The ‘increasing need’ for plant-based food – DLL

Health and wellness is a trend that has been driving change in food and beverages worldwide for several years now and plant-based foods are set to play an increased role in this, according to DLL, a global asset finance company based in the Netherlands

Increasingly, people have been focused on maintaining good health, including the consumption of healthier, more nutritious foods and changes in their diets.

Additionally, with a growing world population putting an enormous pressure on future food demand, DLL said that today’s protein production will be unable to meet future demand.

Both the consumer and the industry are looking into plant-based food products.

Plant-based food products are finished product consisting of ingredients derived from plants that include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and/or legumes.

Plant-based food bringing ‘new opportunities’

A report commissioned by Meticulous Market Research stated the plant-based food market is expected to grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 11.9% from 2020 to 2027 to reach $74.2 billion by 2027.

Although the trend already started before the pandemic, the Covid-19 crisis accelerated this transition with an intensified shift in consumer purchasing toward natural and organic products that enhance health and immunity.

As the popularity of plant-based meat continues to rise, it is expected that the dominance of soy protein will be challenged by developments in other plant-based protein sources.

A report from Fitch Solutions stated that the use of pea protein will most likely grow significantly, benefiting Canadian yellow pea producers and ingredients manufacturers.

European pea production will also grow as high-protein crops are promoted, although it will not match Canada, which will remain a top exporter.

JBS acquires Vivera

Food suppliers are anticipating on these new market demands. In May this year for example, JBS, the world’s biggest meat processor, agreed to acquire Netherlands plant-based protein brand Vivera in a deal worth €341 million ($409 million).

Vivera is Europe’s third-largest plant-based protein producer. JBS said the acquisition “strengthens and boosts” its position in the burgeoning alt-protein market by adding a brand to its existing animal-free portfolio that is well-established in consumer preference.

The European Union introduced its Farm to Fork Strategy last year aiming to make food systems fair, healthy, and environmentally friendly.

The Flemish government introduced ‘the Green Deal Protein shift’ focused on decreasing environmental pressure and in the meanwhile benefitting human health.

According to DLL, innovation and research are crucial for the food industry to cope with shifting market demands and industry legislations. Since innovations take place in a rapid pace, the plant protein market is quickly becoming very competitive.