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"Plant-Based Meat 2021-2031" is a new market-research and business-intelligence report published by IDTechEx. The report explores the technical and industry factors shaping the emerging plant-based meat market.

Sales of plant-based meat have increased sharply in recent years. Sales have been buoyed by the COVID-19 pandemic that disrupted meat-supply chains and put increased scrutiny on the conventional meat industry.

Investments in the plant-based meat industry also have increased with the industry raising more than $1.4 billion in 2020 alone. The industry expects the trend to continue into 2021 and beyond, with plant-based meat looking increasingly set to disrupt the $1-trillion global meat industry.

Plant-based meat is not a new concept. Tofu and seitan have existed for years. Meat-alternative brands such as Quorn and Tofurky have been in stores around the world for decades. But until recently those products were primarily targeted at vegetarians.

The most recent generation of plant-based meat products, such as the Beyond Burger and Impossible Burger, have aimed to change this. Companies are targeting the 95 percent of consumers who eat meat but are looking to reduce consumption for health or environmental reasons. The consumers are less likely to sacrifice product quality so plant-based meat companies have increasingly invested in research to create new plant-based meat products that are almost exact replicas of the real thing.

Research and development has been accelerated by advances in production technology, such as the twin-screw extrusion technology pioneered by Gardein in the early 2000s. Chilean startup NotCo is using artificial-intelligence technology to find optimized combinations of ingredients. Israeli company Redefine Meat is using 3D-printing technology to create structured plant-based meat products such as steaks. California-based Eat Just uses high-throughput screening techniques to find combinations of plant proteins that suit different foods, such as the company's mung bean-based egg substitute.

But the industry still faces challenges that threaten its goal of disrupting the meat industry. Plant-based meat products generally remain more expensive than their conventional meat counterparts, with cost reduction being a priority for the industry.

Further work into optimizing product quality also is necessary, particularly regarding plant-based analogs to structured meat products such as steaks and chicken breasts. Finally the industry has faced resistance from the conventional meat industry, which asked regulators to place restrictions on the labeling of plant-based meat products, such as the recently proposed European ban. That action threatened to ban producers of vegan dairy analogs from using milk cartons and yogurt pots to package their products before it was withdrawn in May 2021.

"Plant-Based Meat 2021-2031" provides a technical and industry evaluation of the plant-based meat market based on extensive primary research into the sector. The report explores how plant-based meat is produced, the technical barriers involved, and the novel technologies emerging in the space. The report discusses consumer and regulatory factors involved in shaping the market. It also features key players in the industry and the investments raised.

The report contains a 10-year region-based market forecast for the future of the plant-based meat industry. The global market is forecast to be worth more than $29 billion by 2031. Visit www.IDTechEx.com/PlantMeat for more information.

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This article originally ran on agupdate.com.

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