Rosley Majid / EyeEm/Getty Images

But, only if those foods taste good. 

Mike Pomranz
Updated January 08, 2019

Plant-based burgers were one of the hottest topics of 2018 thanks to the ongoing battle between the two buzziest names in the industry: Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat. And judging simply by the number of chains who have added plant-based meat alternatives to their menus, these vegetarian options were a trend to be reckoned with. But though we assume that chains like White Castle and Carl’s Jr. are adding plant-based burgers because people want them and not just because it’s fashionable, does the demand really exist? A new survey suggests that, yes, more people are interested in plant-based foods than in the past.

The survey site YouGov, on behalf of the dairy-free food brand Kite Hill, reached out to over 1,200 American adults online this past November to get their thoughts on the plant-based food boom. Indeed, 34 percent of respondents said they would consider eating plant-based foods as a way to achieve their health goals for 2019. “This was an exciting shift in perception regarding plant-based products, which used to be considered a very niche diet,” the announcement stated.

That said, the survey also found that people aren’t going to switch to plant-based foods if they taste like garbage. Eighty percent of respondents said that flavor is an important factor when it comes to whether they’ll try a plant-based food or not. In theory, that’s really where items like the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger are trying to make their breakthroughs: Both brands tout that their products are more like real meat than any other veggie burgers that have come before.

Of course, Kite Hill was the one that laid out the cash for the survey, so they also wanted to find out how people felt about their particular angle. Specifically, the results show that over 44 percent of Americans found the idea of yogurt or cream cheese made out of almond milk appealing. That number sounds pretty promising… until you realize that, like, over half of the people survey appear to be serious almond milk haters, proving that when it comes to plant-based foods, it’s still a bit of an uphill battle.