The rising concerns regarding food security and sustainability and increasing investments in plant-based protein ingredients are the key driving factors for the global meat substitutes market. Due to the aforementioned factors, the meat substitutes market generated ~$2 billion revenue in 2020.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has led people to think about meat alternatives, as it severely compromised public health. The demand for high-protein food increased, which had a positive impact on the meat substitutes market. Plant-based protein substitutes are cholesterol-free, and they do not lose their texture and taste while being processed into the final products. Furthermore, the pandemic caused various disruptions in the supply chain of the meat industry; there was a 45% reduction in the pig processing capacity in the U.S. in 2020. Hence, the partial slaughterhouse closures and other disruptions in the meat processing industry benefitted the meat substitutes market.
The meat substitutes market is categorized into soy protein, wheat protein, pea protein and others, on the basis of source. Among these, the soy protein category is expected to generate the highest revenue in the forecast period. This will mainly be due to the fact that soy-based foods offer a high protein value and contain the essential amino acids. Furthermore, the food products created from this source have the ability to absorb the flavors of the ingredients of the recipe.
The market is divided into tofu, tempeh, seitan, quorn, and others, based on product type. Among these, the seitan category is predicted to show fast growth in the forecast period. Seitan-based products are a great option for vegans who cannot eat soy-sourced products. In addition to this, they are available in multiple forms, such as slices, marinated strips, blocks, and shaped masses.
Geographically, North America accounted for the major share in meat substitutes market in 2020, followed by Europe and Asia-Pacific (APAC). This is mainly attributed to the higher awareness of people here about meat alternatives and the benefits of a healthy diet.
APAC is expected to be the fastest-growing market for meat substitutes during the forecast period. This is mainly ascribed to the rising food consumption in the region due to its booming population and increasing awareness of people about healthy diets, including vegan and vegetarian diets.
Players in the meat substitutes market are continuously trying to innovate their products according to regional preferences. For instance, in July 2020, DuPont de Nemours Inc. introduced a new product line under the Danisco Planit brand. It is an eco-friendly brand with ingredients which can be used for development of plant-based beverages, dairy alternatives, meat, and seafood. Plant proteins, hydrocolloids, cultures, probiotics, fibers, antioxidants, natural extracts, emulsifiers, and enzymes are among the new products. When developing this portfolio, the company prioritized taste, texture, nutrition, and sustainability.
The major players operating in the global meat substitutes market are Archer Daniels Midland Company, Tyson Foods, DuPont de Nemours Inc., Marlow Foods Ltd., Conagra Brands, The Nisshin OilliO Group Ltd., Unilever NV, Axiom Foods, Hilton Food Group plc, Kerry Group Plc, and Wilmar International Limited.