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Plant-based confectionery to gain ground in 2021

08 February 2021

Innova Market Insights’ #2 trend for 2021, Plant-Forward, predicts that plant-based concepts are set to extend beyond the core dairy and meat alternatives categories. 

In 2020, 67% of all new products with ‘plant-based’ claims were launched outside of the dairy and meat sectors. In the confectionery market, for example, more milk-free and gelatin-free products coming to market. 

Meanwhile, the plant-based confectionery space is growing in popularity. While total confectionery launches rose at a CAGR of less than 2% over 2016-2020, introductions of those carrying vegan claims increased at 17% CAGR. Confectionery introductions, launched under the simpler ‘plant-based’ banner, more than doubled in 2020.

A review of vegan and plant-based confectionery NPD also demonstrates the shift of animal-free products further into the mainstream. While vegan claims were once predominantly used as secondary or tertiary claims in combination with other ‘free-from’, organic or health positionings, they are now coming to the fore as a primary focus.

“Mars’ introduction of vegan Topic and Bounty bars in the UK demonstrates the growing importance of the vegan message,” said Lu Ann Williams, director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights. “Although the bars are also positioned as gluten- free, ‘vegan’ is the most important claim on the packaging, while the Vegan Society logo is also prominent.”

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