Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Latest State of the Industry report shows plant-based meat charts its own course in Australia

MELBOURNE, Australia, May 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — New data reveals the plant-based meat industry in Australia is steadily expanding, with significant growth in the foodservice sector.

Food Frontier 2023 State of the Industry report for the plant-based meat industry

Food Frontier’s 2023 State of the Industry report shows plant-based meat sales in Australia have increased by a total of 47% between 2020 and 2023 and per-capita consumption has increased by 28%.

CEO of Food Frontier, Dr Simon Eassom, said, "Despite the economic challenges faced by plant-based meat companies here and overseas it’s evident that the industry is here to stay, and that Australia is performing better than overseas markets in the face of these pressures."  

The report shows the economic contribution of the Australian plant-based meat industry and indicates that the industry is forging ahead in Australia, while navigating growth fluctuations typical of a new food category.

Comprising Deloitte Access Economics insights and industry data by Food Frontier, the report found that in 2023 total plant-based meat sales in Australia reached $272.5m, representing a compound average growth rate (CAGR) of 14% since the 2020 financial year.

Significant growth has been seen in foodservice, where the wholesale surge of plant-based meat represents a CAGR of 59% since 2020.

Retail sales experienced a slight contraction (-1% CAGR) from 2020.

Dr Eassom said, "The category has been affected by lower retail sales, attributed to inflation and the increased cost of living, which has impacted all food products perceived as either premium or discretionary.

"Some products were not meeting consumer expectations around taste, and the higher price point compared to conventional counterparts has reduced repeat purchases, leading to a revised forecast value."

In the face of inflationary pressures, the report reveals that the prices of plant-based meat products have inched closer to conventional meat prices, reducing the price disparity. The average price premium for plant-based meats has reduced from 49% in 2020, to 33% in 2023.

Based on current economic factors and market dynamics, Deloitte Access Economics now forecasts a market size of $1.65b by 2033, down from the 2019 estimate of $2.9b by 2030.

Dr Eassom said, "While there is likely to be ongoing expansion in the plant-based meat industry, success within the sector varies among businesses. With the market adjusting during an economic downturn, we can anticipate further consolidation in retail offerings.

"Noting that most foodservice sales of plant-based meats are in quick service restaurants, the report found there is strong potential for growth if plant-based meat manufacturers expand into to new foodservice outlets and across untapped foodservice segments. This is discussed among the recommendations included in the report."

CEO and co-founder of The Aussie Plant Based Co., Alejandro Cancino, agreed that the greatest area for future growth for plant-based meats is in foodservice, specifically in quick service restaurants. He said, "As advancements in plant-based meat production continue, efficiency will improve, eventually rivalling the lean production processes of conventional animal meat. This will see it eventually scale to compete in the mass market food industry where manufacturers operate on a volume driven tight margin business model. 

"If plant-based meat companies are to survive they need to focus on profitability, efficiency, and returning value to the consumer. Key to this equation is the paramount importance of taste. And there is a need to educate consumers about the taste and the benefits of their products."

Dr Eassom said, "We’re interested to watch how the growing awareness of food systems’ role in climate change will influence the adoption of plant-based diets, including the consumption of plant-based meats as centre-of-plate protein. While Australia has been slower to act on the environmental sustainability of our food systems compared to some other nations, this is anticipated to shift in the years ahead."

The report is available here. 

Media contact
Kathy Cogo, Head of Communications and Marketing, Food Frontier [email protected],
0466 015 183.

Food Frontier is the independent think tank on alternative proteins in Australia and New Zealand. Funded by grants and donations, our work is growing our region’s protein supply with new, sustainable and nutritious options that create value for businesses, farmers and consumers.

Key SOI stats

Annual per-capita consumption of plant-based meat increased by 28%, from 280g in FY20 to 360g in FY23 while per-capita expenditure increased from $8.40 to $10.20. Plant-based meat sales have increased 47% in total between 2020 and 2023. In FY23 sales were $272.5m ($148.9m in retail [23m products], $123.6m in foodservice). Sales represent a compound average growth rate, CAGR, of 13.8% since FY20. In FY23 there were 23 Australian businesses in the plant-based meat industry, up from 10 in FY19, producing products under 28 brands. Australia is estimated to have produced 2,205 tonnes of plant-based meat locally. Nine Australian companies are exporting plant-based meat products in FY23, up from five in FY20. Plant-based meats are moving closer in price to their conventional counterparts. The price difference was 49% in 2020, it’s now on average 33%. Australian plant-based meat products are on average 14.8% ($3.72/kg) cheaper than imported products. Most plant-based meat manufacturing is in the eastern states, New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria. New South Wales contributes the most, 46%, to plant-based meat manufacturing at $21m, followed by Queensland 28%, $12.9m, and Victoria 24%, $10.9m. The total of indirect economic contribution of plant-based meat manufacturing in Australia in FY23 was $36.1m, 21% or $7.6m was by agriculture.


Source : Latest State of the Industry report shows plant-based meat charts its own course in Australia


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