Vegan and clean meat are set to go mainstream in 2019, according to leading progressive media brand Fast Company. Just like the plant-based milk industry around 10 years ago, it notes that vegan meat is at a “tipping point.”
Currently, the category is relatively small, with one percent of all retail meat dollars going to plant-based meat. Vegan milk was in a similar position a decade ago, but now sales of almond, coconut, soy, and other plant-based varieties make up 13 percent of all milk sales and a third of all Americans regularly purchase non-dairy milk. The plant-based meat market could see a similar trajectory, says Fast Company.
The growth is due to brands such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, which produce plant-based “bleeding” patties that mimic the real thing. Beyond Burgers are currently available in 25,000 locations internationally, including major supermarkets and restaurant chains, and Impossible Burgers have seen success in mainstream joints, such as White Castle and the Cheesecake Factory. In 2019, Impossible Burgers are set to be sold in supermarkets for the first time.
The secret to the success of these brands is their ability to make products that look, cook, and taste just like real animal meat, notes Caroline Bushnell of the Good Food Institute.
She told Fast Company, “It’s a real shift in the meat alternative category from what it had been for decades, where most of the products were designed mostly for vegetarian and vegan audiences and weren’t trying to replicate conventional meat.”
“In the last few years, as we’ve seen more companies innovating and thinking of their market base as all consumers and meat eaters… the way these products are being innovated and produced has really evolved,” she added.
Investments from more meat brands into vegan protein will also push the category along, notes Fast Company. In 2016, meat giant Tyson Foods invested in Beyond Meat in a bid to stay ahead of the curve. It also invested in clean meat brand Memphis Meats in 2018, the company focuses on growing meat in labs from animal cells, with no need for slaughter.
Clean meat will also make a leap in 2019, notes Fast Company, with a prediction that the FDA and USDA may approve plant-based egg company JUST’s slaughter-free chicken for sale in restaurants. The company is working to bring its clean chicken to restaurants in Asia. Earlier this month also saw to the launch of a $100 million investment fund, called the New Protein Fund, that will focus on manufacturing and distribution of vegan and clean meat.
Image Credit: Impossible Foods
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