Plant-Based Prepared Meals are Ripe with Opportunity, Finds New Market Research Report

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Marketers of plant-based meat products should focus on convenience when marketing to consumers, as regular consumers of plant-based meat and people who have not really eaten these products are more likely to look for prepared meal options when strapped for time. This is according to market research firm Packaged Facts in the October 2020 report Meat, Poultry, & Seafood Alternatives: Plant-Based & Cultured Cell-Based Types.

“A top reason that consumers cite for buying any type of prepared meals is time savings. Incorporating plant-based meat into prepared foods is the ultimate convenience since consumers can have a complete meal at home or at a workplace with little effort,” says Jennifer Mapes-Christ, Packaged Facts’ food and beverage publisher.

Some small companies that make plant-based meat are focusing on prepared meals in addition to plant-based meat analogues that have to be cooked by the end user and added to other components to make a meal (e.g., meatless grounds). For example, startup Alpha Foods (which secured $28 million in funding in February 2020) sells more than 20 varieties of prepared foods incorporating its plant-based chicken, sausage, and beef, including burritos, handheld pot pies, tamales, and pizza.

Big food companies and their brands are also moving into the prepared meal space. For instance, the Gardein brand of plant-based meat products (owned by Conagra Brands) offers a number of frozen prepared foods incorporating plant-based meat to appeal to busy consumers, such as skillet meals that are frozen and ready to be cooked on the stove, sliders that come with a bun and are ready to be microwaved, and microwavable fajita bowls. 

Other brands owned by Conagra that do not primarily operate in the plant-based space are also releasing prepared foods incorporating plant-based meat, revealing that plant-based meat is quickly becoming mainstream in prepared foods. In July 2020, Conagra announced that it would be adding Gardein plant-based meat to new meals sold under the Birds Eye, Healthy Choice, and Marie Callender’s brands.

At that time, new products were also announced for the Gardein brand, including three flavors of plant-based jerky (original, teriyaki, and hot and spicy) and five new flavors of soup with plant-based meat: Chick’n Noodl’, Be’f & Vegetable, Saus’ge Gumbo, Chick’n & Rice, and Minestrone & Saus’ge.

Restaurant meals incorporating plant-based meat other than the standard plant-based burger available at many restaurants as a vegan or vegetarian option are also expected to increasingly come to market. For instance, Donatos Pizza, a Columbus, Ohio-based pizza chain, launched three new pizza varieties incorporating plant-based sausage with cauliflower crust in February 2020. According to a spokesperson for Donatos, “This is not a limited time offer. This product is here to stay, and sales continue to increase on it every day as more and more people hear about it or try it and tell others.” Four pizzas with plant-based sausage are now available as a “conscious choice” for order on Donatos’ website.

About the Report

Please contact Packaged Facts’ Communications Manager Daniel Granderson at [email protected] to request the report executive summary.

Meat, Poultry, & Seafood Alternatives: Plant-Based & Cultured Cell-Based Types is now on sale. Purchase the report by visiting: https://www.packagedfacts.com/Meat-Poultry-Seafood-Alternatives-Plant-Based-Cultured-Cell-Types-13737898/.

Throughout the report, historical sales of plant-based meat products are available for 2018 and 2019 as well as forecasts for 2020, 2024, and 2029. Sales are segmented by type (beef, chicken, veggie/fruit specified, non-specified meat, pork, seafood, turkey, and other plant-based meat); form (bacon; burgers; chunks and strips; deli slices; grounds; links; meatballs; nuggets, tenders, and cutlets; patties; and other forms), and storage method (frozen, refrigerated, and shelf stable). The market for cell-cultured/cultivated meat products is forecast for 2024, 2029, 2034, and 2039.

About Packaged Facts

Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer demographics and shopper insights, consumer financial products and services, consumer goods and retailing, and pet products and services. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services. Reports can be purchased at our company website and are also available through MarketResearch.com.

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