Vegan Growth Driving Meat-Alternative Market To Exceed $6 Billion By 2023

Seitan and tempeh are leading the charge
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Food tech company Beyond Meat offers meat-alternative products made entirely from plants (Photo: Beyond Meat)

The meat substitutes market is projected to exceed $6.3 billion by 2023, according to a market research report.

One of the growth factors driving the sector is the increased preference for vegan and vegetarian foods.

Additional factors include changing trends toward healthy diets, 'which has led to an increased demand for clean-label products, such as plant-sourced proteins that include tofu and seitan'.

Demand

According to the report: "This scenario has led to the demand for meat substitutes."

It cites retailer giant Tesco for 'increasing the availability of meat-free food products in the market' - a trend followed by other UK outlets including Sainsbury's, Waitrose and Ocado, all of which have expanded their veggie and vegan offerings in recent months, leading to what analysts describe as a 'surge' of vegan sales.

Quorn Foods - which makes a range of vegetarian and vegan alternative products - has also seen interest spike, with sales soaring by 16 percent over the last year to £205 million.

The company also puts the massive growth down to growing global interest in meat-free diets, with Quorn Foods CEO, Kevin Brennan, saying: "Around the world we are seeing a significant increase in meat-reduction diets, including both flexitarianism and veganism."

Quorn has seen demand for its products soar over the last year (Photo: Quorn)

Quorn has seen demand for its products soar over the last year (Photo: Quorn)

Types

Of the various different types of meat-alternatives, tempeh is set to see solid growth. According to the report: "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. "

Wheat-based meat substitutes are also forecast to see fast growth: "Wheat proteins are highly cost-effective and find applications in food products such as burgers patties, nuggets, and vegetarian sausages.

"These innovational applications make wheat the most highly adopted source of wheat substitutes over the projection period, among others."