Plant-Based Meat Market Poised for Double-Digit Growth, Anticipated to Surpass US$13 Billion by 2026

Robust CAGR of 18.9% Expected in the Global Plant-Based Meat Market

The global plant-based meat market is set to experience remarkable growth, with projections indicating a value exceeding US$13 billion by the end of 2026. This growth is expected to be driven by a strong CAGR of 18.9% during the forecast period. The market is being fueled by the continually evolving trend towards vegan diets, as well as a growing concern for animal welfare. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of people adopting vegan lifestyles globally. For example, over 39% of the U.S. population has incorporated vegan food options into their diets. From 2014 to 2018, the number of vegans in the U.S. increased by an astounding 600%, growing from 4 million to 20 million. In the U.K., the number of followers of vegan diets surged by 350% in 2016 compared to the previous decade. Additionally, there is a notable demand for gluten-free food due to the rise in the prevalence of celiac disease, which affects approximately 1 in every 100 people in the U.K. These conditions are likely to fuel the growth of the plant-based meat market, as these products are primarily composed of gluten-free ingredients, with some manufacturers, such as Sunfed and Meatless Farm, actively marketing their products as gluten-free.

Rising Adoption of Plant-Based Trends in Retail and Foodservice to Boost Market

In recent years, the availability of plant-based meat products on retail shelves has seen a dramatic increase. According to the Plant-Based Foods Association, retail sales of plant-based foods grew by 27% in 2020. Manufacturers have also expanded their presence in the retail industry by offering their products in various stores. This trend is expected to bolster the growth of the plant-based meat market. For example:

  • In September 2021, Nature’s Basket, one of India’s leading retail chains, introduced a plant-based meat category in collaboration with Blue Tribe Foods across its 25 stores, offering products such as Chicken Nuggets and Chicken Keema.
  • OmniPork launched its product range in the UK, making it available in 119 Sainsbury’s locations across the country.

Furthermore, foodservice providers have shown a strong interest in adding new plant-based food items to their menus, introducing new dishes for consumers. This continuous influx of new products into the retail market is expected to support the growth of the plant-based meat market.

  • Subway partnered with Beyond Meat in 2019 to offer a plant-based protein option in its menu. The Beyond Meatball Marinara sub was made available at 685 stores across the U.S. and Canada.
  • In January 2021, Dominos, a brand of Jubilant FoodWorks, launched a plant-based meat pizza named ‘The Unthinkable Pizza’ in major Indian cities, featuring dairy cheese, black olives, and paprika, along with plant-based protein that closely resembles minced chicken.

Taste and Texture: Key Considerations for Plant-Based Meat

Taste and texture are paramount factors in the food and beverage industry. The flavors that appeal to consumers can drive demand for a product, while poor taste and texture can deter them. The challenge for the plant-based meat market lies in formulating products that mimic the taste and texture of conventional meat. Achieving high-quality plant-based meat products using alternative ingredients requires a balanced formulation and the application of suitable technological processes. Many consumers also seek products that are free from ingredients such as eggs and soy. Inappropriate taste and texture, along with complex formulation processes, may hinder the growth of the plant-based meat market during the forecast period.

Pea Protein Gains Traction in the Plant-Based Meat Market

Fairfield Market Research projects that the pea protein segment will register the highest value CAGR in the plant-based meat market during the forecast period. This segment is expected to create an incremental opportunity of US$3.7 billion by 2026. Pea protein is considered highly versatile and supports the creation of clean-label products while meeting consumer demands for protein. It is soluble and free from common allergens. These attributes are collectively anticipated to drive the growth of the pea protein segment in the plant-based meat market.

Europe Leads in Value Share, While North America Exhibits Highest CAGR

Europe is expected to hold the largest value share in the plant-based meat market, with the UK projected to lead the European market due to its significant number of vegan consumers and plant-based meat manufacturers. Retailers such as TESCO and Walmart have dedicated sections for plant-based meat products. Additionally, the region boasts a millennial population willing to pay more for health-oriented products, further driving the markets growth. In North America, the plant-based meat market is expected to exhibit the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Increasing consumer health concerns and a continuous stream of product launches are propelling market growth in the region.

Global Plant-Based Meat Market: Key Players

Some of the key players studied in the global plant-based meat market report include Conagra, Inc., Impossible Foods Inc, Beyond Meat, Inc, OmniFoods, Kelloggs Company, Maple Leaf Foods Inc, VBites Food Limited, Sunfed, JBS SA, and Hormel Foods Corporation.

Browse Global Plant-Based Meat Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, Regional Outlook, and Forecast 2021-2026 – [2023 UPDATE Available – Forecast 2023-2030*] (By Source Coverage, By Meat Type, By Sales Channel, By Geography, By Company):

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