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How plant-based foods are taking over the shelf

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How plant-based foods are taking over the shelf

Plant-based foods have gained a firm foothold in consumer consciousness. . Sanjay Sethi, Executive Director of the Plant Based Foods Industry Association (PBFIA), examines the key factors driving demand and long-term future growth.

The global market for plant-based foods was valued at US$33 billion in 2020, according to The Insight Partners. With a projected CAGR of 12 per cent, this figure is expected to exceed US$83 billion between 2021 and 2028.
The pairing of global investor interest and growing consumer demand is also strengthening strategic commitments between high-profile FMCG brands and their distribution partners.

Consumer appetite for change

In 2019, Middle East retail sales of plant-based protein alternatives totalled US$176.5 million, according to Euromonitor International. Compared to the global total of US$18.6 billion, this is a tiny bite of the apple. It does, however, indicate growing consumer appetite, with a projected CAGR of four to five per cent through to 2024.

This rising consumer interest, both in the Middle East and globally, is driven by multiple factors. According to the US National Restaurant Association'sWhat's Hot 2022 Culinary Forecast, one trend in particular stands out. In the 18 months prior to the report's release, the association had noted a strong shift in consumer mindset towards health and sustainability, with 'immunity' front of mind.

It's a similar outlook in China where consumers are actively seeking to reduce their meat consumption and over 50 million vegetarians are bolstering market opportunity. The country already represents 53 per cent of the global meat substitutes industry (compared to the US at 5.5 per cent), albeit dominated by traditional meat substitutes.