We’ll admit it—we made up the word ‘tarian. We coined it to describe the larger segment of consumers who are choosing not to eat meat and identify as either vegetarians, flexitarians, climatarians, reducetarians and more. Of course, vegans are also part of this group with only one distinction. Their name doesn’t end in ‘tarian. Nevertheless, consumers today proudly identify with a ‘tarian-like food community to show their dietary preferences. Maybe it’s because this group is quite powerful as more manufacturers prioritize innovation to meet their diverse needs.
Chances are, you have a project on your benchtop or in your pipeline targeting at least one of these consumer groups. If you don’t, maybe it’s time, especially since Whole Foods chose one particular ‘tarian as one of the top ten trends for 2017.1 Read on to discover which…
Vegetarians / Ovo-vegetarians / Lacto-vegetarians – We won’t offend you by defining a vegetarian but there are categories of vegetarians that have evolved over time. Ovo-vegetarians eat eggs but not dairy with their veggies while lacto-vegetarians eat some dairy but no eggs. In actuality, all vegetarians in the U.S. are really lacto-ovo-vegetarians to confuse things. And then there are the vegans, who eat neither meat or any other product that comes from an animal. Regardless which category, it’s clear that the industry is on board with innovating for vegetarians as there was a 60% increase in worldwide food/beverage new products that boast a vegetarian claim between 2011-2015.2
Climatarians – As the name suggests, climatarians avoid foods that impact the climate and global warming. If cultivating it has a negative effect on the environment, the climatarian isn’t eating it. For example, some climatarians choose to avoid meats like beef, deer, sheep, and goat because of the methane and nitrous oxide they emit. On the other hand, pig, poultry, and fish are perfectly acceptable. If American consumers cut in half the 120 grams of meat they eat, it is speculated that gas-related greenhouse emissions could be reduced by 40-45%.3
Reducetarians – Coined in a TEDx Talk by Brian Kateman, reducetarians seek to reduce the amount of meat they eat on a daily basis to help improve the environment and their health. Kateman’s philosophy meets extreme vegetarianism and climatarianism in the middle. This thought spawned both a website and book. Reducetarians also want to reduce the amount of dairy, poultry, seafood, and eggs eaten as well.
Flexitarians – Cited by Whole Foods as a top trend for 2017, flexitarianism is exactly what it sounds like.4 Flexitarians typically eat a plant-based diet but have the flexibility to pick and choose to eat meat when it suits them. The 24% rise in global meat substitute launches particularly suits flexitarians who are more likely to enjoy these products than vegans or vegetarians.5 Germany is leading the world in meatless consumption and product development initiatives. Almost twice as many German (69%) than American consumers (38%) are meat-free once a week.6
The number of consumers labeling themselves relative to their diet choices is vast with many seeking high protein, low animal products. If you’re looking for a tasty idea, we’re here to help. Check out our Vegan Alfredo Sauce for a delightful ‘tarian experience.