Americans Aren’t Sold on Plant-based Meat

Impossible Foods

Plant-based eating has its benefits, but consumers are slow to buy in.

What’s happening: A Deloitte survey said plant-based meats are suffering from a perception problem, leading to declining sales.

  • 46% say they would pay a premium for it, sliding 9% from 2021.
  • 60% believe plant-based meat is healthier than fresh meat, down 8%
  • 65% think alt meat is more sustainable than fresh meat, a 5% drop.

What it means: While alt-meat production has a lower carbon footprint than that of animal protein, highly processed imitation meats aren’t necessarily healthy.

Opting to fill their carts with fresh food even in the face of inflation, consumer sales of cheaper, natural meat remain strong.

Plant Power

Gaining ground while meat producers endured COVID outbreaks, brands targeting the faux beef boom have seen sales decline.

  • Beyond Meat’s stock price is down over 75% this year, hitting an all-time low in September.
  • Earlier this month, multinational meatpacker JBS shuttered its US-based plant-based foods company Planterra.
  • Last week, Impossible Foods laid off 6% of its workforce, while founder and chief science officer Pat Brown left his post for another role at the company.

But… plant-based foods—outside those masquerading as meat—are on the rise, with sales hitting $7.4B last year and projected to increase 5x by 2030.

Big picture: Consumers want to eat healthier and become more sustainable. But actions speak louder than words. 80% of Americans fail to eat minimum daily servings for fruits and vegetables. Meanwhile, humans consume only 4% of the 300K edible plants on Earth, while 77% of the planet’s farmable land is used for animal agriculture.

Punchline: Instead of building a better burger, companies aiming to make plants more convenient, affordable, and wholesome hold the key to a healthier planet.

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