Plant-based proteins growing faster than predicted

What do Millennials prefer on their plate?
Will they eat … less meat … or meat-less meat?
Meat-less meat here in New Zealand and in key export markets … What’s the trend?

The speed of technology change in alternative proteins for food is now attracting increasingly positive comments from high profile leaders across the agriculture and food export sectors. A national conference in Auckland in July is set to bring new information for sector leaders.

In this burgeoning field of food technology, disruption price points are changing fast. These changes bring opportunities that market commentators and traditionalists were discounting just a few short years ago.

These new protein and meat-alternative developments also offer new market advantages to some consumers. The environmental perception of younger consumers with a greater social conscience about the impact of the food they buy and consume is growing.

“We’ve brought together a diverse group of skilled people from professional directors to angel investors and technical food technologists to market research specialists. The one thing they have in common is strong awareness and assessments of the attributes of these rapidly developing food production technologies,” says conference director John Stulen.

“Each of our speakers has plenty of professional experience related to food from agricultural, so they are well- placed to recognise where the new meat and plant-based technologies can impact traditional markets,” adds Stulen.

Industry leaders quoted below show how fast this industry is changing:

  1. “There is a pretty good percentage of the population (in the US), that by all accounts appears to be growing, of people who would rather not eat meat if they can help it. It’s a consumer we don’t want to lose, even for a burger chain.” – Expert interview, QSR Industry from Beef + Lamb NZ Report 2018
  2. “Rabobank animal proteins analyst Blake Holgate says that alternative proteins have broken out of the niche of vegetarian products and high growth rates were expected in future years.”– Expanding Animal Protein Production to Increase Competition article, 30 November 2017
  3. “Consumers are changing their eating patterns and there is an increase in desire to eat plant based diets. Plant based diets are expected to create health benefits, increased energy and are seen as a better ideological fit in terms of sustainability and lower consumption of resources.” – Beef + Lamb NZ report 2018
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