In the vegetable protein market, the importance of textured vegetable protein buy
Abstract: The Textured Vegetable Protein Market is estimated to be valued at USD 1.1 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 1.5 billion by 2025, recording a CAGR of 6.2%, in terms of value. The growing demand for meat alternatives, as well as the increase in health awareness among consumers, are propelling the demand for textured vegetable protein. With the advancement of new technologies and innovative experiments in the food and beverage sector, the usage of textured vegetable protein has been dominant in the North American market, due to rise in vegan and flexitarian population, whereas the Asia Pacific region is growing fastest owing to new technologies and increase in the export of food and beverages.
Keywords: textured vegetable protein, purchase, meat substitutes, manufacturer
Drivers: Growing adaption of meat alternatives among consumers
Textured vegetable protein obtained from various sources such as soy, wheat, and pea has been adaptive among the food manufacturers, as it poses as a meat alternative with functional and nutritional characteristics. Also, it has witnessed high rates of adoption among consumers, as it replicates the characteristics of meat products, such as sausages, burger patties, nuggets, and crumbles, with a similar texture and flavor. Meat alternatives contain protein from plants and are formulated to providing an option for non-meat consumers. Flexitarians have been actively working to reduce meat consumption in their diets and are emerging as a larger potential consumer segment. This has increased the production of meat alternatives that closely match the consumer eating experience of beef, chicken, and other animal-based products.
According to Animal Legal Defense Fund, in the US, every year, more than 9 billion animals are raised and killed on factory farms. The factory farm system has contributed to a range of problems, from increasing antibiotic resistance to the climate crisis. The consumer inclination toward meat alternatives can mitigate animal-sourced food to a huge percentage. Meat alternative manufacturers, such as Beyond Meat (US) and Impossible Foods (US), have witnessed a surge in sales of meat alternatives, due to a shortage of beef and pork during the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond Meat (US) reported its first-quarter net revenue spike of 141 % to more than USD 97 million in 2020, compared to the previous year USD 40 million in 2019.
Meat alternatives manufactured using textured vegetable protein are primarily obtained from plant-based sources. They offer functional benefits to the consumers, as consumption of meat alternatives may avoid the cancer risks of red meat. Texture and flavor have been the significant specifications needed to bolster the rising demand for meat alternatives among the consumers. According to a study published by the Good Food Institute (GFI) in 2019, the taste of the meat alternatives would be the big make-or-break factor to boost the demand for meat alternatives. Therefore, a textured vegetable protein with meat-like texture and flavor can pose as a driving factor during the forecast period.
Restraints: Allergies associated with vegetable sources such as soy and wheat
Vegetable-sourced ingredients have functional health benefits and consist of essential minerals; however, in several cases, their consumption has been causing allergies in humans, thereby restraining market growth. For instance, soybeans are rich in nutrient content, such as vitamins, minerals, and proteins; however, anti-nutritional components present in them could cause allergies. According to the Cleveland Clinic, soy is one of the “Big Eight” allergens, along with cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, fish, and shellfish. A soy allergy occurs when the human immune system mistakes the harmless proteins found in soy as harmful and produces antibodies to combat them. Moreover, soy protein has large quantities of phytic acid, which has the potential to block the absorption of essential minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc. Soy allergy could also lead to itching and hives in humans. Other symptoms include bloating, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain.
A study published by the National Institute of Health (NIH) in 2019 recognized wheat as a staple food and an important source of nutrients for millions of consumers. However, the last few years have seen increasing concerns about the adverse effects of wheat on health, particularly in the North American and European regions. Wheat gluten proteins cause a range of adverse reactions, including allergies, celiac disease, and non‐celiac gluten sensitivity in humans. Celiac disease can affect genetically predisposed human beings of all ages; however, it often begins in the middle infancy stage. The inflammation and destruction of the inner lining of the small intestines in celiac disease are caused by an allergic reaction to gluten in the diet. Therefore, allergies caused due to a few vegetable sourced ingredient sources are projected to restrain the global textured vegetable protein market during the forecast period.
Opportunities: Economical & Environment-friendly substitute to animal-sourced food products
Considering the growing health awareness among consumers, various food products such as meat patties and sausages are being replaced by plant-based/plant-infused meat products, which is expected to have a positive impact on the demand for plant-based protein. According to The Food Science and Health Database Organization, in 2018, “22 million UK citizens now identify as being a ‘flexitarian,’ viewed not as a fad diet, but a permanent lifestyle choice, notably most popular among highly influential millennials.” Thus, the increasing vegan and flexitarian population is projected to drive the textured vegetable protein market during the forecast period. Increased soy and wheat crop cultivation in developing regions such as South America and the Asia Pacific has augmented the widespread cultivation of soybean and wheat grains across the globe, resulting in the availability of soy and wheat products such as textured vegetable proteins.
Beyond Meat (US) has been working to bring down the price of its meat substitute products, currently made primarily with wheat and pea proteins, by shifting toward including less expensive ingredients such as lupin and sunflower seeds. On the manufacturing side, vegan brand Rebellyous Foods (US) aims to reduce the price of all plant-based meat products with its high-capacity production methods, which it uses to make its meat alternatives and plans to offer their license to other manufacturers by help them produce economical animal-free food products.
Challenges: Stringent government regulations & concerns over safety due to the inclusion of the GM ingredients
Soy, wheat, and pea are among the prominent sources used in the production of textured vegetable proteins and are produced in countries such as Brazil, the US, Argentina, China, and India. With the augmenting demand for plant-based food & beverages among the consumers, the demand for soy, wheat, and pea has also increased. However, to meet the growing demand for various textured protein sources, adulteration with genetically modified (GM) ingredients pose an emerging threat. For instance, non-GMO soybeans are primarily used for human consumption, whereas the GM soybeans are utilized mostly in livestock feed.
Most GM soy is industrially produced with hexane, which is detrimental to consumer health if consumed in larger quantities. Thus, the consumption of plant-based food products that have manufactured by GM soybean has resulted in a point of concern for consumers globally.
The European Union (EU) has implemented stringent regulations for genetically modified (GM) crops due to the risks associated with humans and the environment. Soy is the largest source of vegetable sourced protein. However, if genetically modified in the seed form, it could have adverse effects on humans during consumption. Hence, its usage is restricted in the European region. Several countries in the European Union have banned their farmers from cultivating genetically modified crops, at the same time, including a mandatory requirement for safety testing for GM content in the various stages of the food value chain. This has affected the genetically modified vegetable business in the region and is expected to hamper growth in the future, owing to the cultivation and adoption of non-GM soybean crops for food processing applications in several European countries.
‘By source, the soy segment is projected to account for the largest share in the textured vegetable protein market during the forecast period’
Soy has been a low-calorie and low-fat source of vegetable protein. It is often used as a meat substitute or meat extender due to its low cost as compared to animal-based sources of protein. Moreover, when textured soy protein is cooked with meat, it aids in retaining more nutrients from the meat by absorbing fluids that are usually lost. Textured soy protein acts as an ideal substitute for meat and is gaining higher traction among vegan and flexitarian consumers. These characteristics are majorly driving the demand for the usage of soy as a prime source for textured vegetable protein.
‘By type, slices segment is projected to account for the largest share in the market by form during the forecast period’
Textured vegetable protein slices were obtained by processing various beans with higher protein content. They are the unique source of protein that contains essential amino acids, protective ingredients, minerals, and vitamins, which are necessary for total metabolism. Sliced textured vegetable proteins used in meat alternatives are often used as a substitute for traditional meat products. Slices have primarily utilized in meat alternatives as burger patties, which are used in various consumer applications.