Fake Meat Industry Collapses After Years of Hype

Fake Meat Industry Collapses After Years of Hype

(UnitedVoice.com) – The fake meat industry hit the ground running during the last few years, first hitting the nation’s grocery stores and then winding through some of its restaurants and fast food companies with new products like Burger King’s Impossible Whopper. Despite the years of hype, it appears the industry is beginning to collapse.

On January 30, Bloomberg published an in-depth analysis of the current market trends leading to Impossible Foods’ recent decision to cut roughly 20% of its workers. The company is one of the leading producers of plant-based meat alternatives alongside its predecessor, Beyond Meat, which also cut back on its labor force last summer.

According to Bloomberg, grocery store sales of refrigerated plant-based meat alternatives dropped by 15% for the 52 weeks ending with the new year. Likewise, orders of alternative meats decreased by about 9% during the 12 months ending in November.

Bloomberg cited several market research companies that recently identified similar trends. They included industry giants like data analytics company IRI, insights company HundredX, and the NPD Group.

In September 2022, London-based Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, an international professional services network, published an enlightening study discussing the plant-based meat industry’s “reality check.”

Using data from a recent “Future of Fresh” survey, Deloitte discussed three main “consumer-driven reasons” for the fake meat market’s “current stagnation.”

First, the rapid rise of meat alternatives may have led to the industry reaching a “saturation point” with consumers. New product lines tend to spark enthusiastic interest. Still, after an indeterminate period, the public becomes bored with new products, and the market declines, eventually reaching a point of stasis — provided the items don’t fall into obscurity, leading to widespread bankruptcies and plant closures.

Second, in an increasingly volatile economy, consumers are returning to traditional meat products due to their relative affordability. Meat substitutes produced by companies like Impossible and Beyond Meat come with a substantially higher price tag than natural meats.

Third, initial market interest circulated around the misconception that plant-based foods are healthier than animal-based alternatives. However, that proved untrue with fake meats, and as the word spread, interest declined.

Deloitte also theorized the companies may have turned away some consumers due to “cultural resistance” to products many consider “woke.”

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