The increasing trend towards veganism is 'one of the major factors hindering the growth' of the pepperoni sector, according to a new report.
The report, shared by a newswire last week, describes veganism as the 'practice of restricting the consumption and use of animal-based products'.
It adds: "The trend is growing rapidly across the globe.
"There has been steep growth in the population of vegan consumers in several developed and developing countries across the globe.
"Some of the consumers are strict vegetarians (dietary vegans), who do not consume any kind of animal-based products, while some are flexitarian or part-time vegan."
The report attributes the growth in veganism to more people taking an 'ethical stand...against animal slaughtering and rising health-awareness'.
It says: "The vegan population prefers consuming ethically prepared foods.
"Consumption of meat is considered to have a negative impact on the sustainability of the environment and cause health problems."
The report says the pepperoni sector is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 6.31 percent during the period 2017-2021.
But even among consumers buying the product, there is a growing preference for 'clean-labeled processed meat products'.
It says: "The country of origin labeling (COOL) plays a significant role in determining the consumers' purchasing decisions.
"Consumers in the western countries consider that meat processed in developed countries are safer to consume than those that are produced in other regions.
"Many consumers seek for more transparency throughout the supply chain, which helps them make informed decisions.
"They prefer processed meats that are labeled clean, free-form, and environment-friendly. However, vendors have to bear more costs, leading to increasing in the price of the final product."