Plant-Based Protein Market Size, Share, Industry Overview, Trends, Growth Drivers, Business Opportunities, and Leading Players

Plant-Based Protein Market Size, Share, Industry Overview, Trends, Growth Drivers, Business Opportunities, and Leading Players

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Plant-Based Protein Market by Source (Soy, Wheat, Pea, Canola Rice & Potato, Beans & Seeds, Fermented Protein), Type (Concentrates, Isolates, Textured), Form (Dry, Liquid), Nature (Conventional, Organic), Application and Region – Global Forecast to 2028

The global plant-based protein market is estimated to be valued at USD 13.3 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 19.2 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 7.7% from 2023 to 2028. In recent years, the global food industry has witnessed a significant shift in consumer preferences, with a growing demand for plant-based protein alternatives. This trend reflects changing consumer attitudes toward health, sustainability, and ethical considerations. Many consumers are becoming more health-conscious, looking for options that align with their dietary preferences and restrictions. Plant-based protein sources, such as tofu, legumes, and pea protein, are often perceived as healthier choices due to their lower saturated fat content and absence of cholesterol. Additionally, they are often rich in fiber and essential nutrients, making them attractive alternatives for those seeking to maintain a balanced diet.

Plant-Based Protein Market

Plant-Based Protein Market Trends

The plant-based protein market had been experiencing significant growth, driven by various factors such as increasing consumer awareness of health and sustainability, rising concerns about animal welfare, and the expanding availability of plant-based products. Here are some trends that were shaping the plant-based protein market:

1. Expansion of Product Offerings: Food companies were diversifying their plant-based protein product lines beyond traditional options like tofu and tempeh to include innovative alternatives such as pea protein, soy protein, seitan, and mycoprotein (derived from fungi).

2. Rise of Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods: Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods had emerged as key players in the plant-based protein market, offering realistic meat alternatives that appealed to both vegetarians/vegans and flexitarians.

3. Retail Penetration: Plant-based protein products were becoming increasingly available in mainstream retail outlets, including supermarkets, convenience stores, and online platforms. This increased accessibility was driving greater adoption among consumers.

4. Investment and Innovation: There was significant investment in research and development within the plant-based protein sector, leading to advancements in taste, texture, and nutritional profile of plant-based products. This included the development of plant-based alternatives for dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt.

5. Celebrity Endorsements and Partnerships: High-profile endorsements from celebrities and partnerships with popular restaurants and food chains were helping to promote plant-based protein products and broaden their appeal to a wider audience.

6. Health and Wellness: Growing concerns about health and wellness were driving consumers to seek out plant-based protein options as part of a balanced diet. Plant-based proteins were often perceived as healthier alternatives to animal-derived proteins due to their lower saturated fat content and higher fiber and micronutrient content.

7. Environmental Sustainability: Increasing awareness of the environmental impact of animal agriculture, including greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and water usage, was prompting consumers to choose plant-based protein options as a more sustainable choice.

8. Regulatory Changes and Labeling: Regulatory changes related to food labeling and marketing were impacting the plant-based protein market, with some jurisdictions implementing stricter regulations around terms like “meat” and “dairy” on plant-based products.

Plant-Based Protein Market Opportunities: Focus on aquatic plants as new & emerging sources of protein

Plant-based foods and beverages offer various health benefits and essential minerals; however, they can cause allergies in some individuals, which presents a challenge to market growth. For example, soybeans, despite their nutrient-rich profile, contain anti-nutritional components that can trigger allergies. Soy is part of the “Big Eight” allergens, alongside cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, fish, and shellfish, responsible for 90% of food allergies. Soy allergy occurs when the immune system mistakenly identifies harmless soy proteins as harmful, leading to allergic reactions. Additionally, soy protein contains high levels of phytic acid, which may hinder the absorption of vital minerals like calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc, potentially causing symptoms such as itching, hives, bloating, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain.

Another concern revolves around wheat, which has traditionally been a staple food providing essential nutrients. However, recent years have seen rising apprehensions about its adverse health effects, particularly in North America and Europe. Wheat gluten proteins can lead to various adverse reactions, including allergies, celiac disease, and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Celiac disease, often beginning in infancy, results from an allergic reaction to gluten in the diet, leading to inflammation and damage to the small intestine’s inner lining. These allergies associated with specific plant-based ingredients are expected to limit the growth of the global plant-based protein market in the forecast period.

The North American market is projected to dominate the plant-based protein market.

The increasing demand for plant-based proteins in North America can be attributed to several factors. First, ethical considerations and growing consumer awareness regarding personal and environmental health have driven many people to adopt veganism and flexitarian diets, emphasizing the importance of sustainable and cruelty-free food choices.

Additionally, a report from the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) in March 2022 revealed that plant-based food retail sales in the United States reached USD 7.4 billion, surpassing total food retail sales. This impressive growth of 6.1% in 2021, despite supply chain disruptions and pandemic restrictions, has sparked a continued surge in demand for plant-based foods, offering significant business opportunities for plant-based protein ingredients.

Top Companies in the Plant-Based Protein Market

The key players in this market include Cargill, Incorporated (US), International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (US), ADM (US), Ingredion Incorporated (US), Roquette Frères (France), Wilmar International Ltd. (Singapore), Glanbia plc (Ireland), Kerry Group PLC (Ireland), DSM (Netherlands), AGT Food and Ingredients (Canada), Burcon NutraScience Corporation (Canada), Emsland Group (Germany), PURIS (US), COSUCRA (Belgium), Tate & Lyle (UK), BENEO GmbH (Germany), SOTEXPRO (France), Shandong Jianyuan group (China), AMCO Proteins (US), Axiom Foods, Inc (US), Aminola (Netherlands), The Green Labs LLC. (US), Australian Plant Proteins Pty Ltd (Australia), ETChem (China), PROEON (India), Nutraferma, Inc. (US), MycoTechnology (US), European Protein A/S (Denmark).

Other players in the ecosystems are Batory Foods, Berkem Group, CHS Inc.,  Crown Soya Protein Group Company, Devansoy Inc., Fuji Oil Holdings, Gushen Biotechnology Group Co., Ltd., among others.

ADM (US)

Archer Daniels Midland Company, commonly referred to as ADM, specializes in the production and distribution of a wide range of products, including food ingredients, animal feed and feed ingredients, biofuels, and environmentally friendly alternatives to industrial chemicals. With a history spanning over a century, ADM maintains a diverse portfolio of businesses that spans the entire agricultural value chain. One of ADM’s significant competitive advantages is its capability to efficiently source, process, and distribute agricultural commodities such as grains, oilseeds, and other raw materials. This is facilitated by its extensive network of origination facilities, processing plants, and logistics capabilities, enabling the company to effectively connect farmers and producers with customers worldwide.

ADM is recognized as a global leader in the nutrition sector and has a rich history of innovation in plant-based proteins, with a track record spanning more than 75 years. It is also one of the largest soybean processors globally. The company operates through four major segments: Ag services and oilseeds, carbohydrate solutions, nutrition, and others. Under the nutrition segment, ADM offers plant protein products primarily utilized in various food applications, including bakery, snacks, confectionery, and cooking. ADM produces plant-based proteins from sources like peas, soy, and wheat, which have diverse applications in dairy and meat alternative products, as well as feed products.

ADM’s global presence extends across North America, South America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Africa. The company has established a robust global supply chain network to maintain consistent product quality. This network includes 450 crop procurement locations, over 330 food and feed ingredient manufacturing facilities, 62 innovation centers, and an extensive crop transportation system.

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Cargill, Incorporated (US)

Cargill, Incorporated, founded in 1865, has grown to become one of the largest privately owned firms in the United States, with a strong global presence. The firm manufactures and distributes food ingredients, bio-industrial goods, animal nutrition and health solutions, protein, salt, agricultural supply chain services, financial services, and metals. Cargill is comprised of 75 corporate units divided into four major segments: agricultural, food, financial services, and industrial products. Its plant-based protein offerings are classified as food and drinks and may be found in a variety of food goods such as bread items, snacks, confectionery, and culinary components.

Cargill’s R&D facilities are strategically placed across Europe and North America. The organization provides services across Africa, Europe, Asia, Latin America, North America, and the Middle East, among other places. Cargill operates in 70 countries through its subsidiaries and affiliates, providing a strong worldwide network that spans North America, South America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Africa. Cargill Meat Solutions (US), Cargill Enterprises Inc. (Russia), Cargill Asia Pacific Holdings Pte Limited (Singapore), Cargill RSA (Pty) Limited (South Africa), Cargill Espaa SA. (Spain), and Cargill Nordic A/S (Sweden) are some of the company’s noteworthy subsidiaries.

International Flavors & Fragrances Inc.  (US)

In February 2021, International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. and Dupont’s Nutrition and Biosciences merged, resulting in the continuance of the combined firm under the name International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. This firm manufactures flavors, perfumes, and cosmetic actives on a global scale.

International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. is divided into four business segments. The company’s “nourish” business offers a diverse and unique range of natural-based ingredients designed to improve the nutritional content, texture, and functioning of a variety of food and beverage items, including drinks, dairy products, baked goods, confectionery, and culinary applications. The health & biosciences division focuses on the research and development of innovative biotechnology-derived solutions such as enzymes, food cultures, probiotics, and specialized ingredients with applications in both food and pharmaceuticals.

The scent segment specializes in creating fragrance compounds, fragrance ingredients, and cosmetic components used in high-quality perfumes as well as popular household and personal care products. Finally, the pharma solutions segment offers a broad range of pharmaceutical excipients derived from cellulosic and seaweed sources. These four segments together comprise the company’s diverse business portfolio, serving various industries and providing innovative solutions for a range of applications. Additionally, the company offers plant-based protein products within its nourish category.

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Ingredion (US)

Ingredion, a multinational corporation based in the United States, specializes in the production of starch, modified starches, nutritional ingredients, and sweeteners. The company’s operations are organized into five primary business segments: food, beverage, animal nutrition, brewing, and other categories. Within its food and beverage segments, Ingredion offers plant-based protein products that are used in various applications, including animal feed, performance nutrition, dairy, and meat-alternative products.

Ingredion maintains a global presence, serving customers in more than 120 countries across various regions, including North America, South America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East & Africa. Some of its notable subsidiaries include TIC Gums Inc (US), Kerr Concentrate Inc (US), National Starch Food Innovation (US), and Perford Corporation (US).

The company faces formidable competition from prominent industry players such as DuPont (US), Glanbia plc (Ireland), and ADM (US).

Roquette Frères (France)

The French business Roquette Frères is a major leader in the plant-based protein market. Biopharma, pharma & nutraceuticals, cosmetics, food & nutrition, animal nutrition, industrial markets, and NUTRALYS plant protein are the company’s seven primary business sectors. Under the NUTRALYS plant protein category, Roquette offers plant-based protein products derived from diverse sources such as peas, wheat, and faba beans. These proteins have several applications in dairy and meat substitutes, as well as in sports nutrition.

Geographically, Roquette has a presence in North America, Europe, and Asia. It serves a customer base that spans more than 45 countries, including the United States, China, Korea, Japan, India, Russia, Canada, Spain, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Some of its notable subsidiaries include Roquette Korea Ltd (Korea), Roquette America Inc (US), Sethness Products Company (US), Bacel Eatmoquimica Ltda (Brazil), Roquette Co Ltd (China), and Roquette UK Ltd (UK).

The company has a presence in Australia, China, North America, and Southeast Asia. The company operates throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Key Questions Addressed by the Plant-Based Protein Market Report:

Which region is projected to account for the largest share in the dairy alternatives market?

What is the current size of the global plant-based protein market?

Which are the key players in the market?

What are the factors driving the plant-based protein market?

Which segment by source accounted for the largest plant-based protein market share?

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