Generally speaking, vegetables are good for human health. So many people think that plant meat is more healthy than real meat. In fact, this view is not entirely true. Is “artificial meat” really going to replace real meat as a “healthy and affordable” food on the table for Chinese consumers?
Recently, Starbucks and KFC have launched the “classic thousand level”, “planted gold chicken nuggets” and other plant meat packages have caught fire, attracting a lot of consumers to taste fresh.
In addition to the curiosity of new things, there are also consumers who say they know less about “artificial meat”.
In order to let domestic consumers better understand the new network celebrities “artificial meat”, Sina technology for you to organize 7 “artificial meat” hot issues.
What is the difference between a vegetable burger and a new meat substitute?
“Meat substitutes” are not a new concept. It has appeared in our lives, such as vegetable burgers sold in grocery stores (mainly for vegetarians).
Plant meats like the one that has recently gained popularity in China (Starbucks and KFC, etc.) are a food that is made from plants, tastes and feels like real meat.
“Artificial meat” is divided into two main types: “soy protein meat” (plant meat plant-based meat) made from soy protein, and “lab-grown meat” made in the laboratory using animal stem cells (which are not derived from animals in captivity or slaughter, but from food production plants).
It is worth noting that this “cell-based” in the laboratory is not yet on the market.
荷兰马斯特里赫特大学教授Mark Post手里拿着世界第一块实验室制作的牛肉 来源：phys.org
But others have boldly predicted that “lab-grown meat” may appear in the market in the future. First, it is a meat substitute;
As of May 2019, there were at least nine cell culture companies in the U.S., or 26 worldwide, according to the Washington Post. It is predicted that more potential cell culture companies may accelerate their development in China.
But “cultivating meat” is not so easy to get out of the lab. The biggest challenge now is “how to shape cultured cells into tissues.” Researchers are still trying to solve the problem.
Compared to the common vegetable burgers, “plant meat burgers” are still an emerging niche market. But from the point of view of the target consumer, it has great potential.
American researchers and market experts say the “plant meat” market is not just a small market for 3 percent vegetarians in the U.S.; as long as they’re cheap and nutritious, they can appeal to most U.S. consumers, especially those who like meat.
Does meat substitutes really taste like meat?
The most popular suppliers of meat substitutes in the U.S. market are Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, the first stock of “artificial meat” in the U.S., which includes regular burgers, beef sauces and sausages.
Analysts at Good Food Institute, a meat-replacement group that looks for good-tasting and affordable meats, say the main reason why Impossible Foods and Beyond Mea have successfully launched “artificial meat” in the US is taste.
Food critics have different views on taste. Tim Carman, a Washington Post critic, says Burger King’s “plant meat” burger, “Impossible Whopers” (known as “employees can’t tell the difference from real meat”), “is a much heavier meat, and although the first bite is not clear, it’s finally able to tell.” “
The difference between plant-meat burgers and meat sits not the point, but on whether “innovators” can precisely control consumer demand for the taste of fresh food.
Adam Rothbarth of the online media site Thrillist says, “This plant meat burger has a unique taste and texture. “The question is not whether this burger tastes like a traditional meat burger, but because it tastes good.
What is the reason for the popularity of meat substitutes?
I’ve heard of a lot of non-meat products before, so why are meat substitutes so hot now?
There are three main reasons for the popularity of meat substitutes: large market demand (large potential consumer sidoning space), capital market preference, food innovation and diversity.
Research shows that more and more consumers are concerned about dietary health and environmental sustainability, which means that the plant meat industry has room to dig.
50% of U.S. ‘plant meat’ target consumers still dig
Currently, there is still 50 percent of the digging space in the target consumer group in the U.S. market.
According to Gallup data for 2020, 50 percent of U.S. adults are familiar with plant meat products (17 percent of them are very familiar with plant meat; 33 percent are familiar with them), and about 50 percent are still unaware of them (19 percent of those who don’t know much; 30 percent don’t know it at all).
U.S. wants to try “plant meat” again: 66% of 18-29 year olds 66% and 56% over 65
Among American consumers who have tried plant meat, the younger Group of Americans (18-29 years old) is more fond of it. It is worth noting that it is as popular in the elderly consumer group (65 years and older) as the young consumer group.
According to Gallup data for 2020, 66 percent of U.S. consumers aged 18-29 would like to try plant meat again (34 percent of them said they would like to try again; 32 percent want edgy). Fifty-six percent of U.S. consumers aged 65 and older said they would like to try plant meat again (21 percent of them said they would like to try again; 35 percent said they would like to try again). )
Market capital’s popularity is also one of the reasons for its popularity. For example, the first Beyond Meat IPO of “artificial meat” in the United States. Beyond Meat Inc. is the largest IPO (an initial public offering) among U.S. companies raising more than $200 million since 2000, according to Dealogic in 2019.
According to MarketWatch, Beyond Meat generated $56.4 million in revenue in the first nine months of 2018, up 73 percent from a year earlier ($32.6 million in 2017).
In addition to the large size of the target group, food innovation and diversity have also attracted a number of consumers. Michele Simon, executive director of the Plant Food Association, said the explosive growth in food innovation and meat substitutes was one of the reasons why plant foods are mainstreaming in the Us.
Meat substitutes are healthier?
Generally speaking, vegetables are good for human health. So many people think that plant meat is more healthy than real meat. In fact, this view is not entirely true.
At present, there are still many uncertainties about the nutritional science of plant meat.
“The biggest misconception about plant foods is health. San Martin, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, points out that the materials of plant foods come from the plants themselves, but they are fundamentally different from vegetable salads: plant foods are processed foods. Therefore, relativeto unprocessed vegetables, its health index is still lower than the original vegetables.
“Fish and bear palms can’t have both. “To ensure that plant meat has a real taste and taste, it has to make concessions in other ways, such as nutrients in the material. To keep consumers from disappointed, plant meat makers have to find ways to give plant meat the same amount of energy and protein as real meat (in fact, the protein energy contained in plant meat burger Beyond Burger is no different from the beef burger).
Of course, plant meat also has the advantage that animal meat does not have. For example, plant meat is relatively friendly to consumers who are sensitive to antibiotics and growth hormone compared to animal meat.
Some consumers are concerned about the health effects of ferrohegen, a compound protein that binds to proteins, known as hemoglobin (Hb) or myoglobin (Mb), in plant meat. The Impossible Burger, for example, is similar in texture to animal meat because of the use of ferrophilin.
Some analysts are concerned about the potential health effects of the plant’s flesh, ferretin: an increased risk of cancer and heart disease. But there are also authoritative medical reports that “there is no evidence that red meat and thymoglobin cause these health risks.” “
From above, plant meat is at least as healthy as its substitutes, but food science research still has a long way to go if it is as healthy as a vegetable salad.
“Artificial meat” is greener?
“Environmental protection” is also one of the main reasons why capital markets are interested in “artificial meat”.
In August 2019, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations-affiliated cross-government organization, issued a warning report that global warming has led to a food crisis as a result of lower crop yields, reduced livestock productivity and an increasing number of pests in farmland.
“If humans do not change the way meat is produced and land use is made, climate change will lead to an international food crisis, ” the scientists warned. “
Temperatures of 2 degrees Celsius could lead to an international food crisis in the coming years, according to the report. July 2019 was the hottest month on record. Global temperatures have risen by 1.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. If greenhouse gases continue to rise, the atmosphere will be 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels in about 20 years.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, livestock emits 14.5 per cent of greenhouse gases, 65 per cent of which comes from cattle.
Global warming has affected food security in arid regions, mainly in the mountains of Africa, Asia and South America. According to the United Nations, droughts in the Mediterranean and South Africa are expected to increase in the future. Forests will sweep across North America, South America, the Mediterranean, South Africa and central Asia. Tropical and subtropical regions will be affected by declining crop yields.
Aware of environmental problems, coupled with climate researchers encouraging companies to produce meat substitutes to help researchers further track the carbon emissions of the product’s production methods, companies have begun experimenting with producing “plant meat” to help solve environmental problems.
According to The November 2019 Quantis data, plant meat burgers can reduce CO2 emissions by 89% compared to beef burgers, save 87% of water resources, reduce land reclamation by 96% and reduce water pollution by 92%.
But some researchers have questioned the greener claims of “plant meat”, with some pointing out that consumers who want to reduce their carbon emissions are more conducive to the natural environment by using unprocessed plant foods rather than “imitation products”.
Marco Springmann, senior environmental researcher at the University of Oxford, said: “Beyond and Impossible’s ‘plant meat’ is five times the carbon footprint of bean patty, although it emits half as much carbon as chicken. “So, “plant meat” is not the most environmentally friendly meat substitute.
From an environmental point of view, meat substitutes do have some room for development. But as things stand, the “artificial meat” market is still small (less than 1% of the meat market share), and there is still a long way to go to truly achieve the desired environmental impact.
“Artificial meat” real meat “Terminator”?
Whether the launch of the new star “artificial meat” will affect the real meat market share. For now, no.
Last year, consumer demand for real meat continued to grow. Meat consumption is expected to grow by nearly 73 percent by 2050, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Chinese and Indian consumers have higher appetite for “plant meat” than the U.S. 62.4 percent and U.S. 32.9 percent
The researchers worked with the University of Bath, The Good Food Institute, a non-profit organization that promotes meat substitutes, and the Hong Kong Center for Long Term Priorities, a long-term research group, to talk about consumers’ desire to “grow meat” and “plant meat” in three countries: China, India and the United States.
Consumers in China (“very much” 59.3 per cent) and India (“very much” 48.7 per cent) are more enthusiastic about buying meat than US consumers (29.8 per cent of “very much”)
Chinese consumers who buy “plant meat” (“very much” 62.4%) and Indian consumers (“very much” 62.8%) are much more enthusiastic than American consumers (“very much” 32.9%).
Overall, consumers in China, the United States and India are far more enthusiastic about “cultivating meat” or “plant meat” than American consumers.
16% of “Millennials” stay away from meat due to environmental concerns
More and more “millennials” in the United States are focusing on their health. According to Mintel, a British market research firm, 16 per cent of US consumers (mostly aged 18-34) avoid meat products because of environmental concerns.
Kit Yarrow, a consumer psychology researcher at Golden Gate University in the United States, says a growing number of “millennials” are willing to spend money on healthy food, mainly because of corporate values and whether they are environmentally friendly.
According to the World Resources Institute, the U.S. diet is changing dramatically, with beef consumption down by a third from the 1970s.
What’s next for “artificial meat”?
“Artificial meat” favored by the capital at the same time, “expensive” into the consumer’s mouth.
According to Starbucks’ official website, a “different kind of beef green sauce pasta” nearly 70 yuan, the same price can buy 2.5 servings of sandwiches.
According to Xinhua, the price tag of Target, a U.S. supermarket chain, shows that the 227-gram artificial meat cake produced by Beyond Meat costs $5.99 (about 42.39 yuan), which can be bought for about 600 grams of plain meat.
“Artificial meat” industry is still in the “baby”, in addition to the price of expensive, still need to pay attention to a few points.
First, how can more consumers understand “artificial meat” in terms of marketing and competitive strategies? After that, how can more manufacturers be encouraged to join the “artificial meat” manufacturing community? Second, what is the competitive strategy (through price, availability, etc.)? The final fall point is still on the consumer.
Second, the competition is more intense. At present, many meat companies are also entering the “artificial meat” market, launching their own “artificial meat” products. Xue Yan, secretary-general of the China Plant Food Industry Alliance, said, “At present, there are no fewer than 40 upstream and downstream enterprises, but also in the field of traditional meat food processing manufacturers involved, of which more than 90% of enterprises are involved in the development of this standard.” In addition to Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, two emerging “artificial meat” companies in the US, Tyson and Purdue Farms, us meat giants, have launched their own “artificial meat” products.
Third, “artificial meat” market standards: “artificial meat” qualified standards?
At present, “artificial meat” is still an emerging niche market, although in a short period of time can not really replace the meat consumption market, to ease the transition of consumer dependence on animal husbandry and the natural environment is increasingly negative pressure. But its development potential is also being developed. With people’s health and environmental sustainable development more and more attention, rapid technological innovation, “artificial meat” is within reach.