The legume-based meat alternative market has grown by 451 percent in four years, according to new data.
The growth of veganism, health claims of legume products, and increasing demand for gluten-free products are all cited as reasons for the spike.
According to researchers, the diversity and quantity of legume products produced over the last four years suggest 2016's International Year of Pulses has had a significant effect.
The research was carried out within the framework of Transition Paths To Sustainable Legume-Based Systems In Europe [TRUE] and led by Carla Teixeira.
According to Teixeira: "The product sub-categories with the highest increment were meat substitutes, with an amazing growth rate of 451 percent, pasta, with an increase of 295 percent, and bean-based snacks, growing by 128 percent."
The data shows that the types of legumes processed showed some changes, as well: although green beans were still the legume most often processed as of mid-2017, their overall share decreased by 23 percent compared to 2013.
Chickpeas, on the other hand, increased by 47 percent and lentils by eight percent.