A staggering 60 percent of the meat consumed in 2040 will not come from dead animals, according to a new report.
The report, by global consultancy AT Kearney, predicts that 35 percent of meat will be lab-cultured and 25 percent will be vegan alternatives.
Animal welfare and the planet
These predictions were based on interviews with experts, who cited environmental impact and animal welfare concerns as reasons behind the growing interest in alternative protein.
“The large-scale livestock industry is viewed by many as an unnecessary evil,” the report says. “With the advantages of novel vegan meat replacements and cultured meat over conventionally produced meat, it is only a matter of time before they capture a substantial market share.”
AT Kearney predicts that cultured meat will become more popular than meat alternatives in the long run, because of its ability to mimic conventional meat more closely – though it does concede there are likely to be regulatory issues in the short term.
Lab cultured meat – best known as clean meat – is not vegan, as it currently uses cells from animals. Some scientists also use a bovine growth serum – though there are companies working on making the tech animal-free. Some vegans support clean meat because of its potential to dramatically reduce the number of animals slaughtered.
Talking about the rise of vegan meat alternatives, the report says: “No animal ingredients are required as these products are completely made of plant-based inputs Nevertheless, their sensory profile gets a lot closer to meat than classic vegan meat replacements.
“The main reason for the improved sensory profile is a sophisticated production process with the use of hemoglobin and binders, extracted via fermentation from plants, which imitates the sensory profile of meat and even blood to complete the meat-like experience.
“Start-ups in this field, such as Impossible Foods, Just, and Beyond Meat, evolved around 2010 and have received substantial financing (totaling around $900 million up to 2018). Their products are already available in restaurants and supermarkets in several countries.”