12 Jun 2019
A new report suggests that most of the meat we eat in 2040 will not come from animals, with as much as 60% coming from meat lab-grown in vats or replaced by a plant-based substitute.
The global consultancy AT Kearney sought out expert interviews as part of their report "How Will Cultured Meat and Meat Alternatives Disrupt the Agricultural and Food Industry?" and highlighted growing concerns over the environmental impacts of conventional meat production as well as the welfare of animals.
"Novel vegan meat replacements will be most relevant in the transition phase toward cultured meat, whereas cultured meat will win in the long run. This is due to the fact that commercial competitiveness will gradually shift in favor of cultured meat over the next 15 years," the report says.
"All in all, cultured meat and new meat replacement products are going to disrupt the $1,000 billion conventional meat industry with all its supplier companies. This disruption is supported by a general shift toward consumption of non-meat proteins (for example, legumes and nuts) as a consequence of new lifestyle trends, all aimed at a more sustainable and healthier diet, as well as regulatory measures against conventional meat. Already today, we can observe the formation of a new customer segment made up of “passionate meat eaters” who take care of their diet but for whom a vegan or vegetarian diet is still not an option. In this context, the discussion about cultured meat as well as meat replacement products and how they can be produced in terms of large-scale batches at attractive prices may seem very technical and unemotional."
Summing up the report asks the question of how biotechnologically engineered food products can be integrated into our lives in a way that they become as familiar as baking bread or brewing beer. That may well be the key in how early these new technologies will be adopted by consumers.