Beef industry tactics identified by think tank Faunalytics 'Even as the beef industry continues to enjoy a large market share, it can see the writing on the wall' - Media Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission.

Beef Industry ‘Nervous’ At Growth Of Plant-Based Proteins, Claims Think Tank

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3 Minutes Read

The beef industry is becoming increasingly desperate to clutch onto its market position amid the plant-based protein boom. But Faunalytics, a research company specializing in animal advocacy, has examined the industry’s marketing tactics and claims it’s ‘nervous’ of the growth of alternative proteins.

Beef industry

The think tank examined a 2021 report funded by the Beef Checkoff, a US marketing firm that works to promote animal agriculture. In the Impacts of New Plant-Based Protein Alternatives on US Beef Demand report, extensive strategies are outlined to maintain popularity amid increasing concerns about animal rights and the environment.

The report includes a survey on 3,000 US citizens with varying diets and a restaurant and grocery store experiment to assess consumer habits.

Faunalytics looked at the report with a view to ‘gain an advantage’ on what the plant-based industry can do in response. 

What they found is that consumer demand for beef decreases more when prices go up, over when plant-based protein prices decrease.

Furthermore, in a grocery store experiment, consistent beef eaters were more willing to switch to other options if the beef was more expensive.

However, the average customer is more willing to pay a higher price for beef than its actual price. And, a lower price for plant-based proteins than their retail price.

Study takeaways 

“The really fascinating thing about this report,” Faunalytics says, “is what it can tell us about the industry’s strategy.”

The four main tactics it identifies are:

1. Consumers believe beef tastes better and is more ‘natural’

As ever, the beef industry plans to focus on the ‘naturalness’ of beef over plant-based alternatives.

This is carried out by claiming plant-based meat can’t mimic the taste of the real thing, and highlighting long ingredient lists.

Faunalytics also claims that it will continue to focus on how the industry is good for farmers and rural communities.

Adobe. Do not use without permission.

2. Price is vital

The price parity of plant-based alternatives has long been a hot topic. It is subsidies that make cow meat particularly easy to produce at low costs.

And, according to the report, the beef industry will continue to drive down prices where it can.

‘We should work to amplify the voices of workers and communities harmed by the beef industry’ to fight against this, according to Faunalytics.

3. Beef market share remains high despite growing alt protein

Despite the staggering predictions for the ongoing boom of plant-based protein alternatives, the think tank says the beef industry isn’t worrying ‘too much’ about it denting the market share.

While beef contains more protein than many plant-based alternatives, advocates can respond by painting a better picture of health. This can be done by educating about consumer ‘obsession’ with protein.

4. Partnerships with retailers are important

Beef companies aim to establish relationships with retailers. This means stores and restaurants will have vested interests in the future of animal agriculture, Faunalytics says.

However, it’s a tactic vegan companies can easily follow suit on. And, something the likes of Beyond Meat is already doing with chains like Burger King, McDonald’s, and KFC.

Faunalytics’ concluding statement on the study is: “Even as the beef industry continues to enjoy a large market share, it can see the writing on the wall.

“The industry knows it doesn’t measure up on health, environmental friendliness, or animal welfare. All of which are values important to the younger generation.”

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John Shellenbach
John Shellenbach
7 months ago

If we ‘pump the brakes’ on our obsession with saturated animal fat, we could not only save ourselves, but the cows who would prefer not to share it. It’s staggering to see how meat has proliferated the Western diet.

Carter Randolph
Carter Randolph
7 months ago

The grain based beef industry has an issue with the concerns listed. The grass based beef industry has a perception issue but the facts are clear: Grass based beef is a net carbon sequestration activity. Grass Based Beef has phytochemicals similar to vegetables so is better nutritionally than plant based products. Plant based products are bad for the environment when compared to grass based beef (White Oak Pastures Study) The animal welfare of grass based beef is excellent. Grass based beef is used in ley farming systems that do not need the application of petrochemical based products to maintain soil fertility. Soil disturbance which is necessary for plant based products (even no till disturbs the soil) is bad for soil structure and soil biology. The science is clear — grass based beef is healthy, environment friendly and tastes great.

Anonymous Vegan
Anonymous Vegan
7 months ago

Dude your facts are all wrong. And what plant based products are you even talking about. There are so many. And ‘grass fed beef still means clearing forests and wasting tons And tons of water. Not to mention the scary cramming into a truck, and the long drive to a place full of fearful smells, then they are killed that doesn’t sound like good animal welfare. Let alone them being born and stolen from there mothers (who are Raped constantly).

Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
7 months ago

Spoken like a well indoctrinated, pampered urban vegan. You need to do some research on ALL agriculture. Meat per se, is not a problem, the way we produce it in the modern world definitely is. The way we produce plant foods is not far behind.

Kristina
Kristina
7 months ago
Reply to  Rowland Ross

You are the one that needs to do some readinging my friend. And to say ‘pampered urban vegan’ is another way of saying educated, well read and can make decisions on what they eat without hurting an animal.

Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
7 months ago
Reply to  Kristina

You’ve attempted to turn my quote to your advantage, but conveniently failed to mention the most important bit, “well indoctrinated”.

Kristina Spink
Kristina Spink
7 months ago

Dead on!

pria orth
pria orth
7 months ago

Leading cause of death EATING ANIMALS Not plants

Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
7 months ago
Reply to  pria orth

Leading cause of death: OLD AGE. Leading cause of premature death: SWD (Standard Western Diet). Longest lived and healthiest populations on the planet all eat animal foods to a greater or lesser degree.

Kristina Spink
Kristina Spink
7 months ago
Reply to  pria orth

❤ infatically agree

Rowland Ross
Rowland Ross
7 months ago
Reply to  Kristina Spink

If you are going to accuse people of being “uneducated” perhaps you could learn to spell.

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