In the past decade, the meat industry has seen the growth of big meat producing companies through the acquisition of smaller brands. This has resulted in the consolidation of the meat supply chain in the hands of a few big players. However, this has created environmental, ethical, and business concerns. Also, the vulnerability of their business model became exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic as it created shortages in the supply of meat. These big meat producing companies were aware of this, and they have been branching out into plant-based meat because of its increasing demand and sustainability. Read on to know why plant-based meat is the future.
The Current State Of Plant-Based Meat
Due to the various environmental and ethical accusations against big meat producing companies, they began diversifying into plant-based food and meat alternatives, which are gaining increasing popularity among consumers. Also, new companies specializing in plant-based meat products like burgers are making inroads into the fast-food industry. Two such big players are Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger. They have tie-ups with major fast food and restaurant chains. According to industry experts, plant-based meat is going to replace a significant percentage of animal-based food products, and this can happen in the next 12 to 15 years.
The Shift Towards Plant-Based Meat
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic created shortages in meat supply as the meat-producing plants were closed. This resulted in a price rise of meat products and made them unaffordable to some people. However, this created new opportunities for companies specializing in plant-based meat. When you look at the numbers, the sales of faux meat increased by 264% in 9 weeks that ended in May. Likewise, there was a surge in demand for dairy alternatives like oat milk in the first week of March. Furthermore, the pandemic has created a situation where customers were forced to evaluate their choices.
Other Reasons For Going Meatless
The meat industry is one of the major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. Also, as the population of the world increases, there will be an increasing demand for food. So, meatless companies are looking for alternative protein sources that have lesser or no environmental impact. Also, excessive meat consumption is one of the major reasons for the rising rate of obesity. Due to these reasons, consumers are looking for meat alternatives, and plant-based food is the ideal replacement. It has no major negative environmental impact, it is healthier, and has health benefits because of the lower calorie density.
Apart from the reasons discussed above, plant-based meat helps to alleviate the ethical questions that meat consumption raises.