Flexitarian Approach of Consumers to Increase Demand of Meat Substitutes

Consumers are taking ‘flexitarian’ approach rather than a vegetarian approach. Over the past five years, consumers are preferring plant based food and including meat occasionally. 

Meat substitutes are manufactured from plants and resemble meat, fish products poultry in taste, color, and texture. Soy meat alternatives, also known as meat analogs, are made up of soy protein, carbohydrates, and wheat gluten. Meat substitutes are also made from tofu and flavors are added to enhance sensory qualities. Diverse products of soy meat substitutes are available in market. In refrigerator case, products such as beef and sausage style crumbles, deli slices & sticks burgers, wieners entrees of stew, and chili or pasta taco fillings can be found. In freezer case, burgers & crumbles, sausage style links & patties, chicken-like patties & nuggets and others can be found.

Meat Substitute manufacturers to double their production:

Changing dietary habits of consumers across the globe is enforcing plant based protein manufacturers, such as Quorn and Alpro, to double their production and develop new products. The preference of consumers for meat substitutes is the vital reason for this demand. Tim Finnigan, co-founder and head of research & development at Quorn believes that this is happening due to a “shift rather than a drift to more sustainable eating.” This drift is driven by a number of factors, such as the horsegate scandal, health and food safety, concern for animal welfare, and others. He said, “The business has always been on a growth trajectory, but something has changed in the past couple of years that has tipped people towards our products. What we’re seeing is a global transition to more plant based diets.”

Flexitarian Approach:

Alpro also confirmed that momentum is building for plant based foods. Vicky Upton, marketing controller at Alpro UK said, “We have seen a real shift in ‘free­from’ over the past few years. It has moved from a niche market sector catering for those with allergies and intolerances to one with more mainstream appeal, offering what consumers now see as healthy lifestyle choices. There is now increased demand from shoppers looking for these healthy plant based options. One in five households now buys plant based foods regularly.” He also states that consumers are taking ‘flexitarian’ approach rather than a vegetarian approach. Over the past five years, consumers are preferring plant based food and including meat occasionally.

Analysts studying the meat substitute market have revealed a comprehensive information about changing market dynamics in research reports. Recently, Allied Market Research has published a report titled, “World Meat Substitute Market - Opportunities and Forecasts 2014 - 2020.” As per the report, the world meat substitute market is expected to register a CAGR of 8.4% from 2014 to 2020 and would reach $5.2 billion by 2020. The report offers an extensive analysis of detailed segmentation, value chain analysis, drivers & opportunities, and competitive intelligence. Furthermore, the study provides estimations through 2015 to 2020 for each segment and dominating segments in the industry.

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