The plant-based meat market has growth potential but faces challenges like a decline in U.S. sales, the need for improved taste and affordability, and supply chain disruptions. Global sales are increasing, especially in new product categories, and there are opportunities in foodservice and e-commerce, particularly among younger consumers. But supply chain issues, including ingredient shortages and increased production costs, affect both plant-based and animal-based foods. In addition, leading companies like Beyond Meats and Impossible Foods have hard a hard go of it as their stock prices and market caps have decreased significantly.
Plant based food manufacturers have strived to make advances in taste, texture, and variety of plant-based options, making them more appealing to a broader audience. Additionally, technological advancements in food science have enabled more sophisticated and appealing plant-based products. Major food companies are either developing their own plant-based lines or acquiring successful plant-based brands, signaling strong market growth potential. There is also a notable increase in plant-based options in restaurants and fast-food chains.
In 2022, total plant-based meat sales (including retail, foodservice, and e-commerce) increased slightly by 2%, while pound sales decreased by 4%. This trend suggests growth opportunities in foodservice and e-commerce, especially among younger generations like Gen Z and Millennials, who are more likely to purchase food online.
Critics claim that the plant-based food market still faces challenges including a market slowdown, higher pricing, health concerns over high processing and additives, taste preferences not meeting consumer expectations, and innovation hurdles due to economic factors.