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Interest in plant-based foods on the rise!

Consumer perception research on plant-based foods conducted in 7 countries, including Türkiye, revealed that 58% of consumers consume plant-based foods at least twice a week. The plant-based food market in Europe increased its total sales value to 5.7 billion Euros in 2022. Plant-based milk alternatives, which account for 38 per cent of total plant-based food sales, have shown steady growth, exceeding €2.2 billion last year.

As the world faces the devastating effects of the climate crisis and the food crisis, authorities point out that the key to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals is an urgent transformation of the agriculture and food system.

In this context, “Will we be able to feed the 10 billion population of the future while protecting the planet and human health?” is the most important question to be answered. According to EAT Lancet, the scientific organisation that seeks to answer this critical question, food is the single most powerful lever for optimising human health and environmental sustainability on Earth. The key role here is played by plant-based foods.

Ebru Akdağ, Chairwoman of the Plant-Based Foods Association (BİTKİDEN), which set out by placing plant-based foods at the centre of the transformation of the agriculture and food system, says, “Today, we are on the verge of a major transformation and food is at the centre of this transformation.”

Ebru Akdağ

“Because the food we consume, how we produce it and how much of it we waste have vital impacts on human health and the future of our environment,” she adds.

Stating that plant-based food alternatives should take place on the shelves by distinguishing themselves, Ebru Akdağ concludes, “In the study, the majority of consumers in all countries want the term ‘plant-based’ to be used in product nomenclature and to be included on the label together with the animal definition in order to understand what the product is. These findings show that shoppers are not confused by animal-based descriptors and understand the nutritional differences, which suggests that current labelling restrictions may create more confusion.”

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