Chicago, Nov. 17, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The meat substitutes market is a dynamic and rapidly growing segment within the food industry. Meat substitutes, also known as meat alternatives or plant-based meats, are products designed to replicate the taste, texture, and nutritional profile of conventional animal-based meat products while being derived from plant-based sources. These products cater to the growing demand for sustainable and environmentally friendly food options, as well as the increasing interest in vegetarian and vegan diets. According to MarketsandMarkets, the global meat substitutes market size is estimated to be valued at USD 1,889.1 million in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 4,041.3 million by 2027, recording a CAGR of 13.5% during the forecast period.
Millennials and the Plant-Based Protein Movement
The plant-based protein movement is riding a wave of popularity, largely fueled by millennial consumers who prioritize their health, environmental sustainability, and ethical considerations. Shoppers are increasingly making conscious choices in their dietary preferences, seeking products that align with specific diets, lifestyles, and values. Furthermore, an ever-growing number of consumers are avoiding unwanted ingredients due to allergies or food sensitivities. In the United States alone, 200 million shoppers adhere to a diet or health-related program, and 180 million have food allergies or intolerances that influence their shopping decisions.
A healthy lifestyle, complemented by the integration of plant-based alternatives, has gained immense traction among millennial consumers who are increasingly open to plant-based products. Notably, between 2013 and 2017, the United States experienced a remarkable 54% growth rate in food and beverage product launches with plant-based claims, as reported by the International Food Information Council.
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Extrudable Fat Technology: Elevating Plant-Based Foods
Extrudable fat technology is a game-changer in the realm of plant-based foods, particularly in replicating the taste and appearance of animal fats in plant-based meats. This innovation enables the creation of more authentic fat textures, including marbling, which contributes to a realistic meat-like experience. The technology involves running fat through an extruder and then combining it with protein to create an ingredient where the fat and protein are physically linked. This process prevents fat from turning into a liquid, ensuring that the fat and protein balance mimics what consumers expect in marbled meat. The result is an enhancement in flavor, texture, taste, and moisture retention, making plant-based alternatives more appealing.
Health Benefits and Tempeh: The Rising Star in Meat Substitutes
Tempeh, a soy-based meat substitute, offers a cake-like consistency and is created through a process of cooking and slight fermentation of soybeans. The fermentation not only aids in digestibility but also provides various health benefits. Tempeh consumption has been linked to increased antibody production and reduced sugar levels, lowering the risk of diabetes. Furthermore, it plays a role in reducing cholesterol levels, subsequently reducing the risk of heart diseases.
North America: Leading the Charge in the Plant-Based Protein Movement
In 2021, North America stood at the forefront of the meat substitutes market, accounting for a substantial market share of 38.8%. The United States, in particular, emerged as one of the world’s leading consumers of plant-based products, driven by a growing awareness of sustainability and a commitment to a healthier lifestyle. North America is poised to continue its leadership in the global meat substitutes market. Notably, consumers in the region are increasingly adopting a flexitarian lifestyle, incorporating plant-based foods into their daily diets, and even reinventing traditional cuisines with meatless versions, such as tacos in Mexico.
The plant-based protein movement is not merely a passing trend but a profound shift in the food industry. It is driven by millennial consumers seeking healthier, sustainable, and ethically sound alternatives. The integration of extrudable fat technology is revolutionizing plant-based foods, making them more appealing and realistic, while products like tempeh offer health benefits that align with modern dietary preferences. North America continues to lead the charge, reflecting the global transition toward more conscious and sustainable food choices. This remarkable transformation underscores the undeniable influence of the plant-based protein movement in reshaping the food industry.
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