“Alternative meats, which can include plant-based products and animal meat grown from cells in laboratories, are becoming increasingly popular with consumers and investors,” writes the Washington Post, so much so that according to consultants at Fortune Business Insight, “market revenues,” the newspaper reports, “are expected to roughly double to $12.3 billion by 2029.
However, some traditional meat producers are skeptical that substitutes will be able to continue their rapid growth. Indeed, they say the alternatives “fail to replicate the taste of animal meat” and are most likely to be enjoyed regularly by only a small group of consumers. In any case, in regions like Southeast Asia that have rapidly growing populations and are struggling with food export restrictions, “traditional meat substitutes are becoming a reliable protein alternative.” And it’s not just about attracting vegetarians, notes the Post: “The meat alternatives industry is becoming particularly attractive to food security experts” that is, “venture capitalists and companies seeking to protect themselves from supply chain crises.”
Very often, these are alternatives that “require less space, water, time and materials to make, making them more resilient to the supply chain shocks that have recently plagued the animal meat industry” to the point that “in some parts of the world, such as Northern Europe, some of these same alternatives are becoming as cheap as traditional meat.” A shift, the latter, that investors hope will reach more price-conscious consumers in less affluent countries that are consuming more and more meat.