Give me a veggie burger. After all, who needs beef or chicken or pork?

That’s what an increasing number of Americans are saying, even when they’re going out for fast food. Indeed, companies are taking notice as more consumers are seeing meat alternatives as healthier. So firms are gobbling up meat alternative products.

Interest is booming in plant-based meat analogues and lab-grown meat alternatives,” according to PreScouter. It is an Evanston, Illinois research firm that recently issued the report, “Meat Alternatives 2019.”

Lots of Money in Those Veggies

Besides potential big profits, alternative meat advocates say these products are better for the environment.

Alternatives include various plants such as soybean, tofu, mushrooms, lentils and various fruits, advocates say. They can replicate meat in ground beef, sausages and bacon strips, among others.

J.P. Morgan Chase says the market for “plant-based” meat could top $100 million in 15 years.

A Big Bank Sees the Potential

Barclays, in its “Carving Up the Alternative Meat Market” report, predicts that the potential for alternatives is bigger than that.

In part, the allure of these new veggie products is in part the desire to reduce Greenhouse gases. Alternative meat advocates argue these products might persuade some to switch from traditional meat products.

Animal agriculture is responsible for approximately 18% of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions globally, according to the PreScouter report.
“One way to fight these environmental issues, is to stop or reduce consuming meat,” the PreScouter report says.

And that’s enough for the big bank to say there’s lot of money-making opportunities.

“Due to rising demand and a growing population, global meat consumption is on the rise, especially in the US,” Barclays wrote. “We believe therefore that there is a bigger market opportunity for plant-based (and maybe even lab-grown) protein than was projected for electric vehicles ten years ago.”

Barclays says today alternative meats are $1.4 billion, or one percent, of the market. By 2029, it predicts alternatives will be $140 billion or 10 percent.

Veggies at Your Favorite Fast Food Chain?

PreScouter details dozens of companies working with fast food chains. These include McDonalds, KFC and Burger King (BK).

BK recently launched the vegetarian “Impossible Whopper” burger. It has “become one of the most successful product launches in brand history, leading to outstanding comparable sales or positive 5 percent this quarter,” a BK spokeswoman said.


Gregory Bresiger
Gregory Bresiger

Gregory Bresiger is an independent financial journalist from Queens, New York. His articles have appeared in publications such as Financial Planner Magazine and The New York Post.