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The Pandemic Has Fuelled Changes in Consumer Appetites towards Meat Products

Consumer appetites towards meat products have changed during the pandemic. Sales for plant-based meat alternatives have risen over the pandemic due to consumers increasing their efforts towards health and sustainability.

“What Covid has done is it has enabled people to briefly give some attention to where their meat comes from,” said Pat Brown, the founder of Impossible Foods. Impossible Foods produce plant-based meat alternatives and are encouraging consumers to consider alternative protein options. “We’re not anti-animal meat. We’re just saying there are protein options you need to look at.”

Furthermore, Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of grilling season. Plant-based alternative producers are anticipating an increase in purchases of their products. This is due to a number of factors, such as soaring meat prices and increased attention towards sustainability and health. Moreover, many slaughterhouses have been closed due to Covid outbreaks.

Due to the rise in the number of people cooking at home over lockdown, sales for both beef and plant-based alternatives have risen. Between May 2020 and 2021, sales for meat alternatives have grown by 25 per cent. In 2020, sales amounted to $932 million. In comparison to meat, sales have only risen by 9 percent. This shows a clear increase in the number of people switching to plant-based meat alternatives and cooking from home.

Head chef of the influential New York City restaurant, Eleven Madison Park, announced that “the current food system is simply not sustainable.” The restaurant will also be reopening with a menu that is completely plant-based.

Beyond Meat’s stock price surged by over 16 percent on Wednesday due to meme stock crowds joining the trend. Stock-picking crowds, such as Reddit, will begin joining the trend following their previous influence of stock prices of GameStop and AMC.

Consumers are finding the taste of meat-free products are indistinguishable from the real thing. Companies that are advancing in meat-free product production will improve the flavours and textures further.

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