While pork, beef and poultry are still the protein mainstays in the U.S., so-called meatless meats are showing up routinely in supermarkets, restaurants and, increasingly, on Americans’ dinner tables.
Here’s just a handful of data and details regarding the development and use of plant-based foods and proteins.
- New data released in July by the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) and The Good Food Institute shows U.S. retail sales of plant-based foods have grown 11% in the past year, bringing the total plant-based market value to $4.5 billion.
- Sales of plant-based proteins in the U.S. totaled $800 million in 2018, up 10% over the previous year, according to the PBFA.
- About 43 million people, which is 14% of U.S. consumers, regularly use plant-based alternatives such as almond milk, tofu and veggie burgers, and 86% of these consumers don’t consider themselves vegan or vegetarian, according to The NPD Group, a market-research company based in New York.
- Development is underway of so-called “clean meat,” which is meat grown from animal stem cells. It’s called “clean” because no animals are slaughtered. There are approximately half a dozen start-up companies based in Silicon Valley working on developing the product.
- Faunalytics, a nonprofit research company “dedicated to helping animals,” says its research of 1,200 consumers shows “66% of people would try clean meat, 53% would eat it as a replacement and 46% would be willing to buy it regularly.”
- Beyond Meat’s initial burger was introduced in 2016 and now sells, along with its new ‘sausage’ product, at 20,000 grocery retailers as well as 10,000 restaurants, hotels and universities.
There’s no denying that many consumers the pork, beef and poultry industries serve today are also looking at alternatives to traditional protein resources. Fortunately, for those individuals who love raising livestock and producing meat, the future for traditional protein is not all doom and gloom. The 2017 Mintel Plant-Based Proteins report found that, “more than two thirds (67%) of Americans agree meat is essential to a balanced diet, and just over half (51%) believe a meal is not complete without meat.”