FoodTech

About GFI Report (Plant Based Food)

May 13, 2024

About GFI Report (Plant Based Food)

The same content is also available on Spotify (Japanese only).

Again, I would like to focus on the points in the report that caught my attention.

In plant-based food, 2023 was a year of both headwinds and tailwinds.

As for plant-based meats, there has been a decline in sales in the U.S., mainly due to continued inflation, which has caused consumers to stop buying plant-based meats because of the balance between taste, flavor, and price.

Overall, though, sales of plant-based meats, seafood, milk, yogurt, ice cream, and cheese will be $29 billion in 2023, a 34% increase compared to $21.6 billion in 2019.

However, the scale is still small compared to sales of non-plant-based products, and there is room for further product innovation, cost reduction, and more consumer demand.

In terms of market activity, multinational giants Tyson, Nestle, and Kraft Heinz continue to focus on plant-based foods, and major chain stores such as Burger King, Subway, Taco Bell, and Starbucks are providing access to plant-based foods. Plant-based foods are also increasingly being offered in places such as in-flight meals, hospitals, and schools.

As a new form of plant-based food, steaks, sushi, and boiled eggs are now also available plant-based.

Among the products introduced in 2023, Tyson Foods sold plant-based nuggets, Nestlé sold a meat in Chile that included plant-based mince made from soybeans, and the first plant-based Haagen-Dazs products were sold in Canada.

Kraft Heinz said it has rolled out its plant-based cheese in U.S. retail stores.

There are many other plant-based foods sold by various companies, which are described on pages 20 to 23. If you want to know the market trend of plant-based foods in various countries around the world, it would be a good idea to take a look at this page.

Looking at plant-based foods from the consumer’s perspective, 36% of consumers in the U.S. ate plant-based meat in 2023, and 25% ate plant-based meat once a month or more often. The data also shows that 95% of households that eat plant-based meat also eat regular meat products.

One of the major reasons given by consumers for reducing their consumption of regular meat is health issues. Therefore, plant-based meat is attractive to consumers with such health issues because it is a source of protein, low in cholesterol, and has a low risk of heart disease. Many consumers also see plant-based meats as a solution to environmental problems.

On the other hand, consumers who no longer buy plant-based meat claim that they would consider buying it again if the product were closer to the taste and texture of real meat, so it appears that the challenge with plant-based meat is still the taste and texture that is closer to real meat.

Note that the plant-based food repurchase rate by category was highest for milk at 79%, followed by creamer at 65% and meat at 62%.

Looking at plant-based food trends in 2023 from a technological perspective, some companies are combining technologies, such as plant-based and fermentation technology, or plant-based and cell culture. For example, Daiya, a plant-based cheese maker, has invested in fermentation technology to create a new generation of products, and Beyond Meat is trying to make whole-muscle steak using sole and mycelium.

Finally, I would like to briefly introduce the regulations of each country in plant-based food.

First, in their 2023 guidelines, Australia and New Zealand recommend that plant-based food labeling should not confuse consumers; for example, producers should use phrases such as “plant-derived” or “meatless” to describe their products. For dairy products, they also recommend that they be labeled as “plant-derived” or “dairy-free”.

The European Union prohibits companies from using the words “milk,” “cheese,” or “butter” for dairy products of plant origin as long as they do not contain dairy products of animal origin. Manufacturers of plant-based dairy products will be allowed to use labels such as “alternative to milk, butter, yogurt, etc.”

The United Kingdom, which leaves the European Union in 2020, will maintain regulations that exclude the possible use of dairy terms such as “whey” and “milk” for plant-based products, and will also tighten the interpretation of these regulations, prohibiting brands from using intentional misspellings or playing with words such as Sheese.

In the U.S., FDA’s non-binding guidance recommends that plant-based milk companies clearly state the origin of their milk, e.g., “soy milk” or “cashew milk. Although the FDA’s guidance is non-binding, companies will in fact follow the guidance due to the risk of future class actions, and the final regulations for labeling plant-based dairy products have not yet been finalized.

This report is also very much in the works, and we hope that interested parties will take the time to read through this report, which can be found at the link.

State of the Industry Report: Plant-based