The market for alternatives to meat (as well as dairy and eggs) may well be poised for exponential growth, but in order to rake in the 'billions' available the products need to be “cheaper, tastier and more convenient”, according to Bruce Friedrich. In an interview with FoodNavigator, the managing trustee of New Crop Capital, also laughed off the growth estimates put together by analysts as “probably conservative”.
Placing the products next to meat would make a huge difference, at least if the results from moving dairy-free into the dairy aisles are anything to go by. Texture is a big barrier, with 14% of Germans saying that faux meat tastes foul, but technology is improving all the time. More support for research and development would help, said Freidrich. Recent research by UK think tank Chatham House suggested the absence of a strong signal from governments to promote low-meat diets “discourages investment in research and development for alternatives”.
But that won’t stop the start-ups. The ‘free from’ trend is hot right now, so combine that USP with a well-priced, tasty and readily available product that’s greener and leaner and maybe even lab-grown, and they could well have a recipe for meat-free moollah. So it’s really no surprise that meat companies like Rugenwalder Muhle want a slice of the pie.