Growth in plant-based meat alternatives on the rise
Continuous growth in plant-based meat has outstripped expectations, with a recent report revealing that retail sales across the alternative meat industry are growing even faster than those of regular meat. And with more than two million Australians living a meat-free life, according to Roy Morgan Research, it’s a food trends that’s showing no sign on waning.
The recent launch of the Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat products into the commercial market has opened up incredible opportunity for food technology companies, causing them to look at plant-based proteins that offer functional, sustainable and nutritional attributes, inclusive of non-GMO and certified organic options.
Consumer demand is growing
The unexpected growth in this area has predominantly been driven by increasing consumer demand. In the United States, meat substitute sales in the packaged food industry (including frozen and shelf-stable) have risen an average of 15.4% each year between 2013 and 2018. This significantly outpaced the 1.2% average annual growth of processed meat over the same period, according to market research firm Euromonitor. Furthermore, the global market for non-soy, gluten-free plant-based proteins is projected to be $1.5 billion by 2022.
In Australia, major supermarkets such as Coles and Woolworths are now stocking various brands of vegan meat products, including faux fish, duck, bacon, sausages and meat pattie products.
Fast food chains jumping on board
This move towards plant-food alternatives has been recognised and embraced by several fast-food chains, including Subway, Hungry Jacks and Burger King. In fact, the launch of Burger King’s ‘Impossible Whopper’, which contains a plant-based burger, saw the restaurant giant’s sales increase by 28%, while the number of unique customers visiting rose by 15%.
Growth for the industry
This cultural shift is signalling exceptional growth for companies such as Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat Inc., with the latter’s sales nearly quadrupling from one year ago.
Beyond Meat Inc. – which has a new 2,400-square-meter plant in California – announced that its increased net revenue for the second quarter of 2019 was driven by three factors; an increase in sales of the Beyond Burger, expansion in the number of retail and food distribution points and greater demand from existing customers.
Beyond Meat again raised expectations for the rest of the year, increasing its annual revenue forecast from a minimum of $210 million to at least $240 million.
This kind of success shows the huge range of potential for Australian food technology companies to expand within this area, which requires sourcing new talent for research, development and manufacturing.
While meat alternatives for the likes of beef, chicken and pork are expanding rapidly, there’s still plenty of room for advancements in developing marketable seafood alternatives.
While there are a few companies who are navigating the less explored waters of vegan seafood, such as Loma Linda, Gardien and Good Catch Foods, there’s still much research to be done within this area.
At Techstaff, we can help source the best people for the food industry to facilitate your business growth. Get in touch with us today and find out how.