It is meat, but no animals are harmed in the process. Now, there is a huge market for it.
Going Vegan For The Environment
Veganism has become popular in the past couple of years. Apart from avoiding meat for health reasons, many people are going vegan these days due to the betterment of the planet, and because they are against animal cruelty. Earlier in 2018, scientists behind the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage of farming to the planet, as mentioned by The Guardian, found that avoiding meat and dairy products was the single biggest way to reduce our environmental impact on the planet. The research also showed that, without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by over 75% — an area equivalent to the U.S, China, European Union and Australia combined — and still feed the world.
With several studies saying that a vegan diet is good for the environment, and many celebrities endorsing the diet, a lot of people began adopting this diet for a better planet and better health. Meanwhile, many companies jumped on the opportunity to create vegan meat.
Meet Plant-Based Meat
Plant-based meat is meat made from plants. It is designed and created to look, taste, and cook exactly like conventional meat. This meat can be in the form of a burger patty, nuggets, crumbles or sausages. But how does that work? A number of ingredients such as plant-based proteins, soy, potato protein, pea protein, mung bean protein, and rice protein are used in the process to make this vegan meat. These ingredients combined with other ingredients give the perfect chewy texture and juiciness to the vegan meat.
Increasing Sales & Companies
The concept of buying meat alternatives is picking up rapidly across the world. According to Nielsen, which aggregates data from conventional grocers, the entire category of bacon alternatives almost doubled to $267 million in 2020, as against 2019. Hence, more people want it, more companies want to make it, and more investors want to invest in these firms.
The new data released by The Good Food Institute showed that 2020 saw a $3.1 billion in investments in companies offering sustainable alternatives to animal-based foods, including plant-based milk, meat, eggs, fermentation offering alternative proteins, and cultivated meat companies. The record jump in capital investment was 3 times more than the amount raised in 2019 and 4.5 times more than 2018.
In India too, many companies are launching plant-based meat products. Blue Tribe Goods launched their chicken nuggets made of soya, and peas, and Chicken Keema made with soy extracts. Wakao Foods has been attracting meat eaters with burger patties and stir fries made of jackfruit. Living Food Co makes coal smoked tofu. Bollywood actors Genelia and Ritesh Deshmukh have also announced a new plant-based venture called Imagine Meat. Vegolution’s new product is made by fermenting soybeans.
The Growth To Come
The rise of awareness around the harmful effects of animal meat on the environment is leading to a massive growth in the plant-based meat industry. According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the size of the plant-based meat market is estimated to be valued at $4.3 billion in 2020, and it is projected to hit $8.3 billion by 2025, logging a CAGR of 14.0% in terms of value. The report says that the growth could be because of the growing vegan and flexitarian populations across the world, increasing awareness about the health benefits provided by plant-based meat over animal meat, and growth in government initiatives along with considerable investments.
Another market research by Meticulous Research found that the plant-based food market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 11.9% from 2020 to 2027 to reach $74.2 billion by 2027. The research also said that the plant-based products sector is surging expeditiously due to major issues like increased greenhouse gas emissions and increased pressure on land and water usage during the production of animal protein.
In The End
People trying their best to switch to a vegan diet will help the planet. Meanwhile, the government should also formulate new policies to encourage the consumption of more plant-based foods. They can also offer subsidies and incentives to vegan food companies. The time is now to make changes in our lifestyle, so that our environment could be saved, and we shouldn’t delay this any longer. However, that doesn’t mean that we should all become vegans tomorrow, but we can try our best to consume less meat, and add more plant-based foods to our lives. Because, every small step matters.