Vegetarianism on the rise!

Last year, plant-based diets raised exponentially! Thanksgiving was a major example showing the dip in turkey sales. Here is recap of last year’s Thanksgiving and vegetarianism market. 

Jhoana Carla de Toro
Jhoana Carla de Toro

Updated: 11 January 2019

Turkey is a staple during Thanksgiving, and around 45 million turkeys are expected to be slaughtered this year for the occasion with plenty more suffering the same fate for Christmas. In the US alone, about 300 million turkeys are slaughtered annually and just like other animals, they also feel pain, and they also suffer.

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Vegetarianism is a concept currently gaining a lot of ground as people nowadays have more sophisticated palates and are no longer content with consuming processed foods and huge amounts of meat. More informed consumers are now searching for healthier and more environmentally sustainable alternatives. Diners have become more compassionate and have now found a way to celebrate Thanksgiving without feeling deprived, thanks to the various meatless but equally delicious choices available in the market.


One obvious sign of the changing times is during this year’s Thanksgiving, turkey sales went down, with companies even claiming an excess of birds. It’s not that there was too much supply in the market, it’s because not too many people purchase and serve turkey nowadays. People are now craving for a meatless and more compassionate Thanksgiving.

Hain Pure Protein, the poultry arm of Hain Celestial, was operating at a loss of $19.5 million in the first quarter of the 2018 fiscal year, which ended in September. During the previous quarter, Pure Protein’s parent company, Hain Celestial Group, which specializes in selling natural and organic products, reportedly had a net loss of $69.9 million, mostly because of the Pure Protein chicken and turkey line, which it plans to sell in 2019.


Poultry companies from all over the country are feeling the pinch.  Others are also fighting slumping demand for turkey as vegetarianism rises. Consumers have flocked away from meat and even well-known brand Butterball has also suffered a $19 million loss during the third quarter of 2018. These losses can be attributed to the market demands which have been dwindling.

Photo Credits: Beyond Meat

Just as sales of turkey decreased, there has been an increase in plant-based foods. Companies with meatless lines such as Kraft Heinz and BOCA have started to shift to fully vegan products lines as a result of consumer demand. Other meatless companies have continued to innovate and are now offering a myriad of vegan holiday roasts.

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