- Packaged Facts said meat and poultry will remain “mainstays and protein powerhouses” despite challenges from plant protein alternatives, according to The Shelby Report.
- In its report, “Meat & Poultry: U.S. Retail Market Trends & Opportunities,” Packaged Facts projects sales of meat, poultry and meat substitutes will come in a little shy of $100 billion in 2021.
- Meat substitutes are forecast to have total retail sales of less than $2 billion by 2021.
Packaged Facts’ new report echoed what many in the industry believe: in spite of health concerns and new advancements in meat substitutes, meat and poultry will continue to see increasing sales. This is a continuation of an ongoing trend, Last year, according to the Rabobank Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory group, meat consumption on the whole posted its largest increase in 40 years.
Consumers claim they want to eat healthier and are more environmentally conscious, but for many, their feelings are not so strong that they are willing to give up meat. However, the concern about health and sustainability could lead to growth in grass-fed, organic meat and better sales for companies that market their safer practices for the animals.
A study by Midan Marketing revealed that millennials represent the largest generation of meat buyers, shelling out $75.4 million over the last year.
Producers are hungry to grow that market even more. The North American Meat Institute recently launched a free mobile app called MyMeatUp designed to help consumers make better-informed poultry and meat purchases. Many believe that an app like this will spur millennials to buy more meat products through better information.
While meat is surging, numerous plant protein alternatives continue to hit the market and many companies are starting to find some success. While it represents only 2% of the entire meat and poultry segment, it’s still seeing $2 billion in sales annually.
Still, most people can't associate the word "plant" with the meat product space. According to a study from Mintel, consumers still aren't sure about meatless protein alternatives. Almost half think they have too much sodium, while four out of five rely on instructions on product packaging to cook them. Two-thirds told Mintel they would eat more meat alternatives if they knew how to prepare them.