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Home / Business / The plant-based meat industry is on the rise, but challenges remain

The plant-based meat industry is on the rise, but challenges remain



A tourist tried to use plant-based meat substitute products at the Asian International Restaurant and Food Fair at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center in Hong Kong on November 11, 2020.

Peter Parks | AFP | Getty Images

Analysts say that the demand for meat substitutes has grown and will continue to grow, but meat substitutes still have obstacles to overcome in different parts of the world.

According to Google Trends, in early 201

9 before Beyond Meat’s IPO, global search for the term “plant-based meat” skyrocketed.

Market research firm Euromonitor told CNBC that the global meat substitute industry is worth US$20.7 billion and will grow to US$23.2 billion by 2024.

Concerns ranging from animal welfare to food security and the Covid-19 pandemic have spurred this growth.

“In this turbulent and turbulent era, establishing a low-risk value chain means focusing on opportunities, and the shift to plant-based meat shows no signs of slowing down,” said Xiao Ling, managing director of The Good Food. Asia Pacific Institute.

But there are still obstacles in emerging markets.

Cultural barriers

Xiao said the Asian plant-based meat market may be limited by established cognitive issues.

She said, for example, simulated meat or vegetarian meat was mainly eaten by Chinese Buddhists.

She said: “The taste and texture of meat have never been replicated to a relatively basic level,” she added, adding that these traditional products have specific uses and “their appeal is considered limited to certain groups of people.”

“In order for plant-based meat to reach its full potential in Asia, the department must continue to get rid of the connection with traditional simulated meat. Traditional simulated meat is expected to be sold at low prices with a historic image package,” Xiao said. .

Dissent from the traditional meat industry

Simon Powell, global head of thematic research at Bank of America Jefferies, said that cattle farmers may also hinder the development of alternative proteins, especially in the United States.

The American Cattlemen’s Association filed a petition in 2018 requesting a formal definition of the terms “beef” and “meat” so that plant-based proteins are not included in the description.

On May 4, 2020, a herd of cattle gather in Owings, Maryland under the shade of an old barn.

Mark Wilson | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Powell told CNBC through Zoom: “The current producer will lobby its government in an effort to change the label to disrupt consumer advertising, saying that it cannot be called meat.” “I think this may be one of the biggest obstacles.”

In October, the European Union rejected a proposal to ban restaurants and shops from using words such as sausage or hamburger when describing meat substitutes.

Consumer confidence, consumer fatigue

Powell added that if any factory meat company has “some sort of accident” or a problem with its recipes, leading to a “mass recall,” this may cause customers to worry about eating these alternatives.

He said: “This is a big question of’what if’… But if they want to recall products in large numbers, it may weaken consumer confidence.” “At some point, you will get these events. This will make the whole The industry is going backwards.”

Powell also said that the “Instagrammability” of plant-based foods is one of the reasons for the growth of the market “all over the world”. He said that if the novelty of substitute meat disappears or disappears, it may hinder market growth.


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