The UK meat substitutes industry will grow by 25% by 2021, according to research from Informa’s Agribusiness Intelligence.
Thanks to changing consumer habits, and the rise of the flexitarian diets and those following a vegan lifestyle, there is a growing trend towards vegetables and meat alternatives. In fact, it’s predicted that the UK milk alternative sector is predicted to rise by 43% by 2021.
Informa said that the change in eating habits reflects increasing concerns amongst UK consumers around health, animal welfare, and the environmental impact.
Total sales of milk alternatives was £209 million ($280 million) in 2016, sales are expected to reach a staggering £299 million ($400 million) by 2021.
While UK demand for meat alternatives is growing rapidly, there is much greater growth predicted in the US (up 43%), Australia (46%), and China (46%).
When it comes to milk alternatives, 43% growth predicted in the US and 47% in Australia. In China, where the market is already much higher, growth is predicted to be 19% by 2021.
Informa’s Agribusiness Intelligence special reports and projects director Alan Bullion said: “As consumers in the UK and around the world begin making tentative steps away from milk and meat due to animal welfare, environmental, or health concerns, we’re expecting to see continuing strong growth in sales of alternative protein products.
“While milk and meat alternatives are still a long way from impacting on the massive global meat and milk markets, they will continue to capture a slice of the growing worldwide protein market.”
Data released last year from Innova Market Insights showed a 60% rise in the number of global food and beverage launches using a vegetarian claim between 2011 and 2015. Launches featuring the term vegan also rose to account for 4.3% of total introductions in 2015 – up from 2.8% in 2014 and just 1.5% in 2012.