The surge in plant-based meat products is no longer just a bit of vegan niche marketing and business acumen. Regular meat eaters, which still make up the majority of consumer shoppers at the supermarkets of the United States, are beginning to take an interest in at least trying out black bean burgers and tofu turkey. The reason? Not the cost; plant-based meat is at least as expensive as hamburger, chops, and chicken breasts. The real reason for the uptick in interest in plant-based meat is concern for the environment; consumers are becoming better educated and more concerned about the effects of poultry, pork, and beef production. Consumers are willing to pay more for their meat if it means being nicer to Mother Nature.
Agribusiness is taking a keen interest in what consumers want when it comes to meatless meat, and so it should come as no surprise that the big boys are going whole hog (so to speak) into the plant-based meat market. Hormel, Tyson, Smithfield, and Perdue, are all rapidly expanding into the meatless meat market, and with their streamlined facilities already in place it shouldn’t be long before the price of plant-based meat drops well below the price of the real deal.
So be prepared for an Easter ham made out of soybeans this coming year.