According to the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization, Italy, the worldwide population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. Just by 2020, an increase of 800 million is anticipated. This population explosion will have the following impacts:

  • Growing demand for diversified food, such as meat substitutes, as income levels increase in emerging markets.
  • Increased demand for high nutrition foods, potentially fulfilled by meat substitutes.
  • Increased global awareness of the health hazards of meats, particularly after high profile incidents such as the horse meat scandal in Europe and the increasing illegal meat trade in China.
  • Higher populations of vegetarians in emerging markets, resulting in increased spending on healthier foods.
  • Penetration of modern retail chains in emerging markets, providing increased access to new markets for meat substitutes.

That’s why the meat substitutes industry will experience exponential global growth, according to a study produced by Markets and Markets, Dallas, Texas.

The study, “Meat Substitutes Global Forecast through 2020,” projects the exponential global growth of the meat substitutes industry. Here we offer a summary of the findings.

Growth by region
Europe accounted for the largest share of the market at 41%, the report says. And, the region is forecast to continue strong growth of 6.3% CAGR through 2020.

North America is the second-largest market at 31% with steady growth of 4% expected through 2020.

The Asia-Pacific region is the fastest growing segment, projected at 10.5% CAGR through 2020, primarily attributed to heightened awareness of the health hazards of meat in these regions.

Specific markets, such as China, India, Argentina and Brazil, are considered untapped markets, with low awareness of meat substitutes, but high opportunity, as economies and incomes in the regions grow.

Europe and North America are considered mature markets and will continue steady growth, but emerging markets are the real key to growth opportunity in the meat substitutes market.

Global industry challenges
The study notes the challenge of keeping up with changing dietary preferences in emerging markets, which may be numerous and diverse. Additionally, global price fluctuations in raw materials continue to be a challenge worldwide.

To overcome these challenges, the meat substitutes industry is encouraged to focus on penetrating emerging markets through expansion of appropriate products as well as education and marketing to reach these new populations. The industry will also continue introducing new products to mature markets to expand marketshare.