Meat substitutes have hit the mainstream. No longer limited to the back shelves of supermarkets, plant-based alternatives are being bought by consumers at a record rate.
According to a new report from Markets and Markets, the marketplace for meat alternatives will hit a whopping $5.17 billion by 2020. In 2015, the market stood at $3.8 billion, so it’s predicted to grow by nearly $1.5 billion in the next four years.
“The growing demand for meat-free food products and increasing health concerns are expected to drive the market for meat substitutes globally,” Markets and Markets said in a press release.
“In addition to this, key factors such as increase in adoption rate of vegan & vegetarian diet and increasing health concerns for pets, increasing environmental issues, and presence of modernized retail chain in emerging markets are projected to support the growth in the meat substitutes market in the forthcoming years.”
From Gardein to Beyond Meat to Field Roast, more and more innovative companies are offering plant-meat products that taste just like the real thing. These beef, chicken, pork, and fish substitutes are now available in big box retailers and supermarket chains like Target, Walmart, and Publix.
Officially, the term “meat substitutes” covers items including tofu and tofu ingredients, tempeh, TVP, quorn, soy products and seitan, among others. Leading companies making these meaty products include Amy’s Kitchen, Beyond Meat, and MGP Ingredients out of the U.S.; Sonic Biochem Extractions Limited out of India; and Garden Protein International Inc. (makers of Gardein) out of Canada.
And in other awesome news for the animals, the meat substitutes market isn’t the only one that’s growing. The non-dairy market is predicted to hit $20 billion by 2020.
With consumers clamoring for products like eggless Just Mayo, non-dairy ice cream (thank you Ben & Jerry’s!), and artisan vegan meats, it’s clear that popular culture is on its way to embracing a plant-based way of life.