Plant based proteins at parity with processed animal products
Plant-based proteins hold the promise to provide protein at a fraction of the energy, water, land, and climate impacts of animal agriculture while doing so in a healthier manner. Plant-based proteins will continue to improve this decade in three core ways:
- 1. Price. Plant-based protein products, today, are sold at a premium to animal-based meats. Their production costs are often higher than those of animal agriculture, primarily due to the much smaller scale of plant-based proteins. Substantial scaling and learning effects this decade will erase that gap.
- 2. Taste. Plant-based protein products continue to improve in flavor and are on the path to being indistinguishable from processed or ground animal products (such as ground meat, sausages, chicken patties and nuggets) within the decade.
- 3. Texture. Advances in food production techniques will improve the texture of plant based-proteins as well. Already, some plant-based options are hard to distinguish from animal products. The landscape of these technologies and the animal products they can effectively mimic will steadily expand over the coming decade.
While this will not yet be at the fidelity required to replace a steak dinner, the arrival of plant and fungi-based foods that are almost indistinguishable from these processed forms of meat will lead to new levels of consumer adoption and a reduction in the ecological footprint of fast food.