New data analysis shows that meat became 21% more expensive between February and June.
Plant meat alternatives have become cheaper than their meat counterparts, new figures have revealed.
Commissioned by ProVeg Netherlands, supermarket researcher Questionmark compiled price data for both animal products and plant-based alt meats and mapped their differences in two separate months.
The findings showed that inflation and high raw material prices have caused meat prices to shoot up in comparison with plant-based substitutes.
The researchers only compared the cheapest animal meat products with the cheapest associated meat substitutes in three categories (burgers, minced meat and chicken pieces) at six largest supermarkets (AH, Jumbo, Dirk, Aldi, Lidl, Plus). A total of 36 different products were compared.
They found that prices of alt meats in June compared to February were significantly different.
- In February, vegan burgers were on average 56 cents per kilo more expensive than animal-based burgers. As of June, they are 78 cents per kilo cheaper.
- Plant-based chicken pieces were on average €1.16 per kilo more expensive in February. However, five months down the line they are 37 cents per kilo cheaper.
- Also, plant-based mince was on average 29 cents per kilo more expensive in the early months of 2022, but are retailing at an average of €1.36 per kilo cheaper.
Plant-based price trend in supermarkets
While plant-based meat was not cheaper in every supermarket analyzed considering the differences between the retailers and the products sold, ProVeg pointed out that ‘the same trend can be seen everywhere of a sharp decline or even reversal in price differences’.
The data also highlighted that on average, meat became 21% more expensive between February and June, whilst plant-based meat alternatives rose in price by only 2%.
In relative terms, Aldi and Lidl were found to offer the greatest savings of no less than €6 per kilo for those who exchanged meat for plant-based alternatives.
Why have meat prices increased?
Commenting on the new trend, Pablo Moleman of ProVeg Netherlands explained: “Meat has always been a product that requires an enormous amount of raw materials. To make one kilogram of meat, you need up to ten kilograms of grain. Now, in times of scarcity, that takes its toll.
“Due to the large use of raw materials, meat is much more sensitive to disruptions in the world market than meat alternatives. Plant-based meat clearly wins out on efficiency, and we now see that reflected in the price.”
He also explained how margins could’ve altered prices of the food commodities.
It is a market fact that supermarkets try to attract customers by offering meat as cheaply as possible with margins of 8% being common, and sometimes meat is ‘even sold below cost’.
Meanwhile, meat substitutes have margins of 35 to 50%, which act as a buffer to absorb the price blows, while the meat supermarkets had no choice but to raise prices.
“That could explain why the meat has been hit so hard by the price increases and the substitutes have hardly been replaced,” Moleman added.
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