The Next Frontier For Plant-Based Foods - Shifting From Niche To Mainstream

The last few years have been game-changing for the plant-based foods market. As consumer awareness around the health and sustainability benefits of plant-based foods has risen, the market has experienced double-digit growth. 

First-generation products in this space came as early as the 90s, based on lightly processed micro-organisms. The second-generation of products launched more recently offered improved texture and taste (e.g., "bleeding" meatless burger). Despite these waves of innovation and recent consumer exuberance, plant-based meats make up less than 1% of the annual meat consumption in the US – hardly a dent on how we eat, signalling that the market is relatively niche (still). Perhaps one of the biggest roadblocks to taking plant-based foods mainstream is its price disparity vs. animal-derived meat. For example, some of the "meatless" beef burgers on Tesco shelves are 4x more costly than factory-farmed beef burgers. 

Our perspective is that the next generation of plant-based products will offer tasty and less processed options that are also as affordable as animal-based products. Closing this price gap is the next frontier for companies looking to take plant-based products mainstream. Continued venture investment coupled with large FMCG partnerships are all steps in the right direction to make plant-based foods more accessible and affordable across the world.