Meat substitute market expected to hit $5.2bn by 2020

By Oscar Rousseau

- Last updated on GMT

Sales of meat-free substitutes, like tofu, tipped to grow  by 10.1% in the Asia-Pacific region
Sales of meat-free substitutes, like tofu, tipped to grow by 10.1% in the Asia-Pacific region
The meat substitute market is capitalising on an increasingly health-conscious public, hungry for alternatives to meat, and a report has said this sector will grow by 8.4% annually by 2020.

An examination of the burgeoning alternative meat market was carried out by Allied Market Research. The report, entitled ‘World Meat Substitute Market – Opportunities and Forecasts 2014–2020’, pointed to Asia-Pacific as the region expected to witness the largest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) during the next five years.

Between 2015 and 2020, the meat substitute market – which encompasses tofu, tempeh, textured vegetable protein, seitan, quorn and plant derivatives – will generate £5.2bn in global revenue by 2020.

Europe is the largest buyer of meat substitutes, generating 39% of the global market revenue in 2014, according to Allied Market Research. This is the result of an increase in the consumption of convenient food and snacks made from synthetic meats.

Strong growth

Despite Europe being the largest current market for mocked-up meat, Asia-Pacific will witness a surge in growth over the next four years, with its 10.1% CAGR the fastest in any geographic region. The reasons for the growth in this area are many: strong economic growth in countries like China, Japan and India; a rise in population; and a surge in the middle-class communities. There is also a strong demand for gluten-free and soy-free meat substitute products in these regions.

If segmented, textured vegetable protein (TVP) occupied the largest market share of the alternative meat market, at 68.2% in 2014, according to Allied Market Research. It is a basic ingredient and its sizable market share reflects its wide availability and the low cost for business to produce and consumers to buyer.

Most meat-free is frozen

Looking at the growth of meat alternative segments, researchers pointed to seitan-based meat to experience the strongest growth of any other product – a surge of 9.6% CAGR is expected as the global foodservice industry increasingly looks to find ways of offering it.

Most of the products marketed as meat-free come as either frozen or refrigerated. Some of the big names in the meat substitute game – like Amy’s Kitchen, Beyond Meat and Meatless BV – predominantly supply frozen meat products.

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