Plant-based proteins on the rise as COVID-19 bites

plant-based protein - a picture of cereals in a field.
Photo by catkin, c/o Pixabay.

One of the trends in recent weeks has been an increase in the consumption of plant-based protein foods, especially in Asia. It comes about because the Coronavirus COVID-19 has been linked to wild animal meat. According to a view in Reuters the link between the virus and eating strange meats from animal origins has been entirely off putting for the consumer. Many in mainline China and Hong Kong have started revising their diets to include more plant-based protein as a way of avoiding disease.

The Chinese are possible one of the world’s biggest consumers of meat and almost outgun the USA for their level of consumption. The retail value for all meat products in China is about $170 billion per year according to Euromonitor which is a market research agency.

Before the coronavirus struck, there was some predictive data from Euromonitor on the way in which the ‘free from meat’ movement was making inroads into the consumer market. The estimate was a market for plant replacements of meat of $23 billion in by 2023. The market had been shy of $10 billion in 2018 so the interest in such markets has shot up. 

Many producers of meat-free products have seen substantial increases in consumption of their products with a decline in overall meat consumption in the Far East. Impossible Foods have recently reported that China is actively seeking out the meatless options and they remain an important target market for their type of products. A number of other suppliers are offering plant-based chicken type products such as nuggets and even a wholly plant based menu.

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