The plant-based meat trade has grown right into a $20 billion enterprise — however challenges stay

A customer tries a plant-based meat substitute product on the Restaurant & Bar and Connoisseur Asia expo on the Hong Kong Conference and Exhibition centre in Hong Kong on November 11, 2020.

Peter Parks | AFP | Getty Photographs

SINGAPORE — Demand for meat options has grown and can proceed to rise, however the trade nonetheless has hurdles to beat in several elements of the world, analysts mentioned.

Worldwide search curiosity for the time period “plant-based meat” skyrocketed in early 2019 months earlier than Past Meat’s preliminary public providing, in response to Google Tendencies.

The worldwide meat substitutes sector is value $20.7 billion, and is about to develop to $23.2 billion by 2024, market analysis firm Euromonitor informed CNBC.

That progress is being spurred by issues starting from animal welfare to meals safety and the Covid-19 pandemic.

“On this period of shocks and instability, constructing a low-risk worth chain means specializing in the place the alternatives are, and the shift in the direction of plant-based meat exhibits no indicators of slowing down,” mentioned Elaine Siu, managing director of The Good Meals Institute Asia Pacific.

However obstacles stay for the burgeoning market.

Cultural boundaries

The plant-based meat market in Asia could also be restricted by established notion points, mentioned Siu.

For instance, mock meat or vegetarian meat was beforehand primarily eaten by followers of Buddhism in China, she mentioned.

“Replication of the style and texture of meat was by no means pushed previous a comparatively primary stage,” she mentioned, including that these conventional merchandise serve a selected goal and “their attraction is seen as restricted” to sure teams.

“To ensure that plant-based meat to succeed in its full market potential in Asia, the sector should proceed to interrupt freed from its affiliation with conventional mock meats, that are anticipated to be offered at a low worth level and carry historic picture baggage,” mentioned Siu.

Objections from the normal meat trade

A herd of beef cattle collect within the shade of outdated barn on Might 4, 2020 in Owings, Maryland.

Mark Wilson | Getty Photographs Information | Getty Photographs

“Incumbent producers are going to foyer their governments exhausting to alter the labelling, to fiddle with shopper promoting to say you may’t name it meat,” Powell informed CNBC through Zoom. “I believe that is doubtlessly one of many largest boundaries.”

The European Union in October rejected proposals to ban eating places and retailers from utilizing phrases equivalent to sausage or burger when describing meat options.

Shopper confidence, shopper fatigue

Powell added that if any of the plant-based meat corporations had “some form of accident” or downside with their recipe that ends in a “huge recall,” that might make prospects afraid of consuming these options.

“This can be a huge ‘if’ … but when they have been to have an enormous recall of product, then which may dent shopper confidence,” he mentioned. “In some unspecified time in the future, you are going to get these occasions. That is going to set the trade again a bit.”

Individually, Powell mentioned the “Instagrammability” of plant-based meals is one cause why the market is rising “in every single place on this planet.” Development of the market might be hindered if the novelty of meat options fades away or wears off, he mentioned.

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