Plant-Based Protein Market to Reach $1.6 Billion by 2026 Amid Demand Boom

By Jemima McEvoy Sunday, February 28, 2021

An assortment of high protein vegetables and nuts.

The rising demand for meat alternatives is not expected to disappear within the next few years. In fact, a new report published by Research And Markets projects strong growth in the global market for plant-based proteins — sources of protein that classify as vegan or vegetarian — which analysts predict could reach the massive value of $15.6 billion by 2026. There are major players in this industry and even more factors driving the potential of plant-based proteins.

Market Profile

The global plant-based protein market was worth $10.3 billion as of 2020. This market has seen explosive growth in recent years due to a shift away from meat in many cultures across the world — particularly in some Western countries — as well as the broader knowledge about the health benefits these products provide.

There are a number of businesses dominating the global market, including US-based companies Archer Daniel Midland, Batory Foods, Cargill, Dupont, Ingredion; French-based companies Roquette Freres and Sotexpro; Irish-based companies Glanbia and Kerry Group; Belgian-based company Cosucra Groupe; Germany-based company Emsland Group; Singaporean-based company Wilmar International; Indian-based company Puris; and Canadian-based company Burcon NutraScience.

The recent success of the industry is demonstrated by some of these companies’ 2020 earnings. For example, Archer Daniels Midland came out with an earnings surprise of 16.35% in its Q4 report released last month, surpassing analyst projections. Ingredion also surpassed its revenue estimates, pulling in a Q4 revenue of $1.59 billion, up 2.6% year-over-year despite the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Growth Projections

The global plant-based protein market is projected to expand by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.2% over the next five years. This is significant momentum and will — according to industry analysts — push the global market to a value of $15.6 billion by 2026. That amounts to a 51.5% value increase within the timeframe.

Reasons for Growth

Growth in the market is expected to be driven by a number of factors, including increasing demand in the food industry, increasing demand for pea-based protein, and opportunities for companies to expand in high-growth potential markets, according to the report.

More specifically, analysts predict a rise in interest in health-enriching beverages that use plant-based proteins, as well as a boom in the Asia-Pacific region, which is projected to record the highest growth during the forecast period. “The rising vegan food consumption has led to an increased demand for plant-based food,” explains the report, highlighting China, India, and Japan as countries that will house the most growth.

Final Takeaways

This report suggests that some cultures moving away from meat is more than just a fad. Companies producing non-meat protein alternatives have seen strong growth in recent years. These companies can continue to brace for success if they are malleable to the niches of consumer demands and innovative in their development.

About the Author


Headshot for author Jemima McEvoy

Jemima is a journalist who enjoys reporting on business, particularly small business and entrepreneurship.

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