The Planet Needs Us to Make More Eco-friendly Choices. Find Out More about the Plant Based Industry.
Major buzz words at the moment are plant-based. You see these words everywhere and you can buy almost anything plant-based from ice-cream, to meat, to pet food and band-aids. Let’s ditch the plastic and find out 15 Things You Didn’t Know About the Plant Based Industry.
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Plant-Based Products Are No Longer a Fad
Aluxers, you know how often fads come and go… like the charcoal fad which saw us biting into black as night bread, brushing our teeth with black charcoal infused toothpaste and licking our way through an ice-cream cone that looked like it belonged in the Maleficent movies.
The plant-based industry is not like that. Perhaps it was assumed a fad for a mere 5- minutes, but it’s now multibillion dollar market and growing.
Global Market Insights, Inc predict that by 2025 the industry will be valued at more than $13 trillion! Euromonitor predicts that by 2023, meat substitutes will have grown by 22% and Innova Market Insights in the Netherlands claim there is no sign of plant-based nutrition slowing down.
The Plant-Based Meat Industry Is on the Rise
Aluxers, we won’t sugar-coat it – going plant-based in the meat industry is going to have its fair share of challenges.
Currently, the meat substitutes sector globally is worth around $20.7 billion and within 3-years is predicted to increase to $23.2 billion, as put forward by Euromonitor to CNBC.
One of the biggest challenges is changing people’s perspectives on eating a meat substitute. In a place like China, people opting for meat-free options were usually followers of Buddhism and many would struggle to shake the “historical image baggage,” associated with it.
There are major objections from the meat industry, but we’ll delve deeper into that later.
Plant-Based Fish Given the Go-Ahead
Plant-based meat alternatives have been on the rise for a long time, but it’s only recently that plant-based fish products have started catching on and gaining momentum.
According to Forbes, “seafood is much harder to replicate than beef, poultry or pork, and startups have been putting hefty research and development dollars towards creating products that will sell.”
What makes plant-based seafood products exciting is the choice this will give us. When we purchase our regular seafood for eating, we tend to buy tuna, shrimp and salmon. Many species of delicious fish are on the endangered list and you’re not allowed to catch them.
With plant-based seafood, you can recreate any fish or seafood you can imagine, and it will put a lot less strain on our already overexploited fisheries.
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Plant-Based Packaging Is Gaining Momentum
Aluxers, 91% of packaging waste is sent to landfills.
78 million tons of packaging waste is produced every year.
Half the global waste is packaging.
Half of packaging waste is recyclable.
A lot of the new plant-based packaging is compostable or even edible.
One US company, MonoSol, is making packaging that dissolves in water. The material is similar to the material that is used in pods but can also hold food without affecting the taste.
Loliware has produced seaweed-based straws that are hyper-compostable and marine-degradable.
Sustainable packaging is now available globally, and places like Burger King have already converted to eco-friendly packaging.
Let’s see what difference the plant-based packaging will make to our environment.
How the Environment Will Benefit from Plant-Based Packaging
Aluxers, the benefits of switching to plant-based packaging are enormous.
For a start, you will drastically reduce your carbon footprint.
Producing plant-based packaging uses less carbon to produce.
Plant-based packaging means less waste lands up in landfills.
There are no toxins released when the packaging breaks down.
It’s free of allergens and toxins.
It’s good for your conscious.
You save on shipping costs when your final packaged items cost a lot less to transport with the lighter plant-based packaging.
People prefer to do business with someone who has the environment’s best interest at heart.
Plant-Based Products in the Medical and Sanitary Field
If you spend a lot of time in the ocean, you’ve probably experienced old band-aids being stuck to you on numerous occasions and it’s disgusting!
Free the Ocean says, “Most All Of The Individual Adhesive Bandages (Like Band-Aids) Are Made From Plastic.” And this lands up in the ocean.
An easy solution is bamboo bandages. Made from organic bamboo fibre, these bandages are fully compostable.
Another great development is eco-friendly sanitary napkins made from plant-based fibre. Regular sanitary pads do not decompose.
According to Menstrual Health Alliance India, “one sanitary pad could take 500 to 800 years to decompose… Most of these pads have over 90 per cent plastics and each pad is an equivalent to four plastic bags.”
This, Aluxers, is a game-changer!
What Food Can You Already Buy That Is Purely Plant-Based?
If you’re keen to start stocking up on some fantastic plant-based alternatives, we’ve got some suggestions for you.
As tasted and sampled by Betty Gold for Real Simple, these come highly recommended.
Daring has a plant-based chicken that apparently “looks, cooks and tastes just like the real thing.” She loves the chickpea pizza bases from Banza Pizza and pasta made from heart of palm. If that’s a new vegetable for you, it’s the inner core and growing bud of a certain kind of palm tree.
You can add Beyond Meat Burger to your online order, as well as Abbot’s Butcher “Chorizo” and Tyson’s Raised & Rooted “Plant-Based Nuggets.”
The Food Institute says “83% more restaurants have added plant-based dishes over the last year.”
Let’s find out how restaurants get on-board with the new options.
Plant-Based Food in Restaurants
An in-depth report by Daniel Vennard for the World Resources Institute looked at how restaurants will shift to this plant-based change. He admitted that it wouldn’t be an easy sell for restaurants, especially while meat is still such an integral part of their clientele’s diet.
He suggested that restaurants begin by changing the way they sell their plant-based options.
Instead of using words like Meat-free, Vegan, Vegetarian or Healthy Restrictive language like low-fat, rather opt for words like Provenance, Flavour, Look and Feel.
Let’s look at restaurants that have already had great success with plant-based options.
Restaurants That Are Offering Plant-Based Options
We mentioned Burger King a little earlier, but let’s add Johnny Rockets to the list. They’ve just unveiled their plant-based Impossible Burger & Craig’s Vegan shakes in 80 locations in the US!
Starbucks has their Impossible Breakfast Sandwich, Del Taco has several options available, and Dunkin’ has a Beyond Sausage Breakfast Sandwich and Southwest Veggie Power Breakfast Sandwich.
Jaden Smith will be opening a vegan restaurant soon. He won’t just be selling amazing meals, but he’ll also be supplying meals to the homeless at no cost. Paying customers will be able to also pay it forward and pay for a meal for someone who can’t afford one.
Consumer and Industry Demand for Plant-Based Products
According to a report done by CRB Group, HealthFocus data reports that 17% of US consumers between the ages of 15 and 70 eat a plant-based diet most of the time. 60% confirmed they were trying to cut back on their meat consumption.
SPINS data reveals that the sale of plant-based food in grocery stores has increased by 31% over the past 2-years.
When it comes to industry, most Fast-Food outlets are adding plant-based burgers to their menu. We’ve mentioned Burger King, Johnny Rockets, and you can include White Castle and KFC.
Want to learn some facts about your favorite fast food restaurant? Check out 15 Things You Didn’t Know About KFC.
Investment into the Plant-Based Industry
Brian Kateman, a Forbes contributor, said “becoming a thriving plant-based food company, isn’t easy – there’s some stiff competition, and developing tasty and healthy recipes can cost a lot of money.”
So, who is paying for all this?
The Food Institute confirms that during the first 7-months of 2020, roughly $1.4 billion was raised for faux meat startups. They add that, “investors range from companies such as Cargill and General Mills to pension funds, traditional venture capital firms, and celebrities including Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey.”
It’s an exciting time for plant-based products. Let’s see how the cost would compare to buying the “real-deal.”
The Cost to Produce Plant-Based Products
The Good Food Institute says that “plant-based meat will ultimately be less expensive than conventional meat.”
There are many reasons why plant-based products are less affordable at this stage, but with time and the streamlining of the production process, the costs will reduce significantly.
If you’re looking to purchase cheap plant-based products, Target has just launched an entire range of plant-based products for under $8 each.
The Meat Industry in Australia Is Shrinking
Meat consumption in Australia is at its lowest it’s been in 25 years. New data released by IBISWorld, says the current meat consumption per capita is now at 99.5 kilograms annually, a figure that hasn’t been seen since 1996 / 1997.
IBISWorld senior industry analyst Suzy Oo says, “The domestic price of meat has risen at an annualised 3.1 per cent over the past five years, driving more consumers to seek vegetarian alternatives.”
It’s not only the increased meat prices that are making Aussies turn to plant-based options, but there’s also a growing concern over environmental issues.
How Will the Plant-Based Industry Affect the Meat and Dairy Industry
If you see the number of lawsuits filed against plant-based alternatives, it’s clear that the meat and dairy industry are concerned that it will have a huge negative effect on their profit margins.
The Spanish meat industry tried to sue Heura, a plant-based meat maker over a billboard advert they ran which read, “one beef burger pollutes more than your car.” They were unsuccessful.
Plant Based News says that doctors are currently filing a lawsuit against USDA over their dietary guidelines promoting cow’s milk. They want 3 sections of the USDA retracted including:
“Delete dairy promotions, since dairy products increase cancer risk, while nondairy calcium sources help prevent cancer.”
“Avoid equating “protein” with meat, as there are abundant sources of protein, such as beans, peas, and lentils, without meat’s fat and cholesterol.”
“Eliminate deceptive language hiding the ill effects of consuming meat and dairy products.”
The story is unfolding.
Want to Become a Flexitarian, Here’s What You Need to Know
Flexitarians are shaking up the food industry as we know it. The word is gaining momentum and even more so since the Epicurious website has decided to drop every beef recipe.
As reported by The New York Times, “Epicurious Drops Beef Recipes to Fight Climate Change.” Epicurious told their followers that they’re not “anti-cow” but rather “pro-planet.”
The flexitarian diet is mainly vegetarian with followers opting to drastically reduce their meat consumption. When you get to “Advanced Flexitarian” status, you’re encouraged to go meat-free for at least 4 days each week with the remaining 3 on very small portions of meat.
Michael Pollan, the author of In Defense of Food, says “Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
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What are your thoughts on the plant-based industry? We’d love to hear from you.