The Fake-Meat Revolution Has Stalled

Recent research suggests that there may be a Growing Realization among consumers, industry, investors, and others that overheated Prognostications of a meatless future—one in which steaks, bacon, chicken nuggets, and other foods made from dead animals will be supplanted by plant-based imitations of meat dishes and lab-grown meats made from animal cells (the latter of which is still exceedingly rare)—may have been based on wishful thinking.

As Dive Food reportedThis week sales of imitation meat products have been declining. The website cites remarks and earning reports from Beyond Meat—a leader in the plant-based sector that counts among its fans none other than me—that combine a bleak present reality of “negative growth and high net losses” with fears over whether this market downturn could be permanent.

Present TradingBeyond Meat is trading at $46 per share. This is significantly lower than its 52-week low of $41, which is around $41, and is much closer than its peak in the same time period, more than $160.

It Dive FoodReport also mentions that Maple Leaf Foods is one of the other fake meat producers. They admit that growth in this sector has “slowed down.”

A senior Maple Leaf official stated that refrigerated meat from plant-based sources grew at 59% and 75% respectively in 2019, but only 1% in 2021.

Apart from floundering Sales, there are other data points such as that Dunkin’s. Sales haltThe Beyond Sausage vegetarian breakfast sandwich wasn’t as good as expected at many locations. 

This data suggests that not many people care as much about meatless food as those who support plant-based or cell-grown meats would have you believe. Reality has proven that hype over the imminent dominance of vegetarian meats is not true.

CB Insights market research group reported that “Going forward the meat value chain could simplify dramatically as ‘clean beef’ labs could take over farms, slaughterhouses, and feedlots.” Brief researchThis is part of a discussion about what this group calls a “meatless country” for the future.

Perhaps. For example, in 2019, The New York Times reportedOnly 1% of all meats are made from plant-based products. The idea of purchasing an engineered steak from a grocery store is still a costly one, even though it has been almost a decade since the introduction of the first cell-grown hamburger. Irish Times reportedThis week.

A time of Record high meat pricesOne would think that meat alternatives will be increasing in popularity. However, sales of meat from previously living animals is strong. “Total 2021 sales of meat were flat in comparison to record 2020 sales. However, compared the normal pre-pandemic level of 2019, average sales rose between 17%-20% above the typical levels.” Drovers reportedJanuary

What appears to have a decreasing consumer interest in alternatives to meat could have huge policy consequences. Meatless Mondays is a campaign to encourage cities, restaurants, and other foodservice businesses to make vegetarian options available on Mondays. extolledNew York City’s ridiculous 10-Year Food Policy Plan includes a “commitment towards meat reduction”.

After a Meatless Monday pilot program that was wildly successful in 2018, the rest of 2018 has been incredibly busy. 1800 public schools in New York City now serve vegetarian meals on Mondays,” the group noted. The group noted that Meatless Monday has been adopted by several other cities agencies, such as NYC Health + HospitalsThe largest system of public health in the nation, and the Department of Services to the Homeless and the Department of Correction.”

In the meantime, FDA and USDA work together You are trying to determineHow to regulate cell-based animals. America loves meat. The swayAmerica’s meat sector is more important than regulators and regulations. However, I doubt any final rules will help to boost sales. 

However, it is not a good policy objective to promote meat and its alternative products.

Many producers of plant-based foods are outraged at federal policies that favor eating meat. “Vegan food businesses are fed up by an onslaught pro-meat, anti-dairy laws.” The New York Times reportedIn 2019.

It Get involvedThey are in consternation. However, many meat-alternative supporters simply wish the government would stop pushing a diet that they dislike and instead promote one they like. For example, some anti-meat groups are trying to increase sales by proposing costly and sweeping policy changes. Vegan Society in the U.K., which is against eating meat, was founded. These were laid outIt has identified six policies that it believes will shift people away from eating meat to more plant-based food. These policies include subsidies from the government, encouraging new farmers to grow plants; increasing research funding; taxing animals and purchasing more vegetables for public meals.

This is not a place where I feel a strong rooting interest. It doesn’t matter if people eat meat or plants. I have stated this repeatedly. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. But when businesses and activists attempt to push government policies that would restrict or promote certain food choices—whether that’s more or less meat, meat alternatives, vegetables, or other foods—then those policies are wrongheaded and must be challenged.