Thursday, March 26, 2009
LET THE CHILD LEAD THE WAY
Many thanks to a friend who has been forwarding me informative reports and updates on what we are all about - BE VEG! GO GREEN! SAVE THE PLANET!
Here's one that is really interesting... USA has lots more vegetarians now than before. An estimated number of 367,000 of these are CHILDREN - about 1 child in every 200.
COST AND HEALTH-DRIVING VEGGIE-CURIOUSNESS
By Neil Merrett, 24-Mar-2009
Related topics: Financial & Industry
Vegetarian food manufacturers say they are increasingly catering for mainstream consumer tastes by meeting various consumer needs for affordable, healthy and even higher quality products, according to an independent association.
Stewart Rose, vice president of the non-profit organization Vegetarians of Washington, claimed that, while vegetarian food products can meet specific needs regarding consumer health, broad market appeal remained the key to driving future growth in the current economic climate.
“We will continue our broad based marketing program,” he stated. “The base of consumers are the vegetarian community, but the fastest growth potential is in reaching out to the mainstream and getting them to give vegetarian food products a try.”
The comments follow last weekend’s Vegfest 2009, an event that took place in Seattle, and, according to the group, is the largest vegetarian food festival in North America.
Rose told FoodNavigator-USA.com that estimates of this year’s event suggested that at least half of attendees at the show were not committed vegetarians, reflecting increasing interest by consumers in meat-free products.
He added that this seemingly growing number of so called ‘veg-curious’ shoppers was being met with growing interest from vegetarian food manufacturers eager to cater for main stream needs.
Like a lot of strategies currently being adopted within the food industry, Rose suggested that the economic downturn had been a major factor in steering trends.
He claimed that there was a proportion of vegetarian consumers who consciously spent more on healthier products and were therefore less likely to switch to other products.
Due to this reluctance to switch to other goods, Vegetarians of Washington said it expected the industry would remain focused on broad mainstream appeal in the future.
Aside from cost impacts, Rose said that in light of the growing interest in super fruit products like Goji berry, pushing and promoting other goods offering potential health benefits was another important development area.
Welfare and nutrients
Earlier this year, it was animal welfare and not health being linked to growing levels of US child vegetarians, according to a survey.
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) study, which is said to be the first government estimate of the number of children who do not eat meat, showed that 367,000 children in the US are vegetarian.
This figure is estimated to be about in one in 200 children. The CDC report, which presents selected estimates of complementary and alternative medicine use among US adults and children, used data from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, conducted by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.
The results were based on over 9,417 interviews for children aged up to 17 years.
However, experts claim that children who are vegetarians could lack essential nutrients if they don’t eat meat, such as protein. Therefore, it is important to eat alternative sources such as soybeans and nuts.
This is more the case for vegans who do not eat dairy produce or meat