A customer tries a plant-based meat substitute product on the Restaurant & Bar and Connoisseur Asia expo on the Hong Kong Conference and Exhibition centre in Hong Kong on November 11, 2020.

Peter Parks | AFP | Getty Photographs

SINGAPORE — Demand for meat alternate options has grown and can proceed to rise, however the trade nonetheless has hurdles to beat in several elements of the world, analysts mentioned.

Worldwide search curiosity for the time period “plant-based meat” skyrocketed in early 2019 months earlier than Beyond Meat’s preliminary public providing, in keeping with Google Traits.

The worldwide meat substitutes sector is value $20.7 billion, and is about to develop to $23.2 billion by 2024, market analysis firm Euromonitor informed CNBC.

That progress is being spurred by considerations starting from animal welfare to meals safety and the Covid-19 pandemic.

“On this period of shocks and instability, constructing a low-risk worth chain means specializing in the place the alternatives are, and the shift in direction of plant-based meat reveals no indicators of slowing down,” mentioned Elaine Siu, managing director of The Good Meals Institute Asia Pacific.

However obstacles stay for the burgeoning market.

Cultural boundaries

The plant-based meat market in Asia could also be restricted by established notion points, mentioned Siu.

For instance, mock meat or vegetarian meat was beforehand primarily eaten by followers of Buddhism in China, she mentioned.

“Replication of the style and texture of meat was by no means pushed previous a comparatively fundamental stage,” she mentioned, including that these conventional merchandise serve a selected goal and “their attraction is seen as restricted” to sure teams.

“To ensure that plant-based meat to succeed in its full market potential in Asia, the sector should proceed to interrupt freed from its affiliation with conventional mock meats, that are anticipated to be bought at a low value level and carry historic picture baggage,” mentioned Siu.

Objections from the standard meat trade

A herd of beef cattle collect within the shade of outdated barn on Might 4, 2020 in Owings, Maryland.

Mark Wilson | Getty Photographs Information | Getty Photographs

“Incumbent producers are going to foyer their governments onerous to vary the labelling, to fiddle with shopper promoting to say you’ll be able to’t name it meat,” Powell informed CNBC through Zoom. “I feel that is probably one of many greatest boundaries.”

The European Union in October rejected proposals to ban eating places and retailers from utilizing phrases akin to sausage or burger when describing meat alternate options.

Client confidence, shopper fatigue

Powell added that if any of the plant-based meat firms had “some type of accident” or drawback with their recipe that ends in a “huge recall,” that would make clients afraid of consuming these alternate options.

“It is a massive ‘if’ … but when they have been to have an enormous recall of product, then which may dent shopper confidence,” he mentioned. “Sooner or later, you are going to get these occasions. That is going to set the trade again a bit.”

Individually, Powell mentioned the “Instagrammability” of plant-based meals is one motive why the market is rising “in all places on the earth.” Development of the market may very well be hindered if the novelty of meat alternate options fades away or wears off, he mentioned.