Alternative proteins are made from plants and food technology instead of animal protein. People who eat food made from plants, fungus (mushrooms), algae, insects, and even meat that was grown in a lab are called “herbivores.”
Consumers are becoming more aware of, and interested in, alternative proteins in countries that have a lot of money. A lot of people in developed countries eat meat as their main source of protein for a long time. In the last few years, there has been a lot more demand for traditional protein in developing countries. Some people have changed their eating habits and have become more interested in alternative sources of protein because of health and environmental concerns as well as animal welfare.
There has been an increase in people who are worried about the environment because of recent climatic changes and other environmental issues, like global warming and carbon emissions. This has led people to choose more sustainable food options. These factors have led to a lot of people wanting to eat plant-based food instead of animal-based food. This trend is likely to help the market for alternative proteins for food applications grow over the next few years.
In 2020, the plant-based source segment of the alternative protein market for food applications had a value of more than USD 35 billion. This segment is expected to grow at a rate of 17.5 percent from 2021 to 2027. Consumers are switching to plant-based or vegan diets because they want to live a healthy life, which will lead to more demand for alternatives over the next few years. This is because more people are getting lifestyle and chronic illnesses because they eat unhealthy foods. Other factors, such as more people being allergic to animal protein and more people having lactose intolerance, have led to a rise in vegan populations and a rise in the demand for plant-based protein products.
Environmental and food security benefits are good, but parity is the key to getting people to like it. There should be no difference in taste or cost between alternative proteins and the foods that used to be on the market.
Research says this will happen in three stages, but the exact dates will depend on where the alternative proteins come from and what products they are meant to replace.
- In 2023, plant-based alternatives like burgers, dairy, and egg substitutes made from soy, pea, and other proteins will be as good as the real thing. If not, they will be.
- By 2025, proteins made by microorganisms like fungi, yeasts, and single-celled algae will be as good as those made by humans, and they will be equal.
- Alternatives made from animal cells will be equal by 2032.
The global alternative protein market for food applications is very spread out, with a lot of big companies and small businesses from all over the world. Among them are Archer Daniels Midland Company, Cargill Ingredion, Kerry Group, DSM NV, Scoular Company, and DSM NV. Mergers and acquisitions, new product launches, partnerships, investments in research & development, and collaborations are all ways that businesses are trying to get more market share and take advantage of the opportunities that are out there.