Don’t worry about meatless protein’s impact for now: CoBank

Meatingplace, By Chris Scott on 12/6/2017

The alternative meat movement is expected to become a top food trend in the coming years, but real meat companies don’t need to worry for now, according to a new study from CoBank.

The Greenwood Village, Colo.-based cooperative bank that services agribusinesses said the effects of meatless meat development are not expected to be significant on current livestock and poultry demand. In fact, the road to commercial viability and consumer acceptance of protein products derived from plants, insects and cultured meats is unlikely to have a “marked effect” on traditional animal protein through the next decade, CoBank economist Trevor Amen said.

Market introduction of cultured (lab-grown) meat products, for example, is expected to take another three to five years – appearing first in restaurants and specialty stores. It will take another three to five years beyond that for supermarkets to offer these products, Amen said. Cultured meat products currently are prohibitively expensive and will require a regulatory framework before entering the market, CoBank added.

And while the alternative protein category will grow in the coming years, it will be overshadowed by the current retail market size of $49 billion in annual sales for all meat and poultry categories, the CoBank report said.