Plant-based meat products are meat alternatives that mimic the taste, texture, and appearance of conventionally produced meat (from slaughtered livestock). These products are typically produced from ingredients like soy, wheat, pea protein and other plant-based ingredients. They are a healthier alternative to conventionally produced meat as they are lower in saturated fat, sodium and calories. They also have environmental benefits as their production has less impact on resources like land and water usage compared to conventionally produced meat.
Two key drivers for the growing plant-based meat market are rising health consciousness and sustainability concerns. There is increasing awareness among consumers about the role of diet in long-term health and risk of diseases. Plant-based meat products are perceived to be more sustainable as their production requires less resources like water, land and energy compared to conventionally produced meat. Also, greenhouse gas emissions from plant-based meat production are significantly lower. Growing vegan and flexitarian consumer base is another major driver. Vegans avoid any animal products while flexitarians follow a mostly plant-based diet with occasional meat consumption. This has increased the demand for meat alternatives that can seamlessly substitute conventionally produced meat products.
The plant based meat market is dominated by the beef and poultry substitutes segment owing to increasing health and sustainability concerns among consumers. This segment offers substitutes made from soy, wheat and pea protein that mimics the texture and taste of beef or chicken.
- Political: Regulations promoting sustainable eating and production are expected to drive the plant based meat market. For example, the European Union’s Farm to Fork Strategy aims to make food systems more sustainable.
- Economic: The plant based meat market is driven by rising disposable incomes in developing nations and health and ethical concerns among affluent consumers worldwide.
- Social: Social media campaigns promoting veganism and flexitarianism are influencing consumers, especially millennials, to switch to plant based alternatives for health or environmental reasons.
- Technological: Advancements in food science allow for highly realistic textures and flavors, thus improving taste perception of plant based meats. 3D printing technologies are also being researched to print structured plant meat.
The Global Plant Based Meat Market Size is expected to witness high growth, exhibiting a CAGR of 19% over the forecast period, due to increasing health and environmental sustainability concerns. The market size for plant based meat in 2023 is estimated at US$ 7.2 Bn.
The Asia Pacific region is expected to be the fastest growing regional market due to rising meat consumption, awareness about health and environment, and growing vegan and vegetarian populations in India and China. North America currently holds the largest share supported by regulatory push and innovation by startups.
Key players operating in the plant based meat market are Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods Inc., Maple Leaf Foods, Vegetarian Butcher, Conagra, Inc., Kellogg NA Co., Quorn, Amy’s Kitchen, Inc., Tofurky, Gold&Green Foods Ltd., Sunfed, VBites Foods Limited, Kraft Foods, Inc., Lightlife Foods, Inc., Trader Joe’s, Yves Veggie Cuisine, Marlow Foods Ltd., Ojah B.V., Moving Mountains, Eat JUST Inc., LikeMeat GmbH, GoodDot, OmniFoods, No Evil Foods, Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods. Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have pioneered the category and enjoy strong brand recognition.
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