The plant-based food industry is projected to see tremendous growth worldwide as consumers re-evaluate their diets driven by a combination of environmental, ethical and health concerns.
A “Plant Based Food Market” report has predicted that the plant-based market will grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.9 percent from 2020- 2027.
The report released by Meticulous Research states that plant-based products, such as meat substitute, dairy alternative, and plant-based eggs have a great opportunity to grow on the back of key issues such as increased greenhouse gas emissions and increased pressure on land and water usage during the production of animal protein.
It adds that “increasing incidences of intolerance for animal protein, growing urbanization with new consumer aspirations, increasing vegan population, and significant venture investments in plant-based product manufacturers” will see the vegan market reach more than $74 billion by the year 2027.
COVID-19 led shift
The recent coronavirus crisis has also prompted several consumers to shift towards plant-based diets as they re-evaluate their diets after the virus exposed the underlined link between food, health, and immune responses.
“COVID-19’s association with animal sources will result in a large population shifting from animal-based proteins to plant proteins due to various health and environmental concerns,” the report states.
Referencing the surge in investments, the report cited observations of the Good Food Institute (GFI), which highlighted that despite COVID-19 disrupting global markets, the plant-based meat, cheese, dairy, and egg companies in the United States received $741 million in investments during just the first quarter of 2020. This figure represents investments by the US plant-based protein sector for the entirety of 2019.
“There has been a surge in investor confidence,” the researchers said.
“They have seen the market opportunity and are moving to capitalize on a global shift in the way meat is produced.
“With historical pressures on conventional meat production, experts predict that the large meat conglomerates are also expected to double down on their plant-based product investments.”
The ‘alt-market’ segment
According to the report, the dairy alternatives segment is estimated to dominate the overall plant-based food market in 2020, and is also expected to continue its dominance during the analysis period predominantly driven by factors such as “increased number of lactose-intolerant people, growing awareness on ethical concerns about animal abuse in modern dairy farming practices, and nutritional benefits offered by plant-based dairy products.”
Plant-based eggs or the egg substitute segment is also projected to grow at the fastest CAGR during the forecast period propelled by “rising introductions of plant-based eggs across the globe, growing acceptance of vegan convenience foods among consumers due to their hectic lifestyles, allergen reduction properties of plant-based eggs, and inclination of millennial population towards ready-to-eat processed foods.”
Based on sources, soy protein and the pea protein segments have also been signaled to command the largest share of the overall plant-based food-market in 2020.
Rapidly growing plant-based market regions
While the U.K. hosts the largest vegan population in the world, the report states the Asia-Pacific region is projected to grow at a significant pace in the forecast period due to “growing adoption of emerging technologies for product innovation, collaboration between international and domestic food companies, increasing government’s investment in food R&D sector, and increasing presence of large number of key players in the market.”
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