A new GFI report reveals it would take over 800 mega-factories producing 30,000 metric tons of plant-based meat a year in order to satisfy the anticipated global demand by 2030, urging that investment in plant-based production is crucial so that upscaling can realistically take place to anywhere near this degree.
“The European Union, national governments and the food industry across the continent must pay careful attention to the findings of this report and provide the investment that is urgently needed,” Carlotte Lucas, GFI
In recent years, consumer demand for plant-based protein has often outpaced supply chain capabilities. According to the new report titled “Plant-based meat: Forecasting ingredient, infrastructure, and investment needs in 2030”, this development could take on worrying dimensions.
“Based on publicly available forecasts of plant-based meat demand and production needs, this report explores a hypothetical production scenario: By 2030, plant-based meat has captured 6% of the global meat and seafood market, representing 25 million metric tons (MMT) of annual plant-based meat production,” state the authors.
“Looming potential for global supply squeezes”
“We identify a looming potential for global supply squeezes of cornerstone ingredients like coconut oil and pea protein and estimate that the industry will need to operate at least 800 manufacturing facilities at a cost of at least $27B within the decade, underscoring the importance and urgency of bold infrastructure investments,” warns the GFI.
Carlotte Lucas, corporate engagement manager at the Good Food Institute Europe, comments today: “Demand for plant-based food is rapidly growing throughout the world – particularly in Europe where many consumers say there aren’t enough options available. I know from the research I’ve carried out with manufacturers that there is already a need for more infrastructure as the sector expands.”
She adds further: “The European Union, national governments and the food industry across the continent must pay careful attention to the findings of this report and provide the investment that is urgently needed to deliver the sustainable plant-based meat consumers are demanding.”
Asia as central to success of PB Meat
Supply chain issues are said to arise particularly in Asia Pacific, where the industry is still in a nascent stage and demand for protein of all kinds is soaring to historic levels.
In an effort to resolve these issues and anticipate potential future crises before they happen, the GFI highlights its report as a “vital new resource [that] lays out the roadmap for how we can mitigate future bottlenecks on cornerstone ingredients like coconut oil and pea protein and rise to the challenges we expect the industry to face.”
The report further estimates the capital expenditure costs necessary to satisfy annual global market demand for plant-based meat by 2030. The projected price tag amounts to $27 billion USD. This striking figure underscores the necessity of incentivizing bold infrastructure investments to facilitate a global transition towards alternative proteins.
Commenting on the report’s findings, Ryan Huling, Senior Communications Manager GFI APAC, outlines that these global figures “still don’t fully illustrate how disproportionately heavy the lift in APAC is going to be. No continent is more central to the success of the global plant-based meat industry than Asia. On the plus side, if regional industry stakeholders lead the way in scaling up their production capacity and driving down costs, the effects of those efforts will be felt around the globe.”
“GFI’s report shows that there are clear financial upsides for the private sector—including investors, ingredient processors, extrusion equipment providers, and manufacturers—if they take these industry projections to heart and contribute to building out the enormous plant-based meat supply chain the sector will need over the coming decade. Likewise, governments would be wise to recognize that meaningful climate gains from a scaled shift towards plant-based meat will not be achievable in the near term unless they invest in open-access R&D and infrastructure for this burgeoning industry,” comments Huling.