Riding on positive media coverage, pure players and well-established meat processors alike compete in an increasingly competitive space charcterised by meat imitation at high prices. This analysis aims to help product development make the right choices today to serve consumers with the meat substitutes of tomorrow, by dealing proactively with criticism over ultra-processing, usage of soy, and dissapointing flavour through further innovation.
Shear-banding, the technology revolutionising imitation of meat structure and texture of chicken, tuna, beef, pork, is well documented in scientific literature. The innovative application of this technology to make meat and fish substitutes has resulted in several companies emerging as third party ingredient suppliers of this fibrous, layered protein structure. Mixing this structure with spices and colouring to make different products is easy and is the basis for several 2019 product developments. A lower technology entry barrier for manufacturers is sure to increase competition in the category, to the benefit of consumers.
Given the increasing number of actors in meat substitutes, a strong brand is the number one advantage for international expansion. A good example is Beyond Meat, which manages to create hype months in advance of its introduction to any new market. Or Impossible Foods, that has managed to get its logotype on even the wrapper of Burger King’s Impossible Whopper, gaining great brand visibility.
The media attention on meat and fish analogues is not in proportion to the market size. In other words - it is a hyped category. Consumer expectations follow a more or less predictable pattern according to the Gartner hype cycle. Judging from the events taking place in the market now, notably company failures in high per capita markets, it seems that consumer expectations are about to be significantly deflated, which will cause media interest to fade. Can the companies react skillfully to maintain sales?
With technology for texture very similar across meat analogues and many players innovating a similar selection of products, the protein source is the largest differentiator between products. On the horizon - protein derived from thin air!
If you purchase a report that is updated in the next 60 days, we will send you the new edition and data extract FREE! Home Page