Almost half of vegetarians note health as the leading reason they switch diets. True vegetarians and vegans are likely to be equally or more motivated by ethical considerations, however. Vegetarian Resource Group's Vegetarian Journal reader surveys have indicated that a lot of readers were interested in vegetarianism because of health, versus a smaller number because of ethics, concern for the environment, or animal rights.
To appeal to the widest audience, vegetarian foods should be healthful, free of animal products, and environmentally-friendly. Promoting vegetarian foods as produced with care, part of a nutritionally sound diet, and beneficial in preventing disease will provide further growth in the vegetarian foods market.
Being a vegetarian is as hard or as easy as you choose to make it. Some people enjoy planning and preparing elaborate meal based on a vegetarian recipe, while others opt for quick and easy vegetarian dishes. Many people become vegetarian instantly. They totally give up meat, fish and poultry overnight. Others make the change gradually. Do what works best for you. Large proportion of people wants a reliable vegetarian nutrition resource to help them become or remain vegetarian. Self-identified vegetarians are even more likely to want this assistance than are people who do not yet consider themselves vegetarian.
When selecting vegetarian foods, consumers weigh availability, taste, convenience, and price. Consumers evaluating unfamiliar products are more likely to buy when provided demonstrations, samples, preparation information, and prepared meals to address taste and convenience concerns. Many are looking for a vegetarian recipe that contains a significant amount of nutrients. As a matter of fact, vegetarians easily meet their nutrient needs by eating a varied diet. So to find a balanced vegetarian recipe is as easy as just knowing the nutrient content of the ingredients vegetarian recipe calls for.
Good protein sources are: lentils, tofu, low-fat dairy products, nuts, seeds, peas. Iron sources are: dried beans, spinach, beet greens, blackstrap molasses, prune juice, and dried. To increase the amount of iron absorbed at a meal eat a food containing vitamin C, such as citrus fruit or juices, tomato, or broccoli. Collard greens, broccoli, kale, low fat dairy products, turnip greens, and fortified soy milk all contain high quantities of calcium.
A diet containing dairy products or eggs provides adequate vitamin B12. Fortified foods, such as some brands of cereal, nutritional yeast, soy milk, or soy analogs, are good non-animal sources. Make sure to check labels to discover other products that are fortified with vitamin B12.
Great tasting meals and ingredients rich in nutrients that are convenient and reasonably priced will help drive expansion of the vegetarian foods market. Because established companies and many new entrants are vying to serve this market, businesses must have the knowledge, resources, and commitment to achieve meaningful advantage over competition in order to prosper from this opportunity.