COVID-19 Impact on Pharmaceutical Packaging in Chemicals and Materials Industry

COVID-19 Impact on Plant Based Meat in Food and Beverages Industry

  • Food & Beverage
  • Feb 11, 2022

COVID-19 Impact on Plant Based Meat in Food and Beverages Industry

Globally, countries are expecting drastic economic decline in low- and middle-income countries due to loss of income, shutdown of businesses, human and goods movement restrictions imposed by governments, de-globalization, and breakdown of food markets to both demand shocks and supply constraints. This disease has a variable impact in different countries depending on their cultural norms, mitigation efforts, and health infrastructure, and each country is working its way out to fight against the pandemic. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all industries, including the plant based meat market. The plant based meat market is subjected to a positive and negative impact due to the sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Amidst the lockdown, the market has witnessed moderate volume growth and earnings due to a rising use of plant based meat in the food and beverage industry and the pharmaceutical industry. The COVID-19 crisis provides significant growth opportunities for the plant based meat market. Presence have also contributed to the development of global plant based meat market at a global level. However, the disrupted supply chain for plant based meat materials is due to the shutdown of boundaries and strict lockdowns imposed by the government to control the spread of the virus.

AFTERMATH OF COVID-19 AND GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES TO BOOST THE GLOBAL PLANT BASED MEAT MARKET

The pandemic of COVID-19 created a demand for plant based meat due to e-commerce platforms and increasing number of online food delivery aggregators. Due to COVID-19 outbreak, many consumers avoid visits to retail stores due to the imposition of lockdowns in light of the current situation of growing omicron cases.

After the COVID-19 outbreak, the adoption of vegan diets is growing due to rising health awareness, which will directly increases the global plant based meat market

For instance,

  • According to Vegan Society in 2021 alone the Vegan Society registered an impressive 16,439 products with the Vegan Trademark
  • McKinsey’s survey of 2020 found almost 70% of respondents are willing to spend more time and money to purchase safer and eco-friendly products, while almost 60% are more inclined towards healthily eating practices after the crisis.

The growing obese population is one of the main reasons for the increasing consumption of plant based meat. After the COVID-19 outbreak, consumers are more conscious of the type of food they are consuming and are simultaneously taking the necessary steps to cut down on the unnecessary intake of fat and high-calorie food products in their regular diet.

For instance,

  • According to WHO (World Health Organization), in 2021, more than 650 million adults aged more than 18 years were overweight

The government is also tackling these COVID-19 times to support the plant base meat market.  Some countries' governments relaxed regulatory requirements placed on alternative proteins, mainly for plant-based protein products.

For instance,

  • The FDA has relaxed its guidelines for selling plant-based meat products in the market. Earlier, the FDA did not allow direct-to-consumer sales of impossible raw plant-based meat burgers due to labeling concerns.

Therefore, in the post-COVID-19 period, the demand for plant based meat will increase moderately due to its increasing vegan and obese population.

STRATEGIC DECISIONS FOR MANUFACTURERS AFTER COVID-19 TO GAIN COMPETITIVE MARKET SHARE

Plant based meat market is gaining popularity across various industrial sectors all over the globe. Since the lockdown due to COVID-19, the plant based meat manufacturers are required to follow a series of mandates and procedures to battle the crisis and keep a healthy workspace environment. To combat the current situation and gain a competitive market share, the manufacturers are offering attractive packages. Various marketing strategies are being adopted by the key manufacturers of the market, such as product innovation, regional expansion, and new product development to sustain the competitive market and meet the changing consumer trends. Adoption of such strategic marketing policies by various competitors will help to them to gain competitive market share in the post COVID-19 era.

For instance,

  • In December 2021, ITC has launched plant-based burger patties and nuggets which mimic the taste of chicken and are the two largest non-vegetarian frozen food categories
  • In November 2021, Redefine Meat an Israel-based company has launched world's first whole cuts of plant-based meat.
  • In October 2020, Impossible Foods Inc. expanded its presence by introducing its flagship product, Impossible Burger, in the Canadian market. The company has made its product available in about 600 Sobeys family stores and on the retailer’s online grocery home delivery service. This will enable the company to expand its retail footprint in the market.
  • In September 2020, Beyond Meat rolled out its new product, Beyond Meatballs, which will start being available in the grocery stores across the U.S. This product will fulfill the consumer demand for nutritious and easy-to-prepare products made from plant-based ingredients.

IMPACT ON PRICE

The COVID-19 has impacted the global economy growth terribly. Many organizations remained shut while others scaled down their operations or put their expansion plans on hold as they survived the unpredictable crisis. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in nationwide lockdowns, and various stringent regulations on border closing were imposed by the government of nations across the globe, which resulted in the spike in the prices of plant based meat. Import and export of raw materials were hampered due to the closing of the border of various nations. This resulted in an increase in the prices in countries that were dependent on the imports of plant based meat. At the same time, the price in the major plant based meat exporter countries had fallen owing to the larger production than the demand. However, the ease of lockdown and various initiatives by the government to export and import plant based meat resulted in the subsequent price drop owing to its availability. The price impact on the plant based meat market was relatively dependent on specific commodities.

IMPACT ON DEMAND

The COVID-19 has resulted in a surge of plant based meat demand post pandemic. The plant based meat demand is increasing with growing awareness among consumers about the health benefits of veganism. The demand for vegetarian foods that are high in fiber, vitamin C, and iron, and contain low processed saturated fats is on the rise in the U.S. In addition, the round-the-clock efforts of manufacturers to create a product with a longer shelf life, better texture & aroma, and better nutritious profiles.

Rising awareness about the health benefits offered by plant-based meat over animal meat. As plant-based meat contains lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories than animal-based meat. They often contain higher levels of micronutrients, such as zinc, iron, and calcium. The plant-based trend continues to grow during COVID times and encouraging people to eat more fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Also, there are various health benefits associated with plant-based products, about which consumers are getting more aware recently.

Also, excessive consumption of animal-based meat may result in diet-related diseases such as obesity, type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers is one of the main reason for growing demand of plant based meat. As the consumption of plant-based meat does not give rise to such diseases. Moreover, they aid in building better immunity. The nutritional benefits of plant-based meats and their safety compared with conventional meat are also contributing to gain the attention of consumers.

IMPACT ON SUPPLY CHAIN

The COVID-19 pandemic has highly disrupted the supply chain of raw materials used to manufacture plant based meat. During COVID-19, the food system experienced significant shifts, including interruptions to supplies of key inputs, limited access to production spaces, and disruption to the distribution of products. It was attributed to the lack of resources and transportation, which led to lower access, delayed stock, and supplies of raw materials products. In addition, many governments restricted the movement of goods across the countries, and the entire supply chain was distorted. Due to the disrupted supply chain, transportation of raw materials has been interrupted, stalling production. Similarly, inflated prices and halt on production of plant based meat have resulted in the unmet demand for plant based meat.  

The new variant of COVID-19 ‘Omicron’ is spreading fast across the world, which has again prompted governments around the globe to reimpose travel restrictions which will gradually disturb the supply chain again.

For Instance,

  • In January 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said more than half of Europe’s population will get infected with the Omicron coronavirus variant within the next six to eight weeks
  • In January 2022, the United States (US) is facing the steepest COVID-19 surge of the pandemic. The country is recording close to 700,000 new infections every day, the highest so far. Eight Americans are testing positive per second, and at this rate the country is likely to cross the one million new cases daily mark soon
  • In January 2022, According to Indian Express the Indian Covid numbers are: Delhi (19,166), Mumbai (13,648 cases), Bengaluru (9,221 cases), Kolkata (5,556 cases), Chennai (6,190 cases)
  • In December 2021, United Nations’ health agency stated that Omicron has been reported in 89 countries
  • In December 2021, UK Health Security Agency said on Twitter there had been an additional 12,133 confirmed cases of Omicron over the previous 24 hours, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 37,101

CONCLUSION

COVID- 19 pandemic has taken a toll on the population and economy. Increasing vegan population across the globe is expected to increase the demand for plant based meat during the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic is having a strong impact on various facets of the plant based meat industry. Governments in hard-hit countries have imposed nationwide lockdowns and travel restrictions to avoid further virus infection, creating several barriers across the supply chain in the plant based meat market. As such, market players are chalking out innovative strategies to address this uncertain period. The growing consciousness for animal rights through various welfare organizations continues to push the consumption of plant based meat.