Increasing rates of veganism have been identified as a major driver of Italy’s developing pea protein market. Concerns about the health risks of meat were also said to be boosting sales of the plant protein.
Italy’s pea protein market is forecasted to grow at an annual compound rate of 9%, according to a press release. The “growing trend of adopting a vegan lifestyle” is one major factor boosting sales.
This growth is occurring regardless of the “high competition” the market faces from animal-based protein source whey. However, recent research found that vegan protein delivers the same physical benefits to athletes as whey protein. Notably, the increasing instance of people opting for plant-based protein is also driving the soy protein market, the report said.
This isn’t the first time rising rates of veganism has affected market figures. The growing adoption of the lifestyle has been blamed for hindering the sales of pepperoni, veal, and yoghurt, and been credited for boosting sales of soy, hummus, and almond milk. The global demand for vegan food is also behind the surging figures of the plant-based protein market, which is expected to reach a $1 billion value.
The report commented that in recent years the demand for plant-based products has increased “due to ethical and environmental concerns combined with increasing health problems and allergies from the animal-based products”. In fact, new research found that more than half (58%) of Americans are opting for vegan protein sources rather than meat.
The public’s “rising health consciousness”, including younger generations striving to lead a “healthy lifestyle”, is behind this shift in buying behaviours. Concerns about the health risks associated with consuming meat products, specifically those high in fat, is also upping plant-protein sales, the press release said.
The report stated there was opportunity for pea protein in sport nutrition and weight management. Further, it was said the rising demand for plant-based protein also creates room for further growth in the pea protein field.
The report revealed that a “growing number of food producers are experimenting to add pea protein as an ingredient across various food items such as pizzas, pasta, risotto and panzenella, which not only just enhances the nutritional and functional quality of the food but also provides good taste”.
One such company utilising the product is Bolthouse Farms who produce plant-based milk with pea protein. Additionally, American frozen food brand, Dr. Praeger, recently launched a line of veggie meats, including ‘chicken’ tenders made with protein derived from peas.