Is the party over for meat alternatives? It’s just getting started, says ADM

ADM – which supplies a wide range of ingredients used in meat alternatives, from plant-based proteins such as soy, pea, and wheat, to colors, flavors, oils and fats, starches, texturants, and beans and pulses – is feeling pretty bullish , says Allyson Fish, president, global plant and alternative proteins.

There is a lot of noise in the market right now and we’re having to answer a lot of questions as these articles ​[querying the market potential of meat alternatives] keep coming in. And there are challenges the industry needs to address around taste, texture, and price,” ​Fish told FoodNavigator-USA.

That said, she added, “We’re not really seeing any downturn in the market from where we’re sitting. And we don’t expect there to be a significant change in the trajectory or our expectation of growth in this industry in the next 10 years.”

‘We’re seeing some changes in consumer buying behaviors, but we’re not seeing an overall slowdown in the meat alternative space’

Prices have to come down, especially in the current environment, as consumers’ budgets are tightening, and there are still taste and texture challenges, she said. However, the fundamental drivers behind so-called ‘alternative’ proteins haven’t changed, with the major meat and dairy companies themselves recognizing that we need to find more sustainable ways to feed more people with fewer resources.

“So we need to come up with all kinds of novel solutions, including new alternative proteins in order to serve that growing population. So maybe it won’t have those 40% CAGRs that some people came out with, but it’s still going to be very healthy ​[growth]. So I’d say, we’re seeing some changes in consumer buying behaviors, but we’re not seeing an overall slowdown in the meat alternative space and our customers are asking for more capacity.”

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