Plant-based meat products have a small but growing market

Plant-based alternatives to meat still account for less than 1% of the global meat market, according to a major OECD report on “Alternatives to Meat Proteins”.

Most consultancy reports predict that the alternative meat market will be almost entirely plant-based through 2030, says the report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the intergovernmental body founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade.

Plant-based alternatives to meat could grow faster than the total meat market, possibly reaching between $25 billion and $140 billion by 2030 (which would still represent less than 10% of the global meat market).

The growth of all meat alternatives is difficult to predict and will depend on factors such as consumer acceptance, regulatory frameworks and reductions in production costs.

Insect products

The report also looked at insect products that have been on the market in some high-income countries for more than five years. Insect meal accounts for the majority of the edible insect market, followed by protein bars and snacks. Total sales of insect products represent less than 3% of meat alternatives.

However, some experts predict that the global edible insect market will reach $8 billion by 2030.

Globally, cultured meat has been marketed in a single restaurant in Singapore since December 2020. But industry analysts predict it will account for 6% of the alternative protein market by 2035, and some predict it could eventually becoming the greatest source of alternative meat protein. .

The OECD report says a shift from meat to meat substitutes in high- and upper-middle-income countries could reduce global agricultural land use and GHG emissions.

This change would lead to lower demand for meat in these countries, which would reduce international prices for meat, soybeans and grains, which would benefit consumers, but put pressure on farmers’ incomes.

Meat substitutes are generally more expensive than meats, which limits consumer demand. However, their prices are expected to drop, as production increases and is optimized.

The production costs of cultured meat are at least 100 times higher than for meats, this is the main obstacle to its commercial viability.

Global meat consumption is expected to increase by 14% over the next ten years due to population and income growth.


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Rozella J. Cook