The growing demand for plant-based alternatives

Consequences for traditional Food & Beverage companies

The global meat and dairy sector is going through an unprecedented level of competition and disruption, driven by the growth of viable plant-based alternatives. The European plant-based alternatives market leads the way in terms of market size, with the European meat substitutes market accounting for around 40 percent of the global market.

What does this mean for traditional food and beverage companies?

M&A Trends

The combination of the growing number of consumers looking to eat plant-based alternatives, and the significant investment in new product innovation, is driving the large growth in the overall market. There has been sizeable and increasing M&A activity in recent years in the plant-based alternatives sector. This trend is expected to continue to accelerate.

Exploring new territories

Existing food and beverage companies are moving to protect and enhance their positions in the market. Vion Food Group, an international producer of pork and beef with production locations in the Netherlands and Germany, recently launched a new part of its organisation: ME-AT, a start-up dedicated solely to the design and development of alternative proteins. Ronald Lotgerink, CEO of Vion Food Group says: “The market for meat alternatives has been growing over the past few years and is expected to continue to grow. We will invest in plant-based meat alternatives to balance the mix of animal proteins and plant-based proteins to enable a sustainable food supply for the future demand of the global food markets.”

Global food transformation

The EAT-Lancet Commission recently recommended that three transformations need to occur, aggressively and in parallel: a global dietary shift, improved production processes and reduced food loss and waste. While a number of companies are investing in lab-grown meat alternatives, plant-based alternatives are more in line with the dietary shift recommended by the EAT-Lancet Commission.

No silver bullet

For potential investors, it is good to keep in mind that ‘plant-based’ does not necessarily tick all the boxes. They should also take measures to future-proof based on sustainable sourcing practices, responsible and low waste production practices, fair payments to growers, and sustainable packaging. In this regard, plant-based alternatives will not solve the problem, although they sure are part of the solution.

Prepare your business for the future food system

The full report on plant based alternatives dives into:

  • The plant-based consumer trend
  • Strategies & M&A activity of the world's largest players, including Unilever, Tesco, and Sainsbury's
  • Strategic questions to determine your company's success formula for the future

Fill out the form to get the full report in your e-mail right now.

Want to have a personal discussion about the next steps for your company? Feel free to reach out to our experts below.

Randy Jagt
Partner Deloitte Nederland
T +31 (0)88 288 3576
Marieke Bax
Partner Deloitte Nederland
T +31 (0)88 288 1436

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