Survey Shows Millennials Consume the Most Soy
Annual United Soybean Board Food Industry Insights survey finds an increased demand for soy among millennials nationwide, opening new market opportunities for food companies
A recent survey exploring consumer attitudes about soyfoods revealed that 42% of consumers under 35 years old reportedly consume soy once-a-week or more, which is twice as much as respondents 55 years and older1. The latest Food Industry Insights: Consumer Attitudes about Soyfoods and Health survey also confirmed that a record 82% of consumers have tried some of the most popular soy foods or beverages1.
While soy protein and beverage consumption has risen among millennials, industry trends among all age demographics show potential for market growth as consumers prioritize healthy food choices and sustainably produced foods1. The plant-based foods category grew by 20% between 2017 and 2018, outpacing sales of all retail foods by 10-times2.
Soy protein, one of the only plant-based foods that provides all nine essential amino acids for human health, is an ingredient that food companies can leverage when seeking sustainable protein sources3. In addition to its health halo, US soy protein is rich in folate, potassium and fiber. It is also the only plant-based protein to carry a Food & Drug Administration (FDA) heart health claim, which indicates that soy’s cholesterol-lowering effects may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease4.
Soy is a functional plant protein that can translate well to various food applications, including baking grilling, microwaving and pan frying. The top soyfoods picks among consumers include energy bars, soymilk, edamame, tofu and meat alternatives1.
US soybeans grow across 85 million acres nationwide, and US soy farmers are well prepared to keep pace with growing popularity in the years to come5.
To view the full results of the 26th annual United Soybean Board Food Industry Insights Survey, or to learn more about the benefits and uses of US soy protein, visit SoyConnection.com.
1 2019 United Soybean Board Food Industry Insights Consumer study.
2 Plant-Based Food Association. 2018 US Retail Sales Data for Plant-Based Foods.
3 Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Scores for Soy Protein Isolates and Concentrate: Criteria for Evaluation. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.
4 US Food and Drug Administration. Soybean Oil and Reduced Risk of Coronary Heart Disease. July 31, 2017.
5 National Agricultural Statistics Service. Prospective Plantings. March 29. 2019.