices. When shopping, 62% percent “frequently” buy plant-based products and six in 10 said they liked the plant-based version of a food better than its animal-based counterpart. More than half of respondents said they believe eggs made from plants are healthier than eggs made by chickens.
The results also dispelled the notion that plant-based products available today aren’t as tasty, or are more difficult to cook with, signifying the industry has made major strides in creating offerings that are not only delicious and nutritious but also easy to prepare. Additionally, the survey probed respondents’ openness to completely plant-based lifestyles, with some surprising results. On average, respondents said they planned to transition to fully plant-based diets in five years’ time and felt that the rest of society would take 12 years, on average, to do the same.
Results of the OnePoll survey substantiate what Eat Just has learned through its own research, as well as what food industry experts have observed: sales of plant-based products and consumers’ appetites for these products are growing steadily with no sign of slowing. Dollar sales for plant-based eggs in particular have surged 192% in the last year, and Eat Just owns 99% of the category with two top-selling JUST Egg products nationwide: a pourable format perfect for scrambles, omelets, quiches, stir-fries and a variety of baking applications; and a fluffy, pre-baked folded egg, ideal on top of toast or inside a breakfast sandwich.
Making Yelp’s Best Breakfast Spots Better with JUST Egg
Although the grocery business is booming, the pandemic has hobbled the country’s foodservice industry, forcing many restaurants to close their doors or shift their business models to curbside pick-up and delivery. Understanding that small and independent restaurants have been among the hardest hit, Eat Just earlier this year launched a multi-platform campaign to shine a spotlight on those continuing to serve their communities nourishing meals during this difficult period.
As Better Breakfast Month commences, Eat Just is redoubling those efforts through a partnership with Yelp, the company that connects people with great local businesses, to identify the all-time best places for omelets and breakfast sandwiches in the United States. The lists of restaurants, which can be viewed here, were identified by Yelp as having a large concentration of reviews and then ranked using a number of factors including the total volume and ratings. When available, all businesses on the lists have a passing health score as of August 2020.
Eat Just is offering 100 restaurants that made the lists a JUST Egg “starter kit” with point-of-sale signage and digital assets as well as free cases of JUST Egg to help them make their breakfast menus even better in September and beyond. Yelp previously reported that consumer interest in plant-based food had been gaining traction among their users and was poised for further growth. Yelp now reports an 84% increase in mentions of “plant based” in customer reviews.
Celebrating with TikTok Sensation Tabitha Brown & More
Finally, Eat Just will be celebrating Better Breakfast Month with a host of fun and engaging moments across social media. The company will be shining a spotlight on restaurants from coast-to-coast that are already serving JUST Egg in a range of delicious dishes. From Pompano Beach, Florida, to Palm Springs, California, check out this curated list of restaurants or the JUST Egg store locator to find one near you.
Eat Just has also partnered with beloved social media personality and actress Tabitha Brown and other prominent fans of plant-based eating to bring kitchen inspiration to Instagram and TikTok all month long. The company’s popular “At Home” Instagram TV series, already viewed by hundreds of thousands of people, will feature recreations of favorite celebrity breakfasts made better with JUST Egg. Tune in to see Chef Bec’s take on dishes by notables like Kim Kardashian, musician Anderson Paak and comedian Amy Schumer.