Alternative protein market to grow five-fold by 2035

24th July 2019


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Adrienn Fatime Szabadi

The alternative protein market will see its value more than quintuple from $19.5bn (£15.6bn) to $100bn within 15 years, the FAIRR investor network has predicted.

In a report published today, the investors also forecast substitutes for animal-based foods, such as 'Impossible Whopper' burgers, to capture 10% of the meat market by 2035.

And after studying 25 of the world's largest food multinationals, FAIRR found that 87% of retailers have increased their offerings of own-brand plant-based products.

“From the factory floor to the supermarket shelf, the mounting environmental and social pressures to move away from a reliance on animal-derived proteins is reshaping the food industry,“ FAIRR founder, Jeremy Coller, said.

“The growth of alternative proteins, from meatless meats to fishless fillets, offers a promising opportunity for food companies to meet the lucrative demand for protein with fewer impacts on land, water and biodiversity.“

Support for FAIRR's 'sustainable protein engagement' with food companies has grow from 36 investors to 72 since 2016, with their combined assets increasing from $1.25trn to $5.3trn.

And today's report shows that Unilever, Tesco, Nestle, M&S, Conagra have all developed a strategy to build a sustainable protein portfolio, recognising the risks of a high dependence on animal-based ingredients.

However, zero companies have formal, publicly reported metrics in place to track and report on their protein exposure.

The FAIRR investors warned that food multinationals must manage the risks of relying too heavily on factory-farmed meat, fish and dairy as protein demand grows.

The report provides a briefing on the long-term sustainability risks associated with livestock supply chains, which account for 14.5% of global greenhouse gases.

“Some food multinationals are seizing the moment by setting clear strategic goals to increase their alternative protein exposure,“ Coller continued.

“That's a good start, but as alternative proteins go mainstream, investors want more food retailers and manufacturers to capitalise on the opportunity, improving branding, merchandising and tracking of alternative protein products to expand their appeal across a broad swathe of consumers.“

Image credit: iStock

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