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June 25, 2020

Plant-based to “completely replace” animal products in 15 years – Impossible Foods CEO

The founder and CEO of Impossible Foods has set out his projections for the growth of the plant-based food market.

By Dean Best

Plant-based food will “completely replace” animal products within 15 years, the founder and CEO of US meat-alternatives group Impossible Foods has forecast.

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Speaking to CNBC after Impossible Foods announced a listing with coffee-shop giant Starbucks in the US, Pat Brown set out his projection for the growth of the plant-based sector, which is rapidly expanding in a number of markets.

“From a nutritional standpoint, our products match the protein quality and content of the animal products that they replace,” Brown told the business broadcaster. This is why I think people are increasingly aware plant-based products are going to completely replace the animal-based products in the food world within the next 15 years. That’s our mission. That transformation is inevitable.”

Management consultants A.T. Kearney estimates what it calls “the global meat value chain” is worth around US$1.9trn. In research published last year and widely quoted by executives in plant-based and cell-cultured meat, A.T. Kearney forecast that, by 2040, cell-cultured meat will account for 35% of global meat consumption, with “novel vegan meat replacement” – those made with plant-based inputs – 25% and conventional meat 40%.

On Tuesday, Starbucks launched a breakfast sandwich in the US using Impossible Foods as its supplier. The coffee-shop group has worked with Impossible Foods competitor Beyond Meat in Canada and China. In the US, Beyond Meat supplies breakfast products to Starbucks rival Dunkin’.

“In terms of the number of outlets, it’s by far the biggest launch we’ve had. And of course the opportunity to to partner with an iconic global brand like Starbucks is probably equally important in just raising awareness and interest and trial in consumers,” Brown said to CNBC. “Starbucks was one of our, if not the top, target outlet just because of the power of their brand and their ubiquity, and also, in the 18- to 29-year-old age group, more than a third of that population in the US goes to a Starbucks every month.”

In March, Impossible Foods, founded in 2011, announced it had raised around US$500m in a new fundraising round. The new investment brings total funding for the Californian business to nearly $1.3bn. May saw the Impossible Burger launched into around 1,700 Kroger stores.

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How is technology having an impact on Consumer buying behavior?

As the world rapidly becomes more connected, it is important for brands to understand the impact that improved technology is having on consumer purchasing behaviors. To react effectively, brands must know how to engage with increasingly digitally savvy consumers. GlobalData’s latest Trend Tracker report provides an analysis of Digital Lifestyles – one of GlobalData's top consumer trends for 2022. The report includes an overview of how digital lifestyles are evolving, including the significant impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on accelerating digitalization, and how this trend is emerging across different Consumer sectors. Key features included in the report:
  • A breakdown of the trend’s prominence across sectors
  • Insights into consumer online penetration, preferred electronic devices and engagement
  • The key drivers and challenges impacting the digital lifestyles trend
  • A spotlight on key innovations set to reshape the consumer landscape
  • Analysis of what’s next for digital innovations and how brands can leverage the trend
Download this report to keep in touch with the more digital consumer.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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