In the future, five trends will be essential to win market share in an expanding plant-based market.
The plant-based food industry is leaping forwards and gaining strength at a rapid pace. According to the Good Food Institute, plant-based food sales in the U.S. grew 43 percent in the last two years alone. Bloomberg Intelligence has projected that the plant-based food industry, worth $29.4 billion in 2020, will expand by 451% by 2030, and Credit Suisse foresees 100-fold growth within the next 30 years.
There is little doubt that the industry is poised for explosive growth. Complex ingredient technology and creative product formulations are paving the way for the development of a wide range of products appealing to consumers. And the growing interest in all plant-based foods presents plenty of opportunity for companies to get a foothold in the expanding plant-based market.
In the following, Claus Felby describes the main trends that will shape plant-based food during the coming years.
- Nutritional focus
While many companies have come a long way towards creating the right texture and taste in plant-based products, the next deciding factor for the popularity of plant-based products will be the attention to nutrition, according to Claus Felby.
- Knowledge sharing across sectors
Knowledge sharing across public and private sectors is extremely important in order to accelerate the development towards plant-based food. But in order to get there, we need to expand our innovative capacity by working together. Because we need to figure this out quickly, concludes Claus Felby.
- Use genetic resources
Until now, the plant-based industry has harvested the low hanging fruits of plant-based food. But according to Claus Felby, companies need to raise their ambitions in order to find better solutions. The next step in this development is to focus on the unused genetic resources that are out there. Our gene banks contain thousands of unknown plant gene material in their vaults just waiting for researchers to figure out their benefits.
- Remember the old ways
Amidst the thirst for innovation, Claus Felby also believes that the the old ways of bringing taste and texture to plant-based food still work in the modern era. – We need to reconnect with what we did before and what we have done for thousands of years.
- Reach the traditional consumer segment
According to Claus Felby, only a minority of the population is willing to change their eating habits and pay more for plant-based products compared to traditional ones. This study suggests that 49 % of the population has a pattern of “attachment” to meat consumption and this study shows that price is a deciding factor for nearly half the population. Breaking through the price barrier is thus an important element in gaining market share.
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About Claus Felby
Claus Felby is Senior Vice President, Biotech at the Novo Nordisk Foundation. He is also an internationally acknowledged professor specializing in biomass and bioenergy at Copenhagen University. He has worked with bioenergy and sustainability for more than 20 years, both academically and within industry. Throughout his career, Claus Felby has achieved impressive results, publishing 113 scientific articles and obtaining 24 patents or patent applications.