The global meat alternatives market is forecast to reach $6.3 billion by 2023, according to new market research. It is currently valued at $4.63 billion.
It adds: "Retailers such as Tesco are increasing the availability of meat-free food products in the market. This scenario has led to the demand for meat substitutes."
The research predicts that products based on tempeh and wheat (i.e. seitan) have the most growth potential during this person.
"Tempeh offers health benefits such as higher antibody count, reduction in sugar levels in the body, muscle building, reduced risk of diabetes, and lower cholesterol levels in the body," the authors write.
Speaking about wheat-based products, they add: "Based on the source of the meat substitute, wheat-based meat substitutes are projected to form the fastest-growing segment. Wheat proteins are highly cost-effective and find applications in food products such as burger patties, nuggets, and vegetarian sausages; these innovational applications make wheat the most highly adopted source of meat substitutes over the projection period, among others."
As the research claims, retailers have started to offer an increasing number of meat-alternative products. According to a number of supermarket buyers, this is in response to customer demand.
Chloe Graves, Waitrose Chilled Vegetarian and Vegan Buyer, said: "Our current selection of products has been selling really well week after week, with requests for more choice coming from our customers and partners, so we could clearly see there was an appetite to have more vegetarian and vegan options in our shops."
James Hamilton, Meat-Free and Ready Meals Buyer at Sainsbury's, added: "We are seeing an increasing interest from our customers in plant-based foods, with sales of our current meat-free range growing 20 percent each week."