Meat substitute market | Europe
The market for meat substitutes is booming. The European market is currently valued at €2.8 bn. (€6,3 per capita per year: indicating growth potential) and expected to grow towards €5.3 bn. (€11,9 per capita per year) in 2026, demonstrating an amazing year on year growth of 16.7%¹. More and more food players are discovering the opportunities to enter this market with new propositions. New partnerships arise between leading food companies and meat replacer producers: a remarkable example is the collaboration between Beyond Meat (BYND) and McDonalds (MCD) resulting in the launch of the McPlant™ back in 2021.
Growth drivers of meat substitute market
The tremendous growth of the meat substitutes market is mainly fueled by the following drivers:
- Increased number of flexitarians
- Ethical, environmental and health concerns regarding meat consumption
- Improved quality and taste of meat substitutes
Market values & future growth potential
In this blog, we focus on the meat substitute markets in the Netherlands, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, representing a combined total market value of ~€1.5 bn., representing ~53% of value of the total European market. The largest and fastest growing market in this selection is the United Kingdom, representing €686 M, followed by Germany with €480 M. The selection is completed by The Netherlands (€230 M) and France (€98 M).
Next to analyzing the absolute numbers, let’s take a look at the average consumption per capita per country. Looking at the figures, especially France and Germany offer amazing potential for future growth. If the French market would grow to the average European spending per capita (€6,3), this market could grow another ~€320 M in value.
Strong regional differences
If we dive deeper into the meat substitute product offerings per country, some remarkable differences become visible. An analysis of ~800 meat substitute products² in these four countries³ learns us that on average, the price for a kg of meat substitute product is €15,3. In the United Kingdom, being the largest and most mature market, the price for a kg meat substitute is only €12,7. Germany and the Netherlands are very similar with respectively €16,3 and €16,5 per kg. The price for individual products differs in the range from €8 – €25 per kg.
On average, consumers have around 30 different brands (including private label) in the total retail offering to choose from. Exception is France, being a small and developing market the average number of brands in total retail is only 12.
The European meat substitute market still offers a huge untapped potential. Knowing where and how to compete is key in crafting a successful market strategy. Hammer performs active market research in this field. Want to learn more? Get in touch!
Next week we will dive deeper into the Dutch meat substitute market, stay tuned.
¹ Hammer product database, Statista, Worldbank
² Not included: falafel, tofu, samosa, tempeh, fish substitutes, cold cuts substitutes, meal packages (incl. meat substitutes), frozen assortment
³ Three largest (online) retailers per country