The plant-based meat market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 14.50% over the forecast period of 2022 to 2027 to generate revenue worth USD 14.7 billion. The major driving factor is increased demand from the developing countries of the Asia-Pacific region. Additionally, widespread vegan food diets are gaining traction in these markets. Many key players are entering markets in the APAC region to meet the increased demand for plant-based meat products. Further, various small-scale manufacturers are venturing into the plant-based meat segment, seeing its future demand growth. New sources of protein and other ingredients are being explored to diversify products. Advertising and promotional activities play a vital role in influencing consumers' eating habits.
Plant-based meat has become more acceptable over the last couple of years. From fast food restaurants to the local grocery store, the demand keeps going up. As a result, plant-based protein is one of the hottest raw materials in food processing. For decades, scientists have been working on ways to create plant-based proteins to replace traditional meat. The market is gaining momentum with the increasing demand for plant-based meat products. Additionally, increasing awareness among consumers about the benefits offered by a vegan diet is one of the major factors that is propelling the demand for plant-based meat products across the world. Key players have been investing significantly in R&D to cater to changing consumer preferences and reduce production costs.
One of the main selling points of plant-based meat production is its impact on the environment. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), about 15% of GHG is caused by livestock. As a result, plant-based food has a much lower impact on the environment. Recent studies have even shown that one plant-based meat burger patty uses 83% less water to make. Being more environmentally friendly has gained the interest of many consumers. The production of plant-based meat alternatives is complex and expensive. Many of the largest plant-based meat manufacturers are investing in ways to innovate their production processes.
Heme is the new protein that makes meat taste like meat and recently has gained attention from the industry players. It’s also responsible for a bunch of chemical reactions while the meat is cooking to give it a satiating taste. One of the most popular methods is taking the DNA from the roots of soy plants, which is then fermented. At the end of this process, a plant-based heme is created and can be used to make vegan meat taste like animal meat. However, this part of soy contains a compound called isoflavones. Some findings show that this compound can promote the growth of cancer cells.
Consumers have a misinterpretation of perceiving plant-based meat as a highly processed food. However, foods are processed for many reasons, including making raw ingredients safer, more palatable, and easier to digest. Food processing can also minimise food safety risks, reduce food waste, increase shelf-life, increase the bioavailability of nutrients in some products, and create flavors. Food processing may decrease the content of specific heat-sensitive vitamins. But the food industry minimises these losses through controlled and often high-speed processes and by restoring the original vitamin content after heat exposure. Finally, processing can also increase the nutritional value of foods. For example, it enables us to eliminate anti-nutritional factors in pulses or improve starch’s digestibility.
Vegan diets are being adopted all over the world.
Increased awareness of the health benefits of plant-based proteins
Government support and investment.
Key players are investing in and diversifying plant-based meat products.
Reduced cruelty against animals
Allergies to soy-based proteins
Gluten is found in wheat-based plant-meats.
High prices of plant-based meat products
Highly processed meats
Loss of essential nutrients, proteins, and vitamins.
Major companies mentioned: Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods Inc., Maple Leaf Foods, Quorn Foods, Amy’s Kitchen (US), Tyson Foods Inc., Nestle S.A., Kraft Heinz Company, Unilever (The Vegetarian Butcher), Kellogg NA Co., Conagra, Inc.