As consumers continue to opt for more plant-based foods due to ethical, environmental and health reasons, the plant-derived foods industry is gaining huge momentum in terms of revenue.
A Bloomberg Intelligence (BI) report has predicted that the industry will exceed $162 billion within a decade. The report titled ‘Plant-Based Foods Poised for Explosive Growth’ provides research compiled from over 2000 companies, varying over 135 industries and all global markets.
Till the year 2020, the industry was valued at $29.4 billion, but is currently eyeing a major 451% ascent. Major brands in the alternative meat space are furthering the growth with their large scale technological innovations and portfolio expansions.
Beyond Meat, Oatly, and Impossible Foods are some of the giants championing the cause and bringing cruelty-free, plant-based food easily available to the masses to encourage conversation and raise awareness around the benefits associated with it, whilst challenging the stereotypes.
“Food-related consumer habits often come and go as fads, but plant-based alternatives are here to stay – and grow,” said BI’s Senior Consumer Staples Analyst, Jennifer Bartashus.
“The expanding set of product options in the plant-based industry is contributing to plant alternatives becoming a long-term option for consumers around the world.”
From an ecological perspective, 98% of the meat in the US is derived from various factory farms which is damaging on the planet on many levels, according to The Good Food Institute.
These contribute to 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which is even greater when compared to the transportation sector. Animal agriculture takes up over 30% of land and utilizes 25% of its freshwater sources.
Whether the consumers are transitioning to plant-based for health or the planet, the demand is helping the alternative meat giants to become more consistent with their product pricing, and availability.
Vegan dairy in itself could claim up to 10% of the global market share while the alternative meat market is expected to skyrocket to a $74 billion industry from $4.2 billion in the next decade.
BI also worked out ‘a more aggressive but still realistic scenario’ where they have estimated the sales to hit $118 billion by 2030.
Amongst multiple factors contributing to the growth of the plant-derived food industry, the planet’s ever growing population also plays a significant role. As resources become scarce, experts are frantically looking and stressing on sustainable options. Raising livestock alone consumes almost 34% of global crop production and this in turn affects global hunger rates with less than half of the world’s cereals being consumed by humans.
Plant-based diet is currently gaining ground and around 5% of the world has transitioned already. Flexitarians who eat plant-based but occasionally known to include animal derived products are also contributing heavily in the blowing up of the plant-based market and today they are accounting for a third of US population.