INTHEBLACK December 2020 - Magazine - Page 50
F E AT U R E
// M E AT A LT E R N AT I V E S
The World Economic Forum
estimates that agriculture
accounts for up to 12 per cent
of greenhouse gas emissions.
Meat, poultry and dairy farming
contribute almost threequarters of those emissions.
The stated goal of many
manufacturers of meat
alternatives is helping
consumers offset some of the
environmental impact by
switching to plant-based
Industry players believe the
future of mock-meat will hinge
on the taste, affordability and
availability of products, as well
as consumer perceptions of
health and sustainability.
CONVERSATIONS ABOUT “CLEAN” EATING AND
SUSTAINABLE MEAT PRODUCTION ARE
INCREASINGLY PREVALENT, AND PLANT-BASED
ALTERNATIVES HAVE BECOME A MEATY SUBJECT.
STORY CAMERON COOPER
aving announced in August this year that 9000 American grocery stores now stock
its plant-based burgers – up from just 150 at the start of 2020 – you’d think the
management team at Impossible Foods would be content.
Yet Nick Halla, senior vice-president international at the Californian company,
says the mock-meat sector still suffers from what he calls “plant-based anxiety”, or the
perception that meat alternatives just don’t taste very good. This is partly based on the
consumer perception that early products did not replicate the characteristics of real meat.
“These plant-based products may have satisfied vegans and vegetarians, but they were not
satisfying to meat-loving consumers,” Halla says.
Courtesy of the popular Impossible Burger, made from soy and potato proteins, Halla
and his team are changing that notion. The company has also released plant-based sausage
and pork imitations, while industry competitors such as Beyond Meat, Quorn, v2food and
Fable Food are also contributing to the rapid rise of meat alternatives, which bring a mix
of agriculture and science to the table.
“Tasting is believing,” Halla says. “More than 90 per cent of our consumers are selfidentified meat eaters. This means that not only are we satisfying our target audience, but
once they try it, they’re very likely to come back.”
50 ITB December 2020
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