The Total Addressable Market (TAM) for Plant-based Protein was valued at USD 11.9 billion in 2022. It is projected to reach USD 21.69 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 6.9% during the forecast period (2023-2031).
Protein is an essential nutrient and a building block of body tissues. Chicken, beef, mutton, soya, tofu, and milk are some of the most common sources of protein. In recent times, plant-based protein has been gaining more attention compared to animal-based as it is considered healthier by consumers. Soy, wheat, pea, chia seeds, beans, quinoa, nuts, seeds, oats, broccoli, and lentils are some of the common sources of plant-based protein. Food and beverage manufacturers are increasingly incorporating plant-based proteins in their products to meet the increasing demand for more wholesome foods rich in a plethora of nutrients. The key application of plant-based protein is dietary supplements and food products. With growing veganism and rising concerns about animal rights in the meat industry, the plant-based meat industry is expected to grow at a higher rate over the forecast period. There are various health-related reasons linked with animal-based protein, and a large number of the population in developed countries are adopting plant-based protein products.
Recently, there has been a growth in health-conscious people because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the majority of people are looking for healthy alternatives to animal-based meat. Moreover, a lot of people have always wanted to become vegan and stop consuming animal-based protein, with concerns relating to animal cruelty in the meat industry. Since the availability of plant-based protein has increased, several people are adopting it in their regular diet. Plant-based foods are frequently marketed as alternatives to traditional meats and animal-based products. In 2021, plant-based food sales grew three times faster than overall food sales. Veganism is gaining popularity in the following countries: the U.K., Iceland, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Estonia, the USA, and Sweden.
Protein is the building block for muscles; it is an essential nutrient responsible for the growth, repair, and maintenance of the body. Rising health consciousness has seen people educating themselves about the nutritional value of different foods. And people are increasingly striving to consume balanced meals rich in all essential nutrients, which is driving the consumption of plant- and animal-based protein. But an increasing number of consumers are opting for plant-based proteins to reduce their carbon footprint. The rising incidence of food allergies is also positively influencing the growth of the plant-based protein market, as plant-based foods are claimed to incite fewer allergic reactions when compared with animal products.
Plant-based foods and beverages have functional health benefits and important nutrients; however, humans have been allergic to them in several cases, and the anti-nutritional properties found in soy may cause allergies. When the human immune system misidentifies the harmless proteins found in soy as harmful, antibodies are produced to combat them. Such cases of allergies can restrain the growth of the plant-based protein market.
With increased consumer health awareness, there has been a significant shift toward personalized nutrition. Consumers have become more conscious and specific about the food they eat and its effects on the body in recent years. Aside from soy, wheat, and pea, which are the most common sources of plant-based protein, aquatic plants offer a huge chance of obtaining proteins and ingredients that meet the consumers' unique physiological and metabolic needs. The natural formulation of plant-based protein is the result of a series of evolutions in which various chemical elements combine in a specific form with energy supplied by sunlight. The chlorophyll found in plants is the key agent responsible for this unique process. Over 70% of solar energy is directed toward oceans and freshwater bodies like rivers, lakes, and swamps. There is a relatively unexplored resource of aquatic proteins suitable for human consumption in the world's water bodies, which can be increased through advanced aquaculture techniques.
The global plant-based protein market is segmented by source, type, and application.
The soy segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a healthy CAGR during the forecast period. Soy contains all of the essential amino acids, more than any other plant protein. Soy protein, rather than animal protein, can contribute to better heart health. Soy foods contain a lot of vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins, zinc, and iron. Some supplements also contain calcium and vitamin D. Soy also contains a lot of antioxidants.
The pea segment is expected to witness a higher CAGR. Peas are not a major allergen and have a high nutritional profile. Because of this favorable perception of pea as a source of plant-based proteins, it has gained significant market traction in recent years and is projected to grow at a significant rate during the forecast period.
The isolates segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a healthy CAGR during the forecast period. Plant-based protein isolates have a high nutritional content and are used in a variety of nutritional and functional foods. Another factor driving growth in this segment is that plant-based protein isolates are far more digestible and widely regarded as the healthiest type of plant-based protein, with wide uses in infant foods.
The concentrate segment is expected to grow at a significant rate. Soy protein concentrate, potato protein concentrate, pea protein concentrate, and rapeseed protein concentrate are examples of plant protein concentrates. The production of plant-based protein concentrates is of considerable interest in the food industry due to increased protein demand and growing applications of plant-derived proteins in foods, particularly in developing countries.
The nutrition supplements segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a healthy CAGR during the forecast period. The demand for protein-rich nutritional supplements is increasing as consumers are becoming more aware of living a healthy lifestyle and eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet. Furthermore, it is expected that the rising incidence of cardiovascular diseases caused by an inactive and sedentary lifestyle, especially in people between the ages of 30 and 40, as well as changing dietary habits, will raise consumer awareness of the benefits of consuming functional protein-rich foods, assisting the segment in expanding.
The feed segment is expected to grow at a significant rate. Plant-based proteins are increasingly being used in feed products as the industry's demand for environmentally friendly labels and sustainable feed alternatives grows. Plant-based proteins from various sources, such as potato proteins, have been shown to improve animal yields. There has also been significant demand for high-quality premixes such as protein-based feeds, which include isolates, which are driving market growth in this segment and are expected to provide substantial growth prospects over the forecast period.
The global plant-based protein market is bifurcated into four regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
North America Dominates the Global Market
North America region is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of xx% during the forecast period. The larger share is linked with the higher consumption of protein in gyms/ health clubs, rising health concerns due to obesity, the urge to get fitter, and the growing number of veganism in developed countries of North America. Consumers in developed countries of North America prefer sustainable, environment-friendly, and healthy food products, resulting in the growing demand for plant-based protein. The majority of plant-based protein manufacturing companies are also situated in North America, owing to the growing demand in these regions.
Europe is expected to witness dynamic growth in the plant-based protein market during the forecast period. People say they're cutting back on the consumption of meat for environmental, health, and animal welfare reasons. According to a recent survey, 27.2% of omnivores are becoming more open to plant-based protein and are willing to consume it. Plant-based products are now getting prime shelf space in grocery stores. Previously, these were primarily displayed in a separate area for special diets, but they are now more integrated with other products on the dairy and ready meal corridors. Tesco, the U.K.'s largest grocery retailer, stated that it anticipates selling four times as many plant-based meat products in 2025 as it did in 2018.
Asia-Pacific is expected to witness significant growth in the plant-based protein market during the forecast period. The increasing prevalence of veganism in the region and health consciousness post-COVID-19 pandemic will drive the growth of the market in the region. According to post-covid-19 polls, 49% of South Koreans believe that plant-based foods are more environmentally friendly than meat and dairy products. According to a Mintel survey of 1000 respondents on the frequency of food behaviors, 33% of Indians limit their meat consumption all the time.
The LAMEA region is expected to witness moderate growth in the global plant-based protein market during the forecast period. Future Farm, a Brazilian FoodTech company that sells plant-based meat products, decided to enter the UAE market in June 2020 and claims to have a 30% market share in the segment. With an increase in Research & development activities and a sharp rise in plant protein production in recent years, many companies have expressed interest in establishing manufacturing units in these South American regions. South America has a large lactose-intolerant population, which drives demand for alternative dairy substitutes such as soy protein. Furthermore, there is significant untapped potential for GMO-free and clean-label soy protein ingredients.
The global plant-based protein market's major key players are
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