27 FEBRUARY 2023

Why is the plant-based segment taking a hit?

The past year has seen a lot of change, not least in the food industry. Many industries are taking a downward turn, forecasts are changing, and companies are struggling. Overall, the market is characterised by insecurity. 

The past few years have been trying in many ways. In the wake of the pandemic, war, inflation and energy crises, it is no wonder the market has taken a hit. The food industry has faced some challenging times. Inflation has increased significantly, and economic forecasts warn of an impending global recession. 

But why is specifically the plant-based market in the firing line?

Recently there have been frequent reports on the decline of the plant-based category, primarily focused on the U.S. market. Indeed the recession is partly to blame, but other factors might play a part in why the plant-based hype is dwindling. 

Taste and texture are essential factors for the consumer in terms of repurchasing. Therefore, products that aren't fulfilling customer expectations will struggle in the competitive market. 

Are these reports of a downturn representative of the global market or solely based on a few companies' struggles? 

We know the demand is still there, but other factors impact buyer tendencies. In uncertain times, pricing and simplicity may defeat sustainability and quality aspects. 

Many companies in the plant-based category are struggling in the current economic climate, especially those that may not deliver products that can compete in terms of expected quality, particularly to win over the mainstream market. In addition, those who aren't devoted to a strictly vegetarian diet may choose cheaper meat alternatives rather than plant-based options that don't meet expectations. 

These tendencies result in many plant-based products failing, at least in the U.S. market; the European market has yet to see these effects to the same extent. Nonetheless, the plant-based category may need a facelift. 

One way to improve and strengthen the category is to incorporate more qualitative ingredients to achieve customer-desired results. Mycoprotein is an excellent example of a highly qualitative ingredient with fibrous qualities that brings a pleasant texture to the products while not compromising sustainability, nutrition or pricing. Mycoprotein is the next generation of protein, and we are happy to provide a great option to enhance plant-based products. 

There are many vegetarian and plant-based options, but many fail to thrive in the market. So the need for our products is bigger than ever.

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