It seems as though plant-based meat has been dominating the food industry for a while and as covid uncovers an even more insecure and inefficient animal meat industry, the alternative protein space continues to innovate, especially this week..
In a new survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Herbalife Nutrition, it was found that almost half of Americans began eating more animal-free foods during the pandemic. Of the 2,000 Americans included in the poll, 33% were indicated as having made a huge dietary change in the last seven months, with 25% having either reduced or eliminated their intake of dairy products entirely from their diets and 23% having reduced or eliminated eggs. Regarding the reduction of meat consumption, 23% of the American participants reported that the increased cost of animal meat meant they switched to dairy-free food, while 19% put it down to having lost trust in the quality of the animal meat they usually bought during covid.
ING published its Growth of meat and dairy alternatives is stirring up the European food industry report this week, stating that Europe’s vegan meat and dairy market is set to hit €7.5 billion by 2025. It says the meat and dairy alternatives space is seeing ‘rapid growth’ of 10% per year, and growing.
You´ve probably heard of Live Kindly – the vegan news guru website offering everything related to plant-based recipes and resources – worldwide. Well, last week they reported that their partner company LIVEKINDLY Collective which was founded this year by Blue Horizon Corporation had secured a successful investment round wrapping up over $135 million to help drive capacity and accelerate US distribution of its portfolio brands as well as to help develop new products such as plant-based chicken and eggs. Despite only launching last year as a global plant-based food company they have already acquired various popular meatless food brands including LikeMeat, and Oumph! With this additional sum of cash the companies total funding comes in at a whopping $335 million, which makes it stand as one of the highest funded plant-based food companies in the world.
Global consumer demand for plant-based meat alternatives is growing rapidly (as if we even needed to tell you that, right?!) creating a massive opportunity for investors.
Meatless leaders such as Impossible and Beyond have reacted fast, expanding into retail as well as launching their very own direct-to-consumer channels to drive sales among stay at home consumers. In fact US-based vegan food startups have had a stellar year so far especially as sales of plant-based meats have increased in the US as the pandemic uncovered inefficiencies in the animal meat production system. Additionally, other plant-based food companies (non-USA) found themselves catching up, securing meaningful funding rounds as the year went on, including – NotCo, Climax Foods, and Better Meat Co.
Plant-based meat brand Heura is the latest non-american vegan meat brand to see success as they launched across the UK last week. The Spanish startup is one of the top two most popular plant-based meat brands in Europe which crafts 100% vegetable-based chicken bites and strips. if you dont already know, Heura’s plant-based chicken consists of European soy, olive oil, salt, and spices and contains the same amount of protein as “real” chicken, with only a third of the fat. The brand has seen growth of 460% in the last year and already boasts presence in nine countries, including France, the Netherlands, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Chile.
From plant-based across the UK..
And their global move couldnt come at a better time as the UK’s plant-based market is expected to reach £1.1 billion by 2023, according to Mintel. The British vegan market even extends to retail: supermarket favorite ASDA was praised by customers after it announced it would be adding a vegan aisle to its branches and stocking more than 100 new meatless items in its non-refrigerated range. In fact, a report by Eating Better discovered that the number of plant-based ready meals on the market has risen: two years ago only 3% of ready meals were plant-based — now, 16% of supermarket ready meals can be enjoyed by non meat eaters.
…to plant-based across France .
Even food industry giants famed for their dairy offerings are wanting a piece of the plant-based space, French dairy company Bel Group are developing vegan options for each of its core brands, which include Babybel and the Laughing Cow. The company is planning to launch dairy-free mini Babybel cheeses across the US next year.
It seems that massive dairy companies like the Bel Group are seeing no other option that to expand their product lines to meet the ever changing consumer demands guided towards more sustainability and ethical eating;
“For the past year, we have been accelerating the [Bel] Group’s transformation, with the conviction that a responsible and profitable growth is possible: an enlightened ‘capitalism’ that is moving from a logic of balance of power to a logic of value sharing, beyond any major stakes,” – Bel Group’s Executive Vice President Cécile Béliot to Food Dive.
Europe and beyond
Game-changing startup Omnipork has partnered with Mcdonalds on the other side of the ocean in Hong Kong and Macau, with the fast-food chain incorporating Omniporks lunch meat into more than 280 of its stores. This is Mcdonalds first ever vegetarian menu and despite it not being vegan-friendly (yet!!) due to the use of eggs, it does highlight a significant development in the move towards a meat-free future.
Mcdonalds has been edging into the plant-based market across the pond too, with Beyond and Impossible both fighting to offer their plant-based creations on the fast-food giants menu.
Since the launch of its SPAM alternative back in May of this year, Omnipork has continued to promote a more sustainable food supply and launched its products throughout the foodservice industry in Asia. Its no surprise that it has been met with the hoards of success that it has from vegan consumers; luncheon meat is popular in Asia but the meat market has been hit hard by zoonotic diseases and made consumers look to healthier, more sustainable options.
In a report by Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) and market research company SPINS, plant-based food sales spiked 90% in March compared to the same time last year, with sales of vegan meat up by 148% and vegan cheese up 95% during the pandemic.
In Canadian news, plant-based tuna champion Good Catch is making its way to the country, after successfully expanding its distribution to Tesco stores in the UK. According to the National Research Council Canada 40% of Canadian consumers were trying to incorporate plant-based into their daily diet. To capture the “real” texture and flakiness of traditional seafood, the startup uses natural vegan aromas and farmed algae oil.
Want to get involved?
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