Plant-Based Meat- An Emerging Market
Food Marketing & Technology - India|November 2021
What is plant-based meat? Plant-based meats are meat-like products that are expected to have the same taste, texture, and experience as that of animal meat and made from plant based ingredients. So basically, plant-based meats replicate real meat, except for the fact it does not use animal meat. They are also called mock meats, meatless foods, meat analogues and faux meat.
Mohini Nitturkar

Animal meat, is primarily muscle tissue, is made up of protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water. Plants do not contain muscle tissues, but they do contain nutrients like proteins, carbohydrates, fibres, fat, vitamins, and minerals which can be used to create mock meats.

BENEFITS OF PLANT-BASED MEAT

Plant-based meat products have zero cholesterol, and the protein content is near about same as that of regular meat. They ensure public safety and sustainability. These products are manufactured in a cruelty-free environment. Plant nutrients can also offer protection against potentially harmful compounds in cooked meat. These products also help in reducing Green House Gas emissions.

GLOBAL SCENARIO

The global plant-based meat market reached USD 8.6 billion in 2020. Beyond Meat (US), Impossible Foods (US), Boca Foods Company (Kraft Foods, Inc., US), Gardein Protein International, Inc. (Conagra Brands, Inc., US), Maple Leaf Foods (Canada), The Vegetarian Butcher (Netherlands) are a few key players in the global market. At the global level, we see the shift of consumers to plant-based food products as processed meat industry is a big contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and hence plant-based diet is being promoted. Per capita consumption of meat in Europe and USA ranges from 40-60kg per capita which is very high. Europe dominates the plant-based meat sector as its population consists of health-conscious consumers who are shifting towards vegan, non-GMO, clean label, and natural products. The presence of significant research and development facilities that are involved in innovative product development has also made this region rule in the meatless sector. North America is also an active region in the meatless sector. Consumers in North America are interested in vegan and clean-label products, due to which market growth is observed in this region as well. Currently, USA is recognised as the powerhouse of the plant-based meat industry as there are large no. manufacturers in this region.

INDIAN SCENARIO

The meatless market in India is driven by health-conscious consumers and a flexitarian population. Currently, the Indian plant-based meat sector is in a nascent stage. Product choices and Indian dishes are very different from the west: people crave chicken tikka, butter chicken, tandoori chicken, and kebabs than burgers. The consumption of red meat is also low in India (only 4.5 kg per capita) compared to western countries.

Companies in India are still in the developing stage, but few leading companies in India like GoodDot and others are keeping a wide view and consider global players like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods as competitors. These companies are trying to bring a gradual change in consumption patterns. By introducing plant-based meat products these companies are not only enriching one’s diet but also taking a step in conserving the environment.

Covid-19 ushered a major shift in consumption behaviour’; made people more health-conscious; people have become very choosy while selecting food product. Additionally, plant-based meat products are rich source of protein and can help resolve India’s protein deficiency issues.

KEY PLAYERS IN THE INDIAN MARKET

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