How does animal meat compare to vegetable meat?
Plant-based alternatives aren’t just for vegetarians and vegans anymore. In recent years, they are attracting many people who are cutting or reducing their personal consumption of meat.
Whether you consider yourself one of these people or just acknowledge the rise of this trend, this infographic from Very Good Food Company (VGFC) explores three key reasons why the plant market is growing and how it compares to animal meat.
It is part 3 in a series that provides investors with everything they need to know about participating in this exciting space.
Vegetable meat: a flexible choice of the younger generations
In an online consumer survey, finished one third they considered themselves “flexible”, eating mainly plant-based diets, with the occasional consumption of meat. Indeed, among Americans who eat less meat, 36% they are directly replacing these products with plant-based alternatives.
This is mainly driven by the younger generations, who show significant preferences for plant-based lifestyles:
|Generation||Already eating plant-based regularly||Trying to eat more plant based|
No wonder then that the plant-based food market is set to grow nearly 5-fold within the next decade, reaching $ 162 billion by 2030. The top three reasons consumers are switching to Plant-based diets are health awareness, environmental concerns and overall costs. How does animal meat compare to vegetable meat in these key areas?
1. Public health and safety
Meat can be a valuable source of protein and nutrients. So why are consumers increasingly turning to plant-based alternatives?
A Duke University Medical Center study looked at the nutritional profile of animal meat versus common plant-based alternatives:
|Type of protein||Minced meat (113 g)||Soy-based alternative (113g)||Bean burger (108 g)|
|Cholesterol||60 mg||0 mg||0 mg|
|Sodium||70 mg||370 mg||380 mg|
|Protein||23 g||19 g||21 g|
Research shows that plant-based meat contains comparable protein levels to animal meat. The latter also carries a higher cholesterol content, so replacing red meat with plant-based alternatives can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
On the other hand, many plant-based alternatives on the market are currently highly processed, but the increasing use of natural and organic ingredients is reducing these sodium levels.
2. All eyes on the environment
Each stage of the food supply chain sees greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but they are more important for animal meat than ingredients for plant-based alternatives. Of all the greenhouse gases produced by man, 14.5% they come from livestock, of which cattle account for more than half of the total due to the production of methane and the necessary grazing.
Conversely, the environmental impact of plant-based alternatives is more positive:
- 30-90% less GHG emissions
- 47-99% less land
- 72-99% less water
This increased environmental awareness is leading more consumers to choose plant-based alternatives.
3. Shock sticker, but scale can help
One of the biggest obstacles to the ubiquitous adoption of plant-based alternatives remains cost.
Here’s how the price of plant-based meat and animal-based meat products varies at a retail grocery store like Whole Foods:
|Product type||Cost per pound (pound)|
|Plant-based Beyond Burger||$ 12|
|Whole Foods 365 veggie burger||$ 6.40|
|Ground beef||$ 5|
|Vegetable meat (2030P)||$ 2.92|
Plant-based products are priced much higher than conventional meat, but there is good news: As demand increases, more plant-based factories are popping up. With scale, some of the plant-based meat could be competitively priced with animal meat.
The rise of plant-based diets
As more and more consumers reduce their overall meat intake, they are replacing these products with high-protein, plant-based alternatives. Consumers see them as better for their health and for the planet. Soon, there will be even more options on the table at cheaper prices.
The Very Good Food Company produces great healthy and tasty food options using organic ingredients that cater to all tastes and diets.
Click here to learn more about the Very Good Food Company and how its clean and healthy protein alternatives are fueling this growing global movement.