With an increasing awareness about preventive healthcare, the demand for plant protein or plant-based protein has been growing continuously across the globe. Majority of plant foods, excepting a few like soy, quinoa, spinach, do not contain all the essential amino acids. But, this shortcoming can be overcome by including a variety of plant foods in the diet.
The demand for plant proteins has been growing continuously, as they are being increasingly included in bakery products, cereals, snacks, meat alternatives, and nutritional supplements. Moreover, growing awareness about the adverse effects of high red meat consumption is also prompting many individuals to opt for plant-based protein.
The global plant protein market was valued at USD 10,564.6 million in 2017 and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.6% during 2018 to 2026. As mentioned already, growing preference for non-meat diet and increasing awareness about health and wellbeing are some of the major factors that are boosting the global plant protein market.
Earlier, protein products were mainly consumed by the consumers in the adult and infant age groups. But nowadays, plant-protein based products are consumed by consumers belonging to all age groups, mainly due to the increasing awareness about the benefits offered by plant-based proteins. Compared to animal protein, plant protein is easier to digest, is non-allergic in nature, and is a sustainable source of protein.
Moreover, many people are turning to plant protein not only for its high nutritional value but also for economical and ethical reasons. All these have led to an increase in demand for plant-based protein. Plant protein ingredients are being increasingly used in spots nutrition products, food & beverages, and pharmaceutical products. The plant protein market is expected to grow significantly in the emerging economies.
However, fluctuations in raw material prices can act as a hindrance for the growth of the global plant protein market. Government regulations related to protein obtained from GMO or genetically modified crops may also restrict the growth of the market to some extent.
On the basis of the source of plant protein, the global plant protein market has been segmented into wheat protein, soy protein, pea protein, and other cereal protein. Among these, the soy protein segment is dominating the plant protein market, followed by pea protein and wheat protein. Soy protein is widely used in dietary supplements and energy drinks, mainly due to its high nutritional profile.
Geographically, North America is the most prominent market in the global plant protein market due to the presence of high level of awareness about health and wellness, and a shift in consumption pattern from diets high in animal protein to vegetarian and vegan diets in the region.
Key players operating in the global plant protein market include Cargill Incorporated, Archer Daniels Midland Company, Ajinomoto Co., Inc., Ltd, Axiom Foods, Ezaki Glico Co., E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Company, Glanbia plc, Omega Protein Corporation, Growing Naturals, LLC, Kerry Group PLC, and Pinnacle Foods, Inc., among others.