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Covid-19 pandemic accelerates growth of plant based meat market

Plant based meat simply means fake meat – these products are an imitation of real meat which is made out of tofu, soy and several other plant based ingredients.

They cooked in such a way that it tastes just like real meat. These products are usually offered in the form of nuggets, crumble sausages and patties.

By the end of 2021 this market is expected to be worth $4.3 billion. As of 2019 Europe  was dominating this industry followed by North America and then Asia.




Soy based plant products dominate this industry mostly because of its richness in proteins. It held a market share that was above 45% in 2019.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

Plant based meat emissions of greenhouse gases are lesser by nearly 30% to 90% when compared to actual meat.

Production of analog meat also uses way less water than conventional meat. Requires nearly 70% to 90% lesser water.



Another benefit is that plant based meat doesn’t produce manure, requires less crop-land, fertilizers and there is no need to use antibodies.

COVID-19 SPLURGE

When the pandemic hit, the industry saw a surging demand from customers and producers especially for certain kinds of meat analogs. The main reason for the boost was relaxation of restrictions on alternative sources of proteins.

Before the pandemic direct selling of meat analogs were restricted by the Food And Drug Administration in the United States. But with new policies that came into play, plant based corporations are majorly focusing on retailing and partnerships. They have found new opportunities amidst devastating situations.

Since these products are more expensive, companies ramped up their production and sold them on discounts to reach out to a wider crowd and broaden their customer base.

Several companies even started putting up their products on shelves of big retail chains and grocery stores to increase accessibility.

Beyond Meat, a plant based company saw an increase in its market which was over 45%. This was because of the rise in demand due to increasing awareness and high profile partnerships with companies such as Starbucks.

Beyond Meat also started an initiative to ensure people belonging to vulnerable sections of society received decent, healthy plant based food during the lockdowns.

During the initial days of the pandemic there was skepticism over consumption of real meat, hence plant based meat became a natural option for many.




OPTIMISTIC FUTURE

It is estimated that by 2025 this market would touch $8.3 billion and $13 billion by 2027 with annual growth rates of 17% to 19%.

The key growth drivers would be the growing popularity of vegetarianism and veganism along with a growing sense of sustainable environmental practices, healthy lifestyle and fitness awareness. It also doesn’t lead to illnesses and fear of spread of diseases. It in fact is more nutritious and helps build immunity.