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Market outlook is bright for alternative proteins

02 March 2022 Nick Edwards

Alternative proteins products that are direct substitutes for animal-based protein (meat & dairy) are valued at US$29.4 billion from primary markets in North America, Europe, and Asia.

The demand for alternative protein is permanent and is expected to continue growing - the market data collected translates to 11 million tons of global consumption of plant-based meat by 2030.

The currently popular and growing plant-based food categories are plant-based dairy and meat at 10-15% and 1- 2% of total global protein markets, respectively.

The main drivers of this market growth include:

  • An increasing number of flexitarians, a niche demographic that substitutes meat products for plant-based on certain days for health or environmental reasons.
  • New consumer trials in plant-based products in the past few years.
  • Growth in sales driven by smart retail strategies such as product placement with animal-based meats, proper signage, and merchandising strategies.
  • Market externalities such as income levels drives the growth as they remain at premium prices.
  • Environmental awareness is causing shifts in consumer behavior and consequently the demand for products with lower carbon emissions such as plant-based meat is increasing.
  • Current market disruptions such as COVID-19 impacted the animal-based meat supply chain, causing shortages. Due to this, a higher growth in plant-based sales is noted.
  • Investment strategies by key players in the market through fundraising, partnerships, acquisitions or introducing their own product line. The key players vary from food and agricultural companies to non-profit organizations and financial institutions looking for climate-friendly investments.
  • Partnerships between plant-based protein companies such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods with large food retailors is driving up the reach to mass audience and driving up the supply

Are you considering the investment potential in the alternative protein supply chain?

Don't miss our new Agribusiness special report: The future of alternative proteins: Implications for the meat industry and farmland.

Read the summary of our new special report here and learn the answers to the following questions:

  • What is the market outlook?
  • Who is already investing?
  • Where can you invest?
  • What is outlook on plant-based meat market and future scenarios?
  • outlook on cell-based meat
  • How will increase in alternative protein affect land-use change?
  • What is outlook for substitution of crops?
  • Are alternative proteins a solution to reduce deforestation?Alternative Proteins 2022

Posted 02 March 2022 by Nick Edwards, Director, Refining Chemicals and Resources Solutions, S&P Global Commodity Insights

This article was published by S&P Global Commodity Insights and not by S&P Global Ratings, which is a separately managed division of S&P Global.


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