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Industry News & Insights


18 Apr 2023

Alternative proteins sector is growing and needs government support, reports say

Alternative proteins sector is growing and needs government support, reports say
  • Alternative proteins — derived from plants, fermentation and cell cultivation — have grown in terms of companies, investments, products and manufacturing capacity in the recent past, reports from the Good Food Institute note. On Tuesday, the think tank published three new reports about the state of each alternative protein sector.
  • GFI recommends in a release about the reports that governments worldwide invest $10 billion annually in research and development and commercialization for alternative proteins.  
  • Alternative proteins have been touted as a potential solution for many problems in the food space, such as creating a sustainable and stable food supply and enhancing nutrition. 

These three GFI reports build a case aimed at investors, governments, companies and skeptics about why the alternative protein industry is worth their attention and money and offer ways to improve customer engagement. 

“The growth opportunities for this nascent industry are significant,” Caroline Bushnell, vice president of corporate engagement at GFI, said in the release. “With further investment and continued innovation to improve the taste and affordability of products, the industry will accelerate and be poised to capture sizable market share.”

The report dedicated to the plant-based industry concludes that plant-based meat is a significant growth opportunity for U.S. and global retail and foodservice. Globally, retail sales of plant-based meat in 2022 were $6.1 billion, according to Euromonitor statistics in the GFI report.

Last year, U.S. sales of plant-based meat were down 1.2%, and individual unit sales fell by 8.2%, according to statistics from SPINS and reported by GFI and the Plant Based Foods Association. The U.S. numbers are not unexpected; many plant-based meat companies experienced difficulties last year and saw their growth stagnate. A September 2022 study from Deloitte found the number of consumers who sometimes bought plant-based meat — 47% of all consumers — decreased 3% in a year.

Overall, the SPINS statistics showed, U.S. plant-based sales increased last year, with a 6.6% bump across all categories.


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