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Innova’s Recent Market Research on the Upcycled Food Industry


Innova’s Recent Market Research on the Upcycled Food Industry


Consumers care more about their actions’ impact on the environment than ever before, according to an Innova Report published on June 30, 2022.


This report was based on a Lifestyle & Attitudes survey conducted globally by Innova Market Insights. The results dictate that consumers care more about the planet’s wellbeing than they did previously – this concern even took priority ahead of population health. Many of these results were targeted towards upcycled foods, which “use ingredients that otherwise would not have gone to human consumption, are procured and produced using verifiable supply chains, and have a positive impact on the environment,” according to the Upcycled Food Association.


This interest has increased substantially since 2019 – new research indicates that 95% of consumers want to do their part to eliminate food waste, 57% specifically are interested in upcycled foods, and 54% indicated that seeing the Upcycled Food Association certification logo increased their likelihood of purchasing a product (Mattson Proprietary Research).


In addition, when compared with non-upcycled food products, 83% of consumers indicated that upcycled foods were just as, if not more so, attractive than conventional items. 22% are more likely to purchase upcycled foods over conventional ones. 


About 4 out of every 5 consumers have at least some knowledge of how their food choices impact the environment, and general consumer consciousness on the positive impact food waste mitigation can have on the climate has grown 71% since 2019 (University of College Dublin).


Food and beverage companies have evidently begun to meet this consumer demand – over the five years leading up to the end of Q3 in 2021, food and beverage products using upcycled ingredients increased by 122% (Innova Market Insights).


Other varieties of sustainable products had increased production as well – products advertising their use of recycled plastics had increased by 59%, products with water-saving claims had increased by 49%, products carrying carbon emission claims had increased by 47%, and palm oil free products had increased by 36% (Innova Market Insights).


By purchasing these products at greater rates, consumers are showing that they care more about how their food and beverage consumption impacts the environment. 


Evidence of upcycled products scaling is great news. At scale, upcycled ingredients will become more accessible for more of the population, as discussed in a previous blog post. Having more upcycled food products in circulation will translate to lower demand for new resources and less waste. Together, we can find ways to repurpose the under-utilized aspects of these crops, make more with fewer resources, and decrease the food system’s impact on the environment.


Stay tuned on the upcycled food industry – big things are coming UP!


Information sources:

Mattson Proprietary Research: “Upcycling: The Opportunity” April, 2021

University of College Dublin, “Consumer co-creation of upcycled foods in US and China,” 2022 

INNOVA Market Insights, 2021

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