Cattle industry sees real competition in growing alternative meat industry

Credit: Live Kindly
Credit: Live Kindly

The trend of moving away from the traditional burger intensified [recently], when it was announced that McDonalds and Yum! Brands had signed a three-year partnership with the alternative meat company, Beyond Meat. Yum!’s chain of restaurants includes the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell chains.

A recent study on the economic impact of the alternative meat industry found that the plant-based food market is expected to reach $74.2 billion by 2027. The financial services company Barclays estimates the market for alternative meat could grow by 1,000% over the next 10 years, reaching $140 billion.

This popularity has been fueled by environmental and climate change reasons as well as animal welfare concerns and a general interest in health and wellness.

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According to the most recent Ag Economy Barometer, released by Purdue University and the CME Group, over half (55%) of producers who took the monthly survey said they expect alternative protein sources to capture up to 10% of the combined market for animal and plant-based protein. 

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“Obviously, they’re very concerned about how this is going to play out,” Purdue economist Michael Langemeier said on the popular “Adams on Agriculture” radio show. He stated that a market share of 5 – 10% would be “a game-changer…something that would have ripples throughout production agriculture.”

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