Meat and poultry consumption is expected to hit record highs this year.1 However, the news about animal proteins’ popularity has been overshadowed by recent headlines generated by plant-based meat substitutes, with national foodservice distribution deals and IPOs garnering attention in both trade and mainstream media. It is important to look beyond the headlines to put these next-generation meat substitutes, and the claims made by the companies producing these products, in context with sales numbers and consumer perceptions, as well as environmental and nutritional facts. While some of the companies behind plant-based meat substitutes aim to replace animal proteins, in 2018 beef was the most valuable protein at retail.
Sales data reveals that last year consumers purchased 14 billion pounds of beef compared with 700,000 pounds of beef substitutes in both retail and foodservice. That is, beef substitutes comprised half of a percent of the overall market in pounds.
The 25%+ dollar growth rates of beef substitutes sound impressive when compared to beef’s 5%, but one must keep these numbers in perspective. When the percentages are converted to dollars, that 5% increase in beef dollar sales amounts to over 22 times the growth of beef substitutes: $1.2 billion compared with $54 million.
Despite the placement of beef substitutes in the meat case, these products aren’t generating sales like the authentic beef products they share the case with. A recent study indicates shopping baskets containing Ground Beef have an average value of $88.95, including $79.55 of other products from across the store. Meanwhile, baskets containing beef substitutes average only $81.84 and generate almost five dollars less in sales from other departments. Even carts with chicken average lower than beef at $84.72.
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Published on 7/2/2021 (2 years 234 days ago) Ranch News