The spring forward to daylight saving time means warmer weather, longer days are soon to be the norm once again. With the more favorable weather, Americans are sure to begin grilling and cookouts but will any of those cookouts include plant-based meat, such as Oscar Mayer’s new line of plant-based hot dogs? 

The most recent CivicScience data reveal that 36% of Americans have tried plant-based meat alternatives, a figure that has shown little change over recent quarters. Within this group, the majority express positive sentiments toward plant-based meats instead of negative ones. Additionally, 8% intend to try these alternatives in the future, despite not having done so yet. Still, the plurality (44%) of Americans have not sampled plant-based meats and exhibit no interest in doing so, while 12% remain unaware of these products.

One group that has grown more likely to have tried and enjoyed plant-based meats? Vegetarians. Additional CivicScience data show 56% of vegetarians now say they’ve tried and enjoy plant-based meat alternatives, up seven points from 2022 to 2023. Vegans who said the same, on the other hand, fell by 10 points to 14% in 2024.

Cast Your Vote: Do you think plant-based burgers are healthier than meat?

Kraft Heinz has the potential to win over curious or reluctant Americans with its release of Oscar Mayer’s first-ever plant-based meat products, which includes hot dogs and sausages in collaboration with TheNotCompany. Initial CivicScience polling following the announcement of the new products finds 37% of consumers are at least ‘somewhat likely’ to try the new line of “NotHotDogs” and “NotSausages.”

A deeper dive shows Oscar Mayer’s entry into the plant-based market could offer some potential to generate some new momentum for plant-based meat products. Nearly a quarter of individuals open to trying Oscar Mayer’s plant-based offerings had previously been dissatisfied with plant-based meats. Furthermore, an additional 16% had initially expressed disinterest in exploring plant-based alternatives.

However, hurdles remain for plant-based meat products to make a significant mark on American dining habits. Despite evidence favoring their environmental benefits, the plurality of consumers (32%) doubt there are any positive impacts on health or the environment, while an additional 30% are unaware of the pros and cons of meat alternatives. Though 1-in-5 recognize both the health and environmental benefits of plant-based meat products, this percentage has decreased by two points since last year. 

Perhaps one of plant-based meat’s strongest cases for replacing meat is its benefits for the environment compared to meat, yet American concerns about climate change and the environment are slipping as they are becoming more price-sensitive at the grocery store. Americans are, however, looking to improve their diets this year which could offer a path forward. Oscar Mayer’s entry into the plant-based market is a significant development that could make for new plant-based fans, but will it be enough to break the pattern of stagnant interest in plant-based meat products?

Join the Conversation: Are you interested in trying plant-based hot dogs?

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