Plant-based food encompasses a diverse variety of food items made from natural plant ingredients. Plant-based foods have long been recognized for their role in human nutrition and health. These items are primarily made from fruits, vegetables, nuts, oils, whole grains, and legumes, and do not include any animal ingredients. A plant-based diet has less cholesterol and saturated fat, is high in folic acid, magnesium, and iron, and may help reduce the risk of some forms of cancer, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and metabolic disorders.
In the plant-based food sector, food makers ranging from startups to big CPG corporations are developing quickly. Plant-based meat, eggs, and dairy products are rapidly competing with animal goods in terms of taste, price, and accessibility. Fear of an increase in animal-borne illnesses, increased health concerns, and desire for clean label and natural goods are some of the key reasons why people are moving their choice towards plant-based meals. The global plant-based food market is expected to rise to US$54.15 billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 17.60%, during the forecast period.
According to this report, the global plant-based food market can be divided into four regions: Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, and the Rest of the World. The countries covered in North America region are the US, Canada, and Mexico, while Europe includes Germany, UK, France, Italy, Spain, and Rest of Europe. Moreover, China, Japan, India, South Korea, and Rest of Asia Pacific are included in the Asia Pacific region.
The Asia Pacific dominated the market with highest share of the global market. The increased use of innovative technologies for product innovation, partnerships between domestic and international food companies, and rising government R&D expenditures in the food sector are the key factors driving the Asia Pacific plant-based food market.North America plant-based food market is expected to grow at a significant CAGR. The US is the leading plant-based food market within the North America region, because of growing concern about the environmental impacts of livestock production and meat availability. In the report, the US plant-based food market is further divided into eight segments: Milk, Meat, Creamer, Icecream, Butter, Cheese, Eggs, and Others.
Top Impacting Factors:
Driver: Growing Vegan Population
A vegan does not consume meat, dairy products, eggs, honey, or any product derived from an animal. A vegan diet includes all grains, beans, legumes, vegetables, fruits, and a nearly infinite number of foods made by combining them. A vegan person demands plant-based foods. The demand for this food has escalated globally and among people of different age groups. The demand for vegan food primarily escalated owing to the rising awareness of the health benefits of these products, such as reducing the risk of heart diseases, cancer, and other diseases. Therefore, the rise in the vegan population demanding plant-based foods is the key growth driver of the plant-based foods market.
As many consumers continue to shift towards plant-based foods, a lot of people still prefer animal-based products. Some of the reasons for them to still prefer animal-based products include taste, nutritional profile, and protein content. Taste still seems to be a stumbling block for manufacturers. Due to a lack of similarity in taste and texture, people find it difficult to shift their consumption toward plant-based foods. Animal proteins are complete proteins. That means they contain all the essential amino acids that a person need in their diet. Also, animal-based foods have higher protein content when compared to plant-based foods, which is an important factor for consumers while choosing their preferences. Therefore, a large number of consumers still prefer to have animal-based products, which presents a hurdle to the growth of the plant-based food market.
The growing number of plant-based seafood market players across regions is expected to drive market growth further. Plant-based meat and seafood is now ubiquitous in restaurants and supermarkets, with sales soaring through the roof. Companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, which were some of the earliest producers of plant-based meat alternatives, have become household names. The rapid growth of vegan food as more consumers shift away from meat-based diets has prompted large companies to expand their plant-based protein offerings, with plant-based seafood now taking the spotlight. Shifting to incorporate plant-based seafood into people’s diets can help reduce the demand for fresh seafood, and alleviate the global overfishing problem and stress on the already-deleting marine population. This would also reduce the rates of by-catching and environmental impacts on ocean habitats. Therefore, people are becoming more aware of the existence of plant-based meat and seafood and are shifting their consumer habits.
The COVID-19 Analysis:
The pandemic disrupted global plant-based food supply chains in the early months of 2020, reducing access to attractive, safe, and diverse diets. However, consumers' concern for their health intensified as the pandemic developed. As a result of rising health awareness, the adoption of vegan diets has increased dramatically, directly increasing the global plant-based foods market in 2020. The market is predicted to grow as firms shift production to plant-based foods and consumer preferences evolve, owing to an increased emphasis on health and well-being fueled by pandemic-related concerns.
Analysis of Key Players:
The global plant-based food market is fragmented, with the presence of large number of small- and medium-sized suppliers in the market. The key players of the global plant-based food market are:
Some of the strategies among key players in the market for plant-based food are product launches, mergers, acquisitions, and collaborations. In 2022, Beyond Meat Inc. has launched the Beyond Burger And Beyond Meatballs at approximately 2,000 stores nationwide. Whereas, Beyond Meat’s chief competitor Impossible Foods Inc. launched the company’s latest food concept in the frozen aisle with a new lineup of single-serve frozen entrees: Impossible Bowls - delicious plant-based meals ready in minutes. Danone SA announced the launch of the first dairy and plants blend baby formula on July 5, 2022, in response to parents' desire for vegetarian and flexitarian options for their kid. Danone created the new Dairy & Plants Blend baby formula, which is a nutritionally complete formula that combines the finest of dairy and plants.