Animal proteins have long been the common source of protein in typical diets. In recent years, an overarching shift toward health-conscious eating and lifestyle has driven a significant rise in the consumption of alternative proteins. Out of concern for food sustainability and personal wellbeing, consumers are reducing meat and dairy intake, but still looking to meet their recommended protein needs through alternative options. Europe accounts for 40% of the global alternative proteins market—currently worth an estimated $2.2 billion. With a growth projection of 7.5% from 2018-2022, functional food & beverage developers are looking to tap the market's potential.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has allowed financially-fortunate consumers to discover new products through experiment.
- Advances in food technology have improved common issues of taste and texture that previously deterred consumers in the past.
- Various legumes and grains have high nutrition and protein content, whilst requiring minimal resource input—attracting interest from food developers.
- There is also a booming opportunity for cultured meat, which has seen significant progress in reducing cost and scaling mass production.
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