The global plant-based protein market size is projected to grow from USD 10.3 billion in 2020 to USD 15.6 billion by 2026, recording a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.2% during the forecast period. The major factors driving the growth of the plant-based protein market include the growing demand for wellness-focused organic food & beverages among consumers.
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The changing consumer preferences have showcased a growing consumer shift toward adapting to a more nutritional diet centered towards a more sustainable lifestyle and lower dependency on animal proteins. A considerable percentage of the millennial population in Western countries has been observed regarding their changing food habits as consumers move from conventional animal-based products to organic and plant-based food products as an ideal food solution. In recent years, the adoption of plant-based food & beverages among the consumers has been higher due to the broader scope of product availability, improved product developments and innovation into plant-based proteins and a broader scope of available alternatives and substitutes.
The organic plant-based protein market has the potential to change the business landscape in the overall plant protein ingredients market. According to the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), “a total of 71.5 million hectares were organically managed at the end of 2018, representing a growth of 2.9 percent or 2 million hectares compared to 2017, the largest growth ever recorded.” In 2018, 2.8 million organic producers were reported globally, and India continues to be dominant with the highest number of producers. Growth of the organic food products market is also expected to boost the growth of the organic plant-based protein ingredients market.
By form, the market for dry plant-based is estimated to dominate the plant-based protein market in 2020. The dry form of processing of protein is used in the production of protein concentrates. It involves dry milling technology, which is used to reduce the particle size of raw material into fine particles. This method is used to process pulses and cereal, which is correlated to their specific tissue architecture and milling behaviour. The process relies on differential particle size and density within the milled flour. Once milled, the air classification process is used to separate the smaller protein rice fragments from larger starch-rich granules or fiber-rich granules.
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The food industry of the plant-based protein market is at the forefront of the plant-based revolution. Changing consumer preferences driven by awareness toward meat sourcing practices, its ecological impact, and animal-borne diseases have led to more consumers opting out of meat consumption. The resulting change has led to consumer demand shifting from conventional animal-based proteins to plant-based alternatives. The growing vegan trend has led to an upsurge in manufacturer presence in the sector.