2 min read

Is this the beginning of the end for fake meat?

Is this the beginning of the end for fake meat?

Back in 2019, Beyond Meat founder Ethan Brown proclaimed at the Goldman Sachs Builders & Innovators Summit that his products would

help solve heart disease, diabetes, cancer, climate change, natural resource depletion and animal welfare

Pretty impressive claims for a equally impressive company looking to upend traditional meat and agriculture.

But it hasn't really worked out that way. The death spiral of never really happened and traditional meat is still at large.

Fake meat promised so much but never really delivered. So is this the beginning of the end for fake meat?

This article in Bloomberg Business Week seems to think so. As it explains, plant based meats have failed on three counts:

  • Price

Plant based meats are more expensive. The hope was that, as the sector grew and manufacturing efficiencies were enabled, the price point would come down. but this really never happened.

Coupled with the current cost of living crisis and rampant inflation, consumers continue to cut back on more expensive items.

  • Environmental benefits

The jury is still out of whether it is actually better for the environment eating plat based meat. This is a contentious issue where on one hand, the manufacturers state it can be yet this article is highly critical of ultra-high processed foods as being environmentally unsustainable.  

This creates doubt. And in the consumers mind, makes them question what they are actually switch up to?

  • Health Benefits

The old adage of 'if you can't spell it or pronounce it then you shouldn't eat it' holds especially true for plant based products. Just a few of the ingredients in Beyond Meat burgers include:

  • Methylcellulose
  • Natural Flavours - whatever that means?
  • Refined Coconut Oil
  • Potassium Chloride

The bottom line is that plant-based meats are classified as ultra-high processed foods:

They have undergone extensive industrial processing and include substances of “no or rare culinary use”, which means you would not find them in your average kitchen cupboard

And nobody should be under the illusion that these are health foods. because they're not.

So what?

So, where does this leave the fake meat industry and traditional agriculture?

Well, plant based products aren't going to go away. But were aren't going to see the massive disruption once promised by the industry. Until the manufacturers can address the issues above, I believe the category will grow slightly but remain niche.

Beef, pig amd chicken farmers needent be too worried.


The Centre for Consumer Freedom

Is Fake Meat Health