Plant-based meat has become an increasingly popular
alternative to traditional meat products. As concerns about health,
sustainability, and animal welfare continue to grow, more and more consumers
are turning to plant-based meat options. In this essay, we will explore the
market dynamics, benefits, and challenges of plant-based meat.
Plant-based meat offers a number of benefits over
traditional meat products. One of the primary benefits is that it is a more
sustainable option, as it requires less water and produces fewer greenhouse gas
emissions than traditional meat production. Plant-based meat is also a
healthier option, as it is typically lower in saturated fat and calories than
traditional meat. In addition, it offers a viable alternative for those who
follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, or who have dietary restrictions due to
Despite the many benefits of plant-based meat, there are
still some challenges to its widespread adoption. One of the primary challenges
is that it can be more expensive than traditional meat products, which can make
it less accessible to some consumers. Additionally, there is a lack of
standardization in the plant-based meat industry, which can make it difficult
for consumers to navigate the market and make informed choices. Finally, there
is also some resistance to plant-based meat from consumers who are used to traditional
meat products and may be skeptical about the taste and texture of plant-based
Overall, the plant-based meat market is experiencing rapid
growth and is expected to continue to expand in the coming years. While there
are still some challenges to its widespread adoption, the many benefits of
plant-based meat, including its sustainability, health benefits, and ethical
considerations, make it an appealing option for an increasing number of
consumers. As the market continues to mature, we can expect to see more
standardization, increased accessibility, and continued innovation in the
plant-based meat industry.
Industry Dynamics of Plant-based Meat Market
The plant-based meat market is experiencing significant
growth due to various government-led growth and investment opportunities.
Governments around the world are promoting plant-based meat substitutes due to
their health benefits and the environmental concerns associated with
animal-based meat. Moreover, government bodies are investing in research and
development activities to improve plant-based meat products.
Recently, in August 2022, the US Department of Agriculture
(USDA) acknowledged the growth of the plant-based meat market. Meanwhile,
researchers at Germany's TU Berlin and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
are developing production methods for plant-based meat in a project called
"Texturing Mechanisms in the Wet Extrusion of Soy and Pea Protein."
However, the high price of plant-based meat is a significant
restraint for the market. The cost of plant-based meat products is currently
higher than animal-based meat products, making them uneconomical in
price-sensitive markets such as India, China, and South Africa. To overcome
this, companies in the plant-based meat industry are working to reduce prices
to make their products more competitive and appealing to consumers.
In conclusion, while the plant-based meat market faces
challenges, including price constraints, there are numerous growth
opportunities in the industry through government support and investment in
research and development.
Opportunities in the
Meat Alternatives Market
The rising health awareness among consumers is driving the
demand for plant-based meat products as various food products like meat patties
and sausages are being replaced by plant-based alternatives. This trend is
evident with the increasing number of people identifying themselves as
flexitarians, a permanent lifestyle choice, according to The Food Science and
Health Database Organization. The vegan and flexitarian population is growing,
presenting a significant opportunity for plant-based meat manufacturers during
the forecast period.
One of the biggest challenges in the meat alternatives
market is the compromise in taste that consumers perceive when opting for meat
substitutes. Soy protein, a popular meat substitute, is often deemed
undesirable due to its off-flavor caused by compounds such as aldehydes,
ketones, furans, and alcohol. Medium-chain aldehydes are one of the main
reasons for the beany and grassy taste associated with soy products.
Source: Wheat Segment
The wheat segment is estimated to occupy the second-largest
market share in the plant-based meat market based on the source. Wheat's
popularity as an alternative meat source can be attributed to various factors.
It is one of the most commonly consumed cereal grains worldwide and is a source
of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Wheat is also a popular
vegetarian meat substitute and an ingredient in various plant-based meat
products, such as burgers, sausages, nuggets, and deli slices. Leading players
in the market are incorporating wheat as an ingredient in their plant-based
products, making it one of the most popular sources in the market.
The chicken segment is currently experiencing the fastest
growth rate in the plant-based meat industry, and it is anticipated to continue
to do so until 2027, in terms of value. Chicken meat is widely consumed across
the globe and is a key ingredient in a variety of dishes, such as nuggets,
cutlets, strips, and burger patties. As a result, there is a high demand for
plant-based alternatives to chicken meat. Many food companies are now offering
a range of plant-based chicken products, such as strips, nuggets, cutlets, and
burger patties, in response to this demand. One of the main reasons behind
chicken's popularity is its high protein content. Plant-based chicken products
have similar protein content, but may vary in other nutrients, making them an excellent
substitute for vegans.
Other Industry Insights
Strips and nuggets are the fastest-growing products within
the plant-based meat industry, and by 2027, they are expected to occupy the second-largest
market share in terms of value. The popularity of strips and nuggets is
attributed to their taste appeal and widespread consumer demand, particularly
in American and European countries. To meet this growing demand, several
companies are expanding their product portfolios by introducing strips and
nuggets made from alternative sources such as chickpeas, wheat, soy, corn,
rice, and oats. All of these factors combined are predicted to contribute
significantly to the market share of strips and nuggets by 2027.
The food retail segment is anticipated to be the
fastest-growing distribution channel in the plant-based meat market, accounting
for the largest share in 2022. The food retail distribution channel includes
retail supermarkets, hypermarkets, and other stores where various products,
including grocery items, vegetables, uncooked meat, and frozen products, are
made available to consumers. This channel is already popular among consumers
worldwide due to the wide availability of various products. As a result,
established plant-based meat companies and startups are leveraging this
distribution channel to increase the penetration of their products in the
market, making it the largest segment during the forecast period.
North America is the fastest-growing region in the
plant-based meat market, exhibiting a significant CAGR. Meat is a prominent
part of the American diet. However, researchers have highlighted the health
risks associated with the consumption of red meat, prompting consumers to
switch to healthier plant-based diets. Many consumers in the region are
adopting flexitarian lifestyles and incorporating plant-based foods into their
daily diets. Furthermore, the trend of veganism is gaining momentum in the
region, contributing to the growth of the plant-based meat market.
Soy as a raw material contains all nine essential amino
acids required for human body growth, making it a popular ingredient in
plant-based meat products. Its ability to enhance water absorption, solubility,
emulsification, viscosity, anti-oxidation, and texture of the final product is
expected to continue driving demand for soy in the plant-based meat market.
Additionally, the demand for plant-based chicken, pork, and seafood is growing
alongside plant-based beef, leading to diversified and expanded offerings in
this category. The refrigerated plant-based meat segment is also experiencing
exponential growth, reflecting changes in product innovation and marketing
strategies in the industry.
Pea-based meat alternatives, such as pea-based patties, are
gaining popularity due to their high protein content, similar texture and
consistency to meat, easy availability, and quick preparation. The pea protein
is also known to aid muscle strength, improve heart health, and is a rich
source of iron. As a result, the pea-based meat market is expected to
experience the highest growth rate of 20.5% during the forecast period.
In 2021, the plant-based burgers segment dominated the
market, accounting for the highest revenue share of 29.2%. These burgers are
made with ingredients that aim to replicate the taste, smell, and texture of
meat. For instance, Impossible Foods' Impossible Burger is formulated with
genetically modified ingredients to mimic the natural heme-iron found in
animals, which gives it a distinctive meaty flavor. Many companies offer
plant-based burgers with unique characteristics, including Kellogg NA Co.,
Quorn, Amy's Kitchen, Inc., VBites Foods Limited, Kraft Foods, Inc., Yves Veggie
Cuisine, and Beyond Meat.
Plant-based sausages are created to mimic the appearance,
texture, and sizzle of traditional pork sausages, while also providing a
satisfying meaty flavor. Companies such as Beyond Meat and Lightlife Foods,
Inc. are introducing juicy and flavorful alternatives to traditional sausages
that are free of hormones, nitrates, GMOs, nitrites, gluten, and soy. To boost
product demand, companies are investing in new and innovative flavors for their
plant-based sausages, such as hot Italian, sweet Italian, and spinach pesto.
Notable players in the plant-based sausages market include Marlow Foods Ltd.,
Impossible Foods Inc., and Moving Mountains.
The plant-based meat market is experiencing significant
growth, with the plant-based chicken segment leading the way and accounting for
the largest revenue share of 34.1% in 2021. Chicken is a popular ingredient in
many traditional meat products, but plant-based chicken products offer a
healthier option as they contain the same amount of protein but lower levels of
animal fats and cholesterol.
In the HORECA (Hotel/Restaurant/Café) segment, plant-based
meat products are gaining popularity due to the rising trend of vegan and
flexitarian diets. Many restaurants and fast-food chains are dedicating a
section of their menus to "meat-free" options, and this shift in
consumer preferences is driving the market growth. Key players in the industry
are taking advantage of this trend by capitalizing on the demand for more
personalized and tailored services. For example, Amy's Kitchen Inc. recently
opened a third plant-based and vegan-friendly restaurant in Walnut Creek,
The frozen plant-based meat products segment led the market
and accounted for a 56.6% share of the global revenue in 2021. The increasing
demand for innovative vegetarian products has led to a surge in new product
development across ambient, chilled, and frozen segments. The availability of a
broad range of plant-based meat products and brands is gaining recognition and
shelf space. Frozen plant-based meat products have a longer shelf life of five
to eight months, which is driving the demand for these products among
Leading Companies in Plant-based Meat Market
- BEYOND MEAT
- KELLOGG COMPANY
- IMPOSSIBLE FOODS INC.
- MAPLE LEAF FOODS
- CONAGRA BRANDS, INC.
- GOLD&GREEN FOODS LTD.
- MONDE NISSIN
- PLANTERRA FOODS
- FAZENDO FUTURO
- ALPHA FOODS
- TOMORROW FOODS
- BEFORE THE BUTCHER
- GOOD DOT
- VBITES FOODS LIMITED
- NO EVIL FOODS
- VEZLAY FOODS
- LET’S PLANT MEAT
Recent Developments in Plant-based Meat Market
The plant-based meat market has seen recent developments
that indicate a growing demand for these products. One such development
occurred in January 2022 when Beyond Meat collaborated with Pizza Hut in Canada
to introduce a new menu item: Beyond Italian Sausages Crumble. This addition to
the menu is a response to the increasing demand from consumers for plant-based
Another significant development was the partnership
announced by Unilever in May 2021 with food tech company ENOUGH. Together, they
will introduce new plant-based meat products using ENOUGH's zero-waste
fermentation process to produce high-quality protein from wheat and corn feed
natural fungi. The resulting ABUNDA mycoprotein is a complete food ingredient
that will be well-suited for Unilever's fast-growing meat alternative brand,
The Vegetarian Butcher.
Taco Bell also made a notable move in January 2021 by
partnering with Gold&Green Pulled Oats to launch a range of plant-based
fillings for their iconic tacos. This new veggie offering is an excellent
option for consumers looking to go meat-free, while still offering meat lovers
something tasty and new.
These developments indicate the growing popularity and
demand for plant-based meat products, as companies continue to invest in
expanding their plant-based offerings and collaborate with other companies to
create new and innovative products.
The plant-based meat market has been experiencing
significant growth in recent years due to the increasing demand for meat
alternatives, driven by health and environmental concerns. The market has seen
various developments, including new product launches, partnerships, and mergers
One of the significant recent developments in the
plant-based meat market is the introduction of new plant-based meat products.
Many companies are expanding their product portfolios to offer a wide range of
options to consumers. For example, Beyond Meat has launched new plant-based
chicken tenders and meatballs, while Impossible Foods has introduced a
plant-based pork product. Furthermore, some companies are experimenting with
plant-based seafood alternatives, such as Good Catch's fish-free tuna.
Partnerships and collaborations are also contributing to the
growth of the plant-based meat market. For instance, Nestle has entered into a
partnership with the plant-based food producer, Sweet Earth, to expand its
product range. Similarly, Tyson Foods has invested in plant-based meat
producer, Beyond Meat, to capitalize on the growing demand for meat
Mergers and acquisitions are also playing a role in the
plant-based meat market's recent developments. For example, in 2020, Nestle
acquired Sweet Earth and increased its plant-based meat offerings. Similarly,
in 2021, LiveKindly Collective acquired the plant-based meat producer, The Fry
Family Food Co, to expand its plant-based meat range.
Overall, the plant-based meat market is expected to continue
to grow in the coming years, driven by health and environmental concerns and
the increasing availability and variety of plant-based meat alternatives.