The Alternative Future of Meat

When it comes to alternative protein, we’ve come a long way in the past decade. Just seven years ago, a cultured meat burger cost roughly $275,000 to produce, Beyond Meat hadn’t sold a single burger, and the alternative meat market was less than one tenth of its size today.

Since then, consumer awareness of the environmental impact of conventional animal farming has considerably increased. At the same time, entrepreneurship, innovation, and capital have driven significant enhancements in the quality of alternative meat products, and this combination of heightened environmental awareness and better products has laid the foundation for a host of emerging alternative proteins to compete for a growing share of the trillion-dollar global meat market.

The growth of the alternative protein market allows the consumer of today to make purchase decisions based on a wider variety of factors, beyond taste, affordability, and convenience, to nutritional differentiation, treatment of animals, environmental footprint, and others.

The meat supply of the future will be increasingly heterogeneous

Whether traditional, plant-based, fungi-based, or cultured, each source of meat provides its unique benefits to the consumer and the supply chain and each has a role to play in the supply chain of the future.

The preferences of meat consumers are increasingly multi-faceted and the meat supply of the future will be increasingly heterogeneous. It is generally accepted that taste and cost have the greatest influence on food purchasing decisions, with studies showing anywhere between 60% to 90% of consumers ranking them as the most important factors.

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