Woman eating vegan burger in restaurant Vegan burgers are proving a more affordable option in the Netherlands - Media Credit: Zoonar GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

Plant-Based Meat Now Costs Less Than Animal Meat In The Netherlands

Cost is seemingly no longer a barrier to choosing vegan products

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3 Minutes Read

Plant-based meat is cheaper than animal meat in the Netherlands, according to new research.

In February, ProVeg International commissioned supermarket researcher Questionmark to carry out a cost analysis. At that time, meat was found to be cheaper. But a further analysis conducted in June found that meat had increased in cost significantly. This made vegan options cheaper per kilogram.

The findings are attributed to inflation and rising costs of raw materials, creating a price hike in meat products. Plant-based items are largely unaffected by increased supplier charges.

For some time, consumers in The Netherlands have been moving away from meat products in favor of plant-based alternatives. But demand has not been addressed as a potential factor in the pricing battle.

The changing tide of meat versus plant protein

Researchers compared meat and plant-based products within strict parameters. All items were the lowest priced options and vegan alternatives matched their animal counterparts in terms of portion size. 

In total, 36 products were compared. ProVeg acknowledges that the differences between supermarket chain ranges remain large, with identifiably different target consumers. However, overall findings confirm that animal meat has become more expensive than vegan meat across the board.

In February, plant-based burgers were found to be 56 cents per kilo more costly than meat alternatives. Last month they came in at 78 cents per kilo cheaper. 

Similarly, vegan chicken pieces were more expensive, by an average of €1.16 per kilo, than animal varieties. Now, they are 37 cents cheaper.

Previously, plant-based mince was 29 cents per kilo more expensive than meat. Last month it came in at €1.36 less per kilo.

Cost is no longer a plus point for meat

Cost is frequently cited as a stumbling block to turning vegan. Consumers fear spending more on products they aren’t familiar with, but the idea that plant protein always costs more than animal alternatives appears to be a misnomer.

Oxford University states that the misunderstanding often stems from comparing conventional meat to specialist substitutes or surviving on takeaways. 

The institution conducted research that found vegan and vegetarian diets are the most cost-effective options in high-income countries.

“We think the fact that vegan, vegetarian, and flexitarian diets can save you a lot of money is going to surprise people,” Dr. Marco Springmann, a researcher at Oxford University, said in a statement.

Despite being heavily subsidized, the meat industry now faces increased costs, which it is having to pass on to consumers. ProVeg states that meat has seen an average 21 percent price increase between its analysis in February and June. Comparatively, plant-based protein rose by around two percent.

“Meat has always been a product that requires an enormous amount of raw materials. To make one kilogram of meat, you need up to ten kilograms of grain. Now, in times of scarcity, that takes its toll,” Pablo Moleman of ProVeg Netherlands said in a statement. 

He continued: “Due to the large use of raw materials, meat is much more sensitive to disruptions in the world market than meat alternatives.” 

“Plant-based meat clearly wins out on efficiency, and we now see that reflected in the price.”

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The Author

Amy Buxton

Amy enjoys reporting on vegan news and sustainability initiatives. She has a degree in English literature and language and is raising a next-gen vegan daughter.

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Bob
Bob
18 days ago

You can have my shit for free. That’s cheaper than plant based “meat” and got more nutrients in it.

Last edited 18 days ago by Bob
Christian
Christian
16 days ago
Reply to  Bob

Joke is on you, as you’re eating literal shit by consuming bits of killed animals.

Jonathan LeMaire
Jonathan LeMaire
17 days ago

It’s not meat, never will be. Why bother calling it meat? We don’t make meat taste like veggies and call it veggies…Bad marketing!

Plant Based News Admin
Editor
Plant Based News Admin
17 days ago

It is meat. It tastes like animal flesh, it looks like animal flesh, but it’s made from plants.

Max
Max
17 days ago

So, therefore, as you just described it, it is not meat. Just tastes and looks like it. That’s just the same as calling almond juice, milk. Its not nut milk cause that doesn’t exist. It’s just a water/almond/juice blend.

I don’t want to be critical, I find vegan burgers a great idea, and hopefully a lot more environmentally friendly. But… IT IS NOT MEAT. “Vegan meat” is simply nothing, since it doesn’t exist. Please don’t use it or try and “start a thing”.

Plant Based News Admin
Editor
Plant Based News Admin
17 days ago
Reply to  Max

Nobody is trying to “start a thing”
Definition of meat. 1 a : food especially : solid food as distinguished from drink. b : the edible part of something as distinguished from its covering (such as a husk or shell)
It is literally the definition of the word ‘meat’.
What about coconut milk? Are you going to tell Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the Caribbean that they cant use the term they’ve been using for centuries?

Jamie
Jamie
16 days ago

The fact that the admin is in this arguing with people shows how unprofessional and immature people working for companies are these days.

The replies are clearly condescending and written as if you stand on a morally higher ground yhsn others.

In regards to your coconut comments, they call it coconut milk, not milk, people in the carribean and Asia don’t literally call it “milk”. My partners Jamaican and she said you don’t know what you are talking about because they call it coconut milk, not “milk”

Plant Based News Admin
Editor
Plant Based News Admin
13 days ago
Reply to  Jamie

Hi Jamie, no one implied that people call ‘coconut milk’ just ‘milk’. But, if using the word ‘milk’ is okay with the word ‘coconut’ in front of it, then ‘almond milk’, ‘nut milk’ and ‘oat milk’ would also be acceptable.
The previous commenter disagrees and does not believe the word ‘milk’ should be used for any liquid that doesn’t come from a cow’s udders.
This is not an argument, but a discussion, as we believe it is important to engage with our community.

Jonathan D Lemaire
Jonathan D Lemaire
15 days ago

Meat is defined by AMSA to be skeletal muscle and its associated tissues derived from mammalian, avian, reptilian, amphibian, and aquatic species commonly harvested for human consumption. Edible offal consisting of organs and non-skeletal muscle tissues also are considered meat. I regularly do bash non milk milks like almond that uses hundreds of times more water to produce than the real thing. Flesh and blood are wonderful foods, but will never be mistaken for vegetables…the meaning of words are important, unless you support the last administration.

Plant Based News Admin
Editor
Plant Based News Admin
13 days ago

If the vegetables will never be mistaken for the ‘real thing’, why is using the term ‘meat’ so bothersome to you?
Almond milk uses half the water that dairy milk uses. https://ourworldindata.org/environmental-impact-milks

Fred Hiemstra
Fred Hiemstra
13 days ago

That is a absolutely false statement, the reason for being this cheap is that stocks are to high and the market collapsed for plant-based

Plant Based News Admin
Editor
Plant Based News Admin
13 days ago
Reply to  Fred Hiemstra

What do you feel is a false statement, Fred?

Fred Hiemstra
Fred Hiemstra
13 days ago

Like it stated that above, it’s not cheaper then meat.
They are dumping the market because no demand

Jonathan D Lemaire
Jonathan D Lemaire
15 days ago

I was a vegan for five years, now a solid carnivore after getting sick and weak. I know meat, and nothing plant based is in anyway close to meat, nor should it be. No need for false advertising, push it for what it is, not what it will never be.

Plant Based News Admin
Editor
Plant Based News Admin
13 days ago

There is nothing false in the advertising of plant-based meat. It is meat, made from plants.

Ryan Scott
13 days ago

It’s great to see this.

A lot of folks don’t know that by using precision fermentation we’re creating real animal cells without animals and it uses even less resources than going vegan. The price of precision fermented milk and eggs is almost at price parity with farm grown, and dropping rapidly. Veggies are awesome but as meat substitutes it is even better to grow cruelty free real meat in vats much in the same way we make beer.

JAMES
JAMES
12 days ago

Meat is a generic word. Instead of “hamburger” we should be more specific and say: “Ground up Dead Cows” or “Dead Fried Chickens”

Hagen
11 days ago

Fantastic! 🙂

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