Plant-based meat, an alternative to animal meat that has been a crucial part of the world's food market. Different from vegetarian burgers, plant-based meat is made to look and taste like meat. They are made from a variety of meat-free ingredients such as soy, pea, wheat gluten, pulses or even jackfruit.
In 2019, the rise of plant based meat emerged. Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat began to partner with popular restaurant chains such as Burger King and KFC. The thought of trying something new appealed to many and became a popular choice for those looking for a plant-based/healthier alternative to generic meat products.
However, in 2020 is when the industry began to boom. The pandemic caused animal-meat competitors to slow down production due to the deadly outbreaks in factories. Worried that live animals can spark new diseases and the risk of diseases to leap from animal to humans. Brining in more demand for plant-based products. Working towards promising developments to solve big problems within the factory farming system.
As the trend of sustainability and having an eco-conscious lifestyle continues which drives the demand for more plant-based products. Plant-based meat can make a huge difference in the environment. Livestock cultivation is one of the largest ways to produce greenhouse gas emissions, about 15%. Additionally, they have the potential to lower carbon footprint. Expecting plant based foods to have about one-tenth of the carbon costs of animal-based foods. However, there are no signs of meat alternatives signalling an end for meat. The demand for meat is actually growing.
As economies are growing and becoming wealthier, a big thing that changes is one’s diet. Changing their diet to a “Western diet” which means more meat. Wanting luxuries that wealthy individuals enjoy. One of the largest declines in the plant-based market has been Beyond Meat.
Beyond Meat’s stock fell 83% in 2022 and their annual sales are falling short. Additionally, there was an image released by Bloomberg that revealed the Beyond Meat factory has widespread mold and documents revealed their products tested positive for Listeria which has turned more consumers away.
The overall fall of plant-based meat to the general public is the costs. Plant-based products are just as or can be more expensive than regular meat. Due to this, many turn back to regular meat or purchase other alternatives - now calling plant based meat a fad. While more consumers are beginning to become more health-conscious, the number of vegetarians/vegans have remained stable. However, even though there has been a decline in plant-based meat, it remains an important factor for our future ecosystem.