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Driven by rising awareness of sustainability and health, consumers all over the world are turning to alternative proteins. But no other market will compare to Asia when it comes to the surging demand for vegan meat in the years ahead. Kerry, one of the world’s largest taste and nutrition companies, believes it’s got the plant-based solution to help F&B brands create new products to keep up with changing consumer preferences.
Asia-Pacific is set to become one of the fastest-growing markets for the plant-based meat market. According to a new report by leading taste and nutrition firm Kerry, 62% of consumers polled in 10 APAC countries said they are interested in purchasing plant-based meat, while 44% said they plan on increasing their intake of such products.
Flexitarians driving plant-based meat demand in Asia
Many of these consumers aren’t strict vegans or vegetarians, but rather flexitarians who, for sustainability, health and ethical reasons, are choosing to actively minimise their meat and dairy consumption.
It aligns with findings in a previous study Kerry conducted in Summer 2021, which found that nearly 50% of consumers all over the world are factoring sustainability into their food and drink purchases. This poll, which surveyed 14,000 shoppers in 18 countries worldwide, also showed that people expect F&B brands to take their environmental responsibility more seriously.
The latest Asia-Pacific study by Kerry found that 32% of consumers in the region are now trying to cut their meat consumption, with a further 28% reporting that they have already done so “significantly”. The research is part of the company’s two-part APAC Consumer Study 2021, which involved more than 3,700 participants across China, Indonesia, India, Australia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
“Asia is currently the second largest region in the world for plant-based meat alternatives, accounting for 22% of global sales by value and it is expected that it will be the world’s largest market by 2025,” commented Ronan Moloney, VP & GM, Food & Meat for Kerry Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa.
70% of Asian consumers want better plant-based products
But one of the main findings from the report was that consumers in Asia, while interested in purchasing plant-based meat products, were not satisfied with existing offerings on the market. As many as 70% said that the taste and texture of current meat substitutes fail to match that of real animal-based proteins.
However, if brands manage to innovate better-tasting products, the majority of Asian shoppers would be willing to make the switch—showing that there’s a huge business opportunity to be made for F&B brands who can offer products that deliver on consumer tastes.
“Consumers are seeking products that have superior taste, texture, and nutrition, while also aligning with local or regional cuisines or tastes,” shared Moloney. “Brands can capitalise on this growing demand by creating innovative products that meet consumer needs across taste, texture, and sustainability.”
Radicle™ by Kerry’s plant-based solutions
To help brands capture a slice of the fast-growing Asian market and its appetite for great-tasting plant-based meat, Kerry says that companies can leverage its Radicle™ by Kerry platform.
Radicle™ by Kerry is the taste and nutrition company’s portfolio of plant-based solutions, which helps F&B brands deliver on taste, functionality, sustainability and nutrition. Kerry’s taste systems, for instance, have been specifically developed to help mask the off-notes that consumers often report with plant-based protein ingredients.
It also ensures that the ingredients chosen can perform just like its conventional animal-based counterparts, from textural qualities to freshness, while still boasting a sustainable profile and high nutritional value.
“While taste is the most important attribute for plant-based foods, creating delicious plant-based meat alternatives that resonate with consumers can be a complex, costly and challenging process, particularly around savoury taste and creating succulence, juiciness and a moreish flavour,” explained Moloney.
“Radicle™ by Kerry enables manufacturers to create and deliver sustainable food and beverage products that are nutritionally optimized with cleaner labels, authentic taste, and appealing texture.”
Kerry’s guide to producing tasty plant-based foods can be accessed online.
All images courtesy of Kerry.
This is a Green Queen Media partner post.