A new report says that the global vegan meat market will grow to US$21 billion by as soon as 2025. The study finds that the majority of the growth will come from the Asian market, citing preference for tofu and tempeh plant proteins as a key reason, as well as the steadily increasing demand for environmentally friendly alternatives.
Analysts from Zion Market Research recently published a report estimating that the plant-based meat market will grow by 8.6% annually to reach US$21 billion by 2025. By region, Asia-Pacific will hold the largest share of the market in the future, due to the familiarity with soy-based vegan proteins such as tofu and tempeh and growing consciousness about the environmental footprint of foods.
“The growing concerns regarding the environmental impact and sustainability of the meat industry are the major growth driver,” the analysis said.
“Growing concerns regarding the sustainability of livestock production, meat availability, and change in food preferences have led to many people opting for meat substitutes. This has immensely benefited the plant-based meat market globally.”
Traditional animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of global carbon emissions, requires high water usage, uses nearly half of the world’s arable land and drives deforestation. Scientists have long argued that the global food system must pivot towards plant-based in order to avoid further ecological destruction.
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While in the meantime, plant-based companies will still struggle with high production costs and reaching mass product availability in the mainstream market, analysts believe that large-scale change in food preferences that will boost demand and innovation advancements in the industry will accelerate growth in the long-term.
Last week, a new industry report published by nonprofit the Good Food Institute (GFI) made similar bullish conclusions about the plant-based sector. Whilst many product launches by plant-based food companies have been put on hold temporarily due to the ongoing pandemic, industry experts believe that these companies hold the advantage of adaptability, which will allow them to flourish despite the economic recession.
In just this first quarter of 2020 alone, plant-based protein companies in the United States have raised a total of US$741 million in investment – nearly matching a record $747 million raised in the whole of 2019.
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Another report from market research consultancy firm Allied Market Research estimated that the global meat alternatives market will exceed US$8.1 billion in value by 2026.
David Yeung, founder of Hong Kong plant-based social enterprise Green Monday and plant-based retailer and restaurant chain Green Common believes in addition to environmental awareness, heightened health concerns prompted by the current coronavirus crisis and livestock diseases will boost the “moment” for vegan meat in spite of the pandemic-induced economic recession.
In a recent interview with Green Queen, Yeung explained that the “triple threat of coronavirus, ASF and avian flu fully exposes the vulnerability of the protein supply chain,” and that consumers will respond to it by choosing healthier and safer plant-based alternatives.
Lead image courtesy of Beyond Meat.