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Meat alternatives or analogues are products that resemble the appearance, texture, flavor, and color of meat when hydrated and cooked but do not contain any meat. Most meat alternative products are based on soy or wheat gluten. Soy is used in the form of flour, protein concentrate, and protein isolate, and is popular because of its neutral flavor, price, availability, and functionality. Given the interest in plant-based food and rising number of flexitarians that are looking to reduce meat consumption, there is ever-growing demand of meat alternatives that can offer texture, flavor, and nutritional profile similar to meat products. Companies are exploring the use of emerging protein sources such as pea protein, chickpea and other legumes, algae, and mycoprotein (fungal protein) for the production of meat substitutes to mimic the mouth feel and cooking behavior of meat or poultry products. Pea-based meat substitute products are expected to witness double-digit growth over the 2019-2023 forecast period because of the rising demand for soy-free, non-GMO ingredients, especially in Western markets. Frozen meat alternatives are the dominant product category, but refrigerated or chilled meat alternative products are expected to gain market share given that millennials are looking for more convenient, ready-to-go products. This also presents a substantial opportunity for ambient/shelf-stable meat alternatives. This shift already has been beneficial for some companies, but others have yet to figure out how the whole strategy plays in. North America dominates the global market. The region has witnessed expansive growth of its flexitarian population, which is dominated by millennials concerned about their health, the environment, and animal welfare; they want more sustainable, clean, and healthy plant-based diets. Innovative meat alternatives are landing on store shelves and in restaurants. Europe and Asia-Pacific remain key contenders in the market, with demand expected to witness stable growth over the forecast period. The Asia-Pacific region has a large vegetarian population; most soy-based or tofu products have catered to vegetarians and diets based on religious beliefs. The region has witnessed strong demand for second-generation meat alternative products that taste more like meat. Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong are major markets that are expected to drive growth in the region.Global and regional players are active in the space, and 17 have been profiled based on their growth, innovation, and product strength. The Frost Radar reveals the market positioning of companies in an industry using their Growth and Innovation scores as highlighted in the Frost Radar methodology. The document presents competitive profiles on each of the companies in the Frost Radar based on their strengths, opportunities, and a small discussion on their positioning. Frost & Sullivan analyzes hundreds of companies in the industry and benchmarks them across 10 criteria on the Frost Radar, where the leading companies in the industry are then positioned. Industry leaders on both the Growth and Innovation indices are recognized as best practice recipients.Author: Smriti Sharma
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