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Ocado Trends of the Year report: Plant-based product sales up 29% in 2021

UK online retailer publishes first annual consumer trends report predicting rise of plant milk and chewable toothpaste in 2022
Chewable toothpaste and CBD-infused wine among trends to come out of 2022 the retailer predicts

Ocado reported a 29% year-on-year growth in sales for plant-based alternatives in 2021, as part of its first annual consumer trends report.

The UK online retailer said 84% of its 800,000 active customers believed a plant-based diet had become more attractive to them in the last 12 months.

Brighton ranked as the top city for plant-based product purchases on Ocado’s platform in 2021, with towns Stroud, Lewes and Hove coming in second, third and forth place.

Ahead of the Christmas period, nut roast sales were up 9% on 2020 at the time of writing the report, while sales of plant-based sausage and bacon options were up 11% since 2019.

The ecommerce platform highlighted sustainability as a key shopping trend during 2021, as 21% of its consumers opted for refillable products to cut down on single use plastic.

Natural energy drinks reported a YoY sales increase of 2510% in 2021, as consumers opted for healthier alternatives to traditional energy drinks.

As the health-trend continued, low and zero-alcohol spirits sales also rose by 56% since 2019.

Buyers for Ocado have predicted oat milk chocolate and new plant milk flavours will dominate trends in 2022, while interesting new products like chewable toothpaste and CBD-infused wine will also come to the fore next year.

Oat-milk chocolate brand HiP Chocolate recently launched on Ocado’s platform and is now seeking up to £2 million in Seed funding to support its growth.

The report also highlighted how social media trends had influenced buying habits throughout the year. One example was the increase in plant-based fish alternative sales in March 2021, following the release of the damning documentary Seaspiracy.

Elsewhere, beer sales grew 20% on the prior month in June as Brits watched the UEFA European Championship.

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