A report has predicted that the global plant-based meat market will grow from $7.5 billion in 2021 to $15.8 billion in 2028 — almost doubling in value.
A significant CAGR of around 15% is predicted over the forecast period, with growth said to be largely driven by concerns about the health impacts of meat. The report notes that studies have associated red and processed meat consumption with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and colorectal cancer. However, labelling restrictions that prevent meat-like terms from being used on product packaging could restrain the plant-based meat market.
Currently, alt meat revenue is highest in North America; burgers are the leading revenue-generating products, while chicken alternatives have the largest market share. Over the past year, frozen products have been highly popular, accounting for 56.65% of revenue. Soy-based products still have the largest market share at 48%, despite an increase in the use of alternative ingredients such as pea protein.
A rise in the number of market players could help to further boost the market, along with mergers, acquisitions, collaborations, and joint ventures between companies. However, there has been something of a backlash against plant-based meats due to claims that they are highly processed, so producers may need to address this challenge.
These findings may be surprising to some, given the widespread reports that plant-based meat sales are falling. However, other research has made similar findings, predicting rapid market growth for alt meat products.
The market report suggests that disruption due to Covid-19 and the unavailability of raw materials may have temporarily impacted sales. Other research indicates that the cost of living crisis may in large part be responsible, with many consumers reporting that they can no longer afford meat alternatives despite wanting to purchase them. This suggests that if the crisis passes, or plant-based meat costs come down, sales are likely to pick back up again.
According to Impossible Foods, it is true that chilled plant-based meat sales have fallen, but frozen sales are still rising. The company notes that it has seen record sales every year since it launched.
Whatever the reason for the decline, it’s clear that plant-based meat is not going anywhere.