Plant-based meats on the nose

Plant-based meat surged in popularity, however consumer sentiment fell in 23. An opportunity for fresh vegetables as a natural protein alternative.

A surge in demand for plant-based meats in the aftermath of COVID reached the mainstream with new products on fast food menus and seized a substantial level food market share. However, challenges have arisen in 2023 as sales projections fell short and investor confidence faltered.

Three major players – Beyond Meat, Quorn and Marlow Foods – have conceded they are contending with consumer demand easing due to concerns about the processed product form, sparking investor concerns and prompting a reassessment of the category’s trajectory. Beyond Meat reported a 30% decline in vegan burger sales over the June 23 quarter, with share prices falling to $7.28 a sharp decline from peaks of over $200 in the 12 months prior. 

Adding to the fire, the term “ultra-processed” is gaining traction in US & EU, questioning the health attributes of all processed food, much to the frustration of food manufacturers. The introduction of the terminology is poised to convey an unfavourable message, potentially deepening the unease among consumers.

Yet, the dip in investor confidence hasn’t extinguished the long-term potential of plant-based meat. Global demand for fresh protein remains strong, driven by “flexitarians” and rising incomes from the expanding global middle class, who are increasingly aware of sustainable food choices.

Freshlogic | Easey Image
Australian Open food vendor, Easey’s, offering tennis enthusiasts the Impossible Burger, a plant-based burger.

The plant-based meat downturn frames an opportunity for fresh vegetables to profile their credentials as a natural, fresh protein alternative.

If you would like to discuss this topic further, get in touch with us here, Contact Freshlogic | Freshlogic

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