Plant-based meat alternatives have spiked in popularity by 463 percent in 2020, according to Grubhub’s “Year in Food” trend report. Grubhub has also noted that vegan and vegetarian trends have slowed down a bit in 2020 compared to its growth in 2019 but the popularity of meat alternatives has grown exponentially, suggesting that more eaters that are not strictly plant-based or vegan are dipping a toe in the lifestyle.

Plant-Based Food Delivery Sees Boost

In November, Grubhub reported a 222 percent increase in orders for Impossible Cheeseburgers. New York, California, Massachusetts, and Illinois took the top five spots for places with the most vegan orders. Compared to last year, a wider variety of vegan dishes became more popular on Grubhub including tofu spring rolls, plant-based burgers, black bean tacos, vegan chocolate cakes, and vegan ramen all gaining around a 200 percent increase in popularity. Grubhub’s single biggest order in 2020 was for 300 bean burritos.

Other delivery platforms have seen similar trends as DoorDash who has reported that vegan burgers increased by 433 percent from January 2020 to the end of June 2020. In light of the current coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home orders, it is understandable how many people have turned to food delivery platforms in lieu of going to a restaurant. These customers have the opportunity to try new foods that can easily be delivered to their doorstep, leading to more people going with health-conscious options.

Research from innovation insight agency Buzzback highlights the top plant-based products and consumer awareness and interest in plant-based products. The awareness of plant-based products for consumers in the US is high: Over 80% are aware of plant-based products and 70% have already tried meat and dairy milk substitutes. The main drivers for consuming plant-based products are health and environmental concerns.

“Plant-based is booming and provides plenty of opportunities for many brands in different industries. However, with popularity also comes competition. So, in order for brands to be well equipped and really stand out, they need to focus on what consumers are craving – what is trendy - and be able to innovate, develop new products, and communicate differences effectively,” said Carol Fitzgerald, Founder and CEO of Buzzback Mart Research.