Survey Finds Meat Will Be a Key Ingredient for Americans Resolving to Eat Better in 2021

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — Better eating habits is always one of the most common New Year’s Resolutions, which is why Applegate, the nation’s leading natural and organic meat brand, surveyed more than 1,000 adults to gain insight into their New Year’s Resolution plans related to better eating in 2021. As many Americans are into week one of a new eating regimen, Applegate found that 72% of those surveyed believe meat should be part of a healthy diet and that 55% are resolving to cut back on sugar.

Despite the rising popularity of plant-based trends and lab-created “meat” substitutes, the survey found 58% of adults have no plans to consume less meat in 2021 and illustrated how consumers are seeking natural and organic meat products with clean ingredients and meat that is humanely raised.

Meeting consumer demands, Applegate® products have no GMO ingredients, no chemical nitrates or nitrites, and are made with meat that is Applegate humanely raised with no antibiotics ever. Applegate also offers a no sugar portfolio consisting of more than 30 products, including Oven Roasted Turkey BreastSlow Cooked Ham, and No Sugar Bacon, for those looking to remove sugar from their diet and/or those looking for Whole30 Approved® or Keto-friendly options.

For the 48% of those surveyed who don’t believe they’re eating enough veggies, Applegate’s Well Carved™ line of frozen burgers and meatballs blends juicy, organic meat with organic vegetables, legumes, and grains, to provide either 1/4 cup or 1/3 cup of veggies per serving. They are also a great option for those who have started to cook more with frozen foods due to kitchen fatigue caused by an increased amount of time spent in the kitchen in 2020.

While 2020 proved to be an unconventional year that impacted the way many Americans ate, some of the key survey takeaways about plans for better eating in 2021 include:

  • Meat will be a key ingredient: 72% of U.S. adults believe meat should be a part of a healthy diet, and 58% of U.S. adults said they have no plans to eat less meat in 2021.
  • 5 important factors to consumers when purchasing meat:
  1. Clean labels/ingredients: 41% of U.S. adults stated that clean labels/ingredients are important when purchasing meat products.
  2. Natural or organic: 40% of U.S. adults think it’s important to choose natural or organic options when purchasing meat products.
  3. Humanely raised: More than one-third (38%) of adults say that selecting humanely raised meat is important to them when purchasing meat products.
  4. Convenience: About one-in-three (34%) adults think convenience is important when purchasing meat products.
  5. Nutritionals: 30% of adults say nutritionals are important to them when purchasing meat products.
  • Hold the sugar: 55% of all U.S. adults stated that in 2021 they want to cut down on sugar.
  • More veggies please: Nearly half (48%) of Americans do not believe they are eating enough vegetables every day.
  • Kitchen fatigue is real: About one-in-three (37%) U.S. adults admitted that they have experienced some level of kitchen fatigue and have started to cook more frozen foods. This includes nearly one-in-four (23%) U.S. adults who would be willing to cook with more frozen foods, if there were more nutritious options.

“Whether or not consumers are making a new year’s resolution to eat better in 2021, it’s important to us that the Applegate® brand continues to be a brand that offers a wide variety of clean, crave-able, natural and organic meats,” says Nicole Glenn, Applegate vice president of brand strategy & innovation. “It’s clear that Americans want to keep meat on the table in 2021 and we look forward to providing conscientious carnivores with meats held to high standards in a new year filled with high hopes.”

Applegate offers an extensive portfolio of clean-label meat products that are sold at retailers nationwide. To download a coupon for any Applegate product, please visit

This survey was part of an online omnibus that was conducted November 25-30, 2020 by Applegate and Finn Partners. It reached a sample size of n=1,206 adults. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (18+).

Founded in 1987, Applegate produces high-quality natural and organic hot dogs, bacon, sausages, deli meats, cheese and frozen products. Our products are made without GMO ingredients, and we source from farms where animals are treated with care and respect and are allowed to grow at their natural rate, all part of our mission – Changing The Meat We Eat®. Natural can mean many things, but to Applegate natural means our food is: 

  • From animals that are Applegate humanely raised without antibiotics, added hormones or growth promotants
  • From animals fed a vegetarian diet (our beef is 100 percent grass-fed)
  • Free of added chemical nitrites, nitrates or phosphates
  • Free of artificial ingredients or preservatives

Applegate became a stand-alone subsidiary of Hormel Foods in July 2015. For more information about our products, visit or talk with us on or