It’s hard to imagine a Bunning’s sausage sizzle with meat-less sausages but according to a report by Food Frontier, commissioned by Deloitte Access Economics, plant-based meats are becoming an Australian consumer preference.
According to the report, titled 2020 State of the Industry, plant-based meats are predicted to account for 10 per cent of the meat market by 2029, compared against 1 per cent in 2019.
The report also reported that one third of Australians were currently limiting their meat intake with health and wellbeing listed as reasons for change.
Part of this change comes in line with increasing consumer concerns for sustainability. With predictions for the world population to rise to 10 billion people by 2050, there is increasing concerns for how, if it is even possible, to produce enough meat to feed the population.
This preference for meat alternatives was seen in full force over the course of 2020 which drove sales and investments leading to the current expansion of meat alternatives we see now.
“Australia can build a multi-billion-dollar plant-based meat industry, enabling our food businesses and farmers to capitalise on fast-growing global demand for alternative proteins,” said Thomas King, CEO of Food Frontier.
The financial year of 2020 saw the Australian plant-based meat sector grow by 46 percent with the report citing that businesses across the food chain stood to benefit $3 billion across Australia as a nation with 6000 full-time jobs predicted as an outcome.
“Australia has the agricultural capacity, commercial appetite and research know-how to become an international leader in new protein industries including plant-based meat,” said King. “To not make the early investments necessary to leverage these unique strengths would be a missed opportunity.”
The report acknowledged the price increase of plant-based meats as key barrier for consumers also citing that half of the meat alternatives on shelves were imported products. This raises the question of how Australia will meet future demand for non-meat products: through increasing valued local produce or through increasing international imports?