Alternative proteins are turning from niche to mainstream

– the scale will reach US$290 billion in 2035, and plant-based products account for 70%

With the advancement of technology, the emergence of innovative companies, the entry of large companies into the market and the continuous realization of capital investment, the size of the alternative protein market will be further expanded to meet the public’s demand for healthy and high-quality protein. The recent report on the development of the alternative protein industry released by the Boston Consulting Group shows that by 2035, the market size of alternative proteins is expected to reach 290 billion US dollars, of which plant-based products will reach 69% of the market share, followed by microbial fermented proteins (22). %) and cell culture proteins (9%).

Alternative protein consumption is on the rise

Consumers around the world love to enjoy animal protein, so much so that in 2020, humans consumed a total of 574 million tons of meat, seafood, dairy and eggs, an average of 75 kilograms per person. Consumption is still increasing, especially in developing markets.

At the same time, concerns are growing about the environmental costs of raising food animals, animal welfare, and the human health impact of consuming so much traditional protein. Alternative proteins are moving from a niche product to a mainstream.

However, what people see today is only the beginning of protein transformation. By 2035, when alternative protein is exactly equal to traditional animal protein in taste, texture and price, it is likely that 11% of all meat, seafood, eggs and dairy products eaten globally will be alternative protein. That number could hit 22 percent by 2035, as regulators push and technological change escalates. By then, Europe and North America will have reached a “peak meat” and consumption of animal protein will begin to decline.

Market share depends on taste and price

How big will the alternative protein market grow? How fast will it grow? In 2020, around 13 million tonnes of alternative protein were consumed globally, accounting for only 2% of the animal protein market. According to the basic situation of the current market, it is expected that in the next 10 years, the alternative protein market will increase by 7 times compared with the current size. Alternative proteins will account for an 11% share of the total protein market by 2035, growing from 13 million tons per year today to 97 million tons per year.

It is predicted that the adoption of alternative proteins and the proportion of total protein consumption made up of alternative proteins will increase in 3 phases. This percentage will continue to grow until each product type reaches parity. Once products reach parity, interest in these technologies will surge and usage will double. This high interest will remain stable for 5 years, after which usage will continue to expand at a base rate of about 5%.

The data shows that in the US, UK and Germany, around 11% of consumers are very interested in alternative proteins, while 66% are somewhat interested, indifferent or not interested. According to a recent study, only 23% are not interested at all. So how to increase their interest? The answer: better taste and lower price.

In short, alternative proteins must achieve the same level as animal proteins in 3 key areas:

  1. Alternative protein must effectively mimic the taste and smell of meat, seafood, dairy and eggs.
  2. T Alternatives must also look and feel the same as animal protein. The experience of eating meat is largely determined by its fibrous structure. Alternative eggs and dairy must also behave like real eggs and dairy when cooked.
  3. P At present, the price of alternative protein is high compared to animal protein, and if a large number of consumers are to repeatedly purchase alternative protein, the price must be comparable to or lower than the price of protein from animals raised in non-organically raised conditions.

Technology is the core of development

As with any new area of investment, a considerable amount of expertise is required for alternative proteins to open up the market.

The industry needs to maintain consumer interest in and willingness to adopt alternative proteins, which could undercut consumption if consumers perceive regulation as weak, concerns over the sustainability, health and safety of alternative proteins too high, or regulatory hurdles are too high interest of the reader. Investors can support alternative protein companies in connecting with suppliers, researchers and regulators to provide consumers with safe and clearly labeled products.

Gaining consumer buy-in requires collaboration with stakeholders along the value chain, and that collaboration doesn’t get any easier. Florence Gentle, Senior Director at Danone and Managing Director of the Alliance for Sustainable Business for Biodiversity, said: “In scaling up alternative protein production, extra care must be taken to maintain a transparent, environmentally friendly and robust supply chain. People and food The more connected they are, the higher their standards will be.”

Farmers and scientists are at the heart of this transformation, providing the technical means and quality inputs needed. Existing food companies and startups will improve and expand production to make alternatives tastier and cheaper to gain market share over the competition. Consumers will demand more pleasing alternative proteins. Investors with the right vision and expertise can fund the transformation and be involved at every step of the value chain. Together, they can benefit from a $290 billion market and work together to build a more sustainable, delicious food system.

Alternative protein