Some of you might be old enough to remember a time when vegetarian and vegan lifestyles were kept on the cultural fringe, away from mainstream society. Times certainly have changed, and if you’re like me, you’ll want to capitalize on the plant-based foods trend in its early phases.
I’m not a vegetarian myself, but I know a hot market when I see one. The onset of Covid-19 forced people to re-examine their health, and that includes the foods we eat on a daily basis. Millennials and Generation Z are among the most mindful consumers, and they’re voting with their dollars in favor of plant-based products.
The statistics prove that this will be a hyper-growth market. Believe it or not, the plant-based protein market is estimated to be valued at $10.3 billion in 2020, and is projected to reach $15.6 billion by 2026, recording a CAGR of 7.2%.
It’s a broad category that encompasses everything from burgers to tacos and even pet food – that’s right, there’s plant-based pet food and it’s a surprisingly lucrative market. And as more plant-based products arrive on the market, the culture is redefining what “meat” actually is.
With all of these trends, corporations are forced to either adapt or get left behind. McDonald’s and Burger King have both introduced plant-based meat replacement products to their menus. Grocery stores now have to allocate shelf space for meat alternatives.
This is, in all likelihood, an irreversible trend as many consumers aren’t planning to return to meat-eating dietary regimens. Plus, long gone are the days when fake meat tasted fake. Today, there are hot dogs, burgers and chicken patties that have an uncanny resemblance to the “real thing” in both flavor and texture.
These cultural changes have given rise to a burgeoning industry: plant-based technology. Start-ups that produce meat substitutes are gaining traction and raising cash in global markets. Small plant-based tech companies are getting bought up by mega-corporations – and we all know what this can do to stock prices.
If you happen to own shares of a small company in the plant-based food industry, just a hint of news of a possible acquisition can send the share price soaring. But it’s not just a matter of luck: you have to time your entry in the stock correctly, before the big news is revealed to the public.
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The researchers at Crush the Street are constantly scanning press releases and keeping in contact with industry insiders, including CEO’s of companies that live and breathe the plant-based market. They see the day-to-day operations and understand the ins and outs of food technology, test kitchens, strategic partnerships, and much more.
And, they’re constantly monitoring consumer wants and needs. Nowadays, people want transparency – they want to know where their food comes from. It’s encouraging to see young consumers getting interested in the sustainability and health aspects of the foods that they eat.
For good vegan companies, the opportunity is there and money is not a constraint as there’s plenty of capital available in the market looking for the next billion-dollar idea. Just as soon as you think you’ve seen everything, someone’s coming up with a brilliant new angle on meat, egg, and dairy alternatives.
Besides, there’s always room for entrepreneurs who can improve some part of the process, whether it’s product development, manufacturing, branding and marketing, financing, sales – it’s a young industry and you never know what the future will hold.
It’s exciting to consider what the plant-based market will look like five years from now, or even one year from now. One thing I’m confident of is that it will be bigger, better and tastier than before.
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