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Alternative proteins are increasing and gaining media attention and consumer interest. They are receiving a sharp space in the retail outlets and on the menus at the restaurants. This growth is expected to continue.
Consumer are still interested in proteins as the slide shows from the last 5 years. Every new year they starts on diet with flow of protein.
But what kind of protein? The take-up of proteins is today not only from meat and seafood. More options are available. Some of the new choices have to do with animal welfare. The boomers like more what’s on the left side of the slide and the millennials that is on the right site.
Globally we see a whole new narrative around meat consumption with more choices in restaurant varieties and more choices on the menus at the deep-rooted restaurants. This is a global trend.
In recent years there has been a similar evolution in the discussion about seafood consumption. In the mainstream media, we see more negative discussion about the seafood production, for example in Patagonia where opposition has arisen against salmon sea farms. This discussion catches the consumers attention. At the same time other media, such as Forbes and Financial Times are promoting the new choices when comes to seafood menus.
We expect the growth of alternatives of proteins will continue, sustained by the 5 strongest drivers at the consumer level. The first three drivers have mostly with meat to do and less to with seafood even though we see a slight discussion around the question of sustainability in the seafood industry. The last two drivers are also important and speak also for the seafood industry. The younger generations are driven by curiosity. They want to know the story behind the product, where it is from, how it was produced etc.
For the US consumer, health is the main reason to follow a vegetarian/vegan diet but animal welfare concerns outweigh health concerns with UK consumers. What is interesting here are the 2% follows the diet because it’s fashionable. In all polls, the answers are in a way different from real life. So in real life, the number of those who said it was fashionable might be higher.
If the alternative protein companies play their cards right these barriers could also be turned into key success factors in their business. The most important barrier is “Questionable nutrition” because of the alternatives comes with the own health challenges.
Even though the price has gone down recently the products are still seen as premium. The main difference here is the production process and branding power. The main challenge for the alternative protein producers is to adjust the price in balance with the quality and put the right price for each category on the market.
Companies are now investing heavily in Cellular Seafood.
The “low numbers” for the red towers should not be underestimated because it is there where opportunities for growth is and where the excitement lies.
The competition is getting harder for both the fresh meat industry as well as for the fresh fish industry.
Global sales of alternative proteins is roughly equal to USD 15 bn USD, but Rabobank’s forecast to 2030, the expectations is it will exceed 55 bn USD.