Mycoprotein is a source of protein-based nutrient which is gaining consumer interest as part of a balanced diet of vegan consumers. Mycoprotein is high in fiber, high in protein, low in saturated fat, and contains no cholesterol, which influences the consumption pattern and demand dynamics of the end products in a positive manner. Mycoprotein products are similar to other meat alternatives like tempeh or seitan in terms of taste and texture. Since mycoprotein products contain a high proportion of different minerals and a high vitamin content, they are expected to see increased demand around the world. According to a study from the UK’s University of Exeter, mycoprotein has a higher percentage of essential amino acids than plant-based options, and it’s been shown to be great for athletes. Global mycoprotein market was valued at USD XX million in 2020 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of XX% over the forecast period to reach a USD XX million by 2028.
Source: DataM Intelligence Analysis (2021)
Rising number of vegans across the globe
Mycoprotein is a plant-based ingredient with a high protein content. As a result of this, it is gaining popularity among vegetarians around the world and is commonly used as a meat substitute. Owing to this factor, the global mycoprotein market is seeing a rise in demand due to the growing number of vegans around the world. As of May 2019, one in every five Americans identified as flexitarian. In January 2021, the survey of 2,000 Americans was commissioned by Sprouts Farmers Market and conducted by One Poll. It revealed that 47 percent of respondents overall describe themselves as flexitarians. Just 6% of baby boomers eat flexitarian diets, compared to 13 percent of Generation Z and 10% of Generation X. Moreover, the flexitarian trend has been encouraged by movements like Veganuary and meatless Mondays in the United Kingdom. In the UK, one in three (34%) deemed themselves flexitarian in 2018, up from 28% in 2017.
In addition to this, there is a rising trend of consumption of mycoprotein products due to their health benefits. They have a high nutritional content which can help lower cholesterol. At the same time, mycoprotein products are thought to aid weight loss by offering a sensation of fullness. The global mycoprotein products market is projected to expand rapidly as a result of all of these factors.
While consumer awareness of meat substitute products such as mycoprotein is growing, the perception of meat substitute products' taste is a significant factor impeding the adoption of mycoprotein products. According to a research study published in the Science Direct Journal, beneficial foods are likely to be bitter or have some off-taste associated with them. These bitterness and off-taste characteristics are more predominant in plant-based foods, which might restrain people from adopting meat substitute products.
Supermarkets are the leading distribution channel
In 2020, supermarkets segment dominated the market, accounting for XX% of global sales. Consumers can access a variety of products in one place through these channels, allowing them to choose the quality and quantity that best suits their needs. These channels will offer products at lower prices because they have lower operating and selling costs. Many supermarkets provide quality assurance for their products, which is expected to contribute significantly to the segment's growth. Consumer perceptions of meat products have changed, forcing supermarkets to stock alternative products in order to retain financial revenue and a competitive edge over others. Customers looking for vegan food online increased by 82 percent year over year, and sales of plant-based products increased by 65 percent, according to UK-based Sainsbury's, as customers increasingly opt for meat-free meals. Consumers' recent preference for meat substitute products has compelled retailers and supermarket chains to update their product portfolios in order to keep up with customers' increasingly health-conscious food choices. For instance, In September 2020, Tesco has set a revenue target for plant-based meat substitutes as part of its efforts to provide consumers with more sustainable choices. The UK’s largest supermarket committed to boosting sales of meat alternatives by 300% within five years, by 2025. In June 2018, Waitrose Limited launched dedicated vegan sections in more than 130 stores after increasing its vegan and vegetarian product range by 60%.
Europe is expected to contribute for more than half global revenue in this market
The global market for mycoprotein products is currently dominated by Europe, followed by North America, due to the increased presence of important producers and the increased manufacturing footprint of mycoprotein products in Europe and North America. The increasing demand for meat substitutes products in Germany is a major factor boosting the Germany mycoprotein market. Furthermore, according to a US Department of Agriculture's International Agricultural Service study, veganism is becoming more common in Germany, which has the world's highest number of vegan product launches. According to the 2016 report "Prevalence of Persons Following a Vegetarian Diet in Germany," 6.1 percent of women and 2.5 percent of men were vegetarians or vegans. Amongst 18- to 29-year-olds, 9.2% of women and 5.0% of men were vegetarian/vegan. Furthermore, being a vegetarian/vegan had an effect on vegetarians/vegans’ diet that went beyond animal products. The dietary changes represent Germany's vegetarian/vegan culture's focus on health and wellness. Similarly, the number of vegans in the UK quadrupled between 2014 and 2018 accounting for 600,000 vegans in the UK in 2018 which increased from 276,000 in 2016. In 2019, the Veganuary initiative, which encourages people to eat vegan for the month of January, nearly doubled in popularity, with 250,000 people signing up. In 2018, 168,500 people took part, compared to 59,500 in 2017, 23,000 in 2016, 12,800 in 2015, and 3,300 in 2014. Moreover, according to Nielsen Scantrack data, sales of meat alternatives rose significantly in January 2018 with an annual rate of 14.1% compared to January 2017.
On the other hand, due to the increasing use of mycoprotein products in food and beverage applications such as meat alternatives and meat extenders, Asia Pacific is expected to have the highest demand for mycoprotein products in the coming years. Hence, Asia Pacific mycoprotein market is expected to grow with a CAGR of XX% during the forecast period.
Source: DataM Intelligence Analysis (2021)
Due to a large consumer base, a number of small and medium-sized competitors are concentrating on the production of mycoprotein products for business to business (B2B) and business to consumers (B2C), with an emphasis on joint licensing ventures with food companies and multinationals. Some of the key market participants in the global market for mycoprotein products are 3fbio Ltd, Quorn Foods (Marlow Foods Limited) and MycoTechnology, Inc., among the other players in the market for mycoprotein products. Various companies look to increase production capabilities and product verification as part of business strategies to expand consumer base, while also strengthening regional market position. For instance, in February 2020, Mycorena has branded its mycoprotein product ‘Promyc’. The fungi-based ingredient boats a neutral taste and fibrous texture, and according to the company which is a Swedish start-up, the product works as a ‘meat-like’ replacement in products such as burgers, balls and nuggets. Moreover, the company has also raised Euro 429,000 and opened a new facility, which is ‘one of the first’ non-Quorn mycoprotein facilitites in Europe.
COVID-19 Impact: Increasing demand for mycoprotein products owing to growing health consciousness
With the impact of COVID-19, the market is projected to grow with a CAGR of more than XX%. Concerns of an increase in animal-borne diseases such as COVID-19, the health issues, and demand for clean label and natural products are some of the major factors expected to propel the plant-based meat industry forward over the forecast era. Because of the COVID outbreak, companies are pouring a lot of money into the retail sector. Many businesses have already begun to alter their market strategies in response to the rapid increase in demand. Beyond Meat Inc., Impossible Foods Inc., and Tofurky Co. are are ramping up their production and providing discounts on their plant-based meat products in order to broaden their customer base, open new outlets, and complete their partnerships with stakeholders. For instance, Beyond Meat increased its market by 49% due to rising widespread consumer interest in plant-based foods; the company has launched across all 3,300 Starbucks locations in China. During the pandemic, the company launched an effort called "Feed a Million+" to offer more than a million plant-based meat burgers with mycoprotein as one of the sources to those in need. Beyond Meat is likely to profit in the long run from the massive change in consumer preference for alternative meats following the COVID-19 pandemic.
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