Speaking to international awareness organisation ProVeg International, Euromonitor International’s consultant David Ingemar Hedin offered his overview of the plant-based protein market compared to traditional meats, as well as how the future boded for the two sectors.
Hedin discussed how parts of the world are experiencing different developments in their respective markets and which countries are moving in the direction of plant-based foods, as well as exploring which countries are animal products on the rise.
He believed that meat is set to grow faster than meat alternatives in major international markets such as China, Brazil, USA and India over the next four years.
“A key weakness with substitute products is the high price, which both hinders its mainstream application and makes it vulnerable to economic turbulence,” said Hedin.
“In Argentina, for example, processed meat and meat substitutes were among the first non-necessities that consumers cut from their food budgets as real wages declined. However, fresh meat is seen as more of a staple and a necessary protein source that cannot be avoided.”
According to Euromonitor’s data, meat substitutes are worth $19.5bn globally, which is dominated by the Chinese market due to significant sales of tofu across the country.
Hedin has also noticed a surge of interest in consumers replacing meat with substitutes in Western Europe and North America.
“Substituting meat straight off in Western Europe and North America stems from a deeply rooted meat-intensive diet,” added Hedin. “In many markets, highlighting the objective selling points – high protein, climate-smart, modern, trendy, etc. – can be a more effective approach than positioning the product as a substitute.”