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The trend towards alternative proteins could put pressure on traditional meat products as new developments in health foods keep rolling out.

A global research report called Watch out…or they will steal your growth by agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank examined why alternative proteins – including plant-based meat substitutes, emerging insect or algae-based products, and lab-grown meat products – are starting to successfully compete for “the centre of the plate”.

Rabobank’s global sector strategist for animal protein Justin Sherrard says it’s the growth – rather than the current market size – of alternative proteins that’s most significant.

“The strong and persistent drivers supporting the current growth of alternative proteins is set to continue for at least the next five years,” he says.

“As such, alternative proteins have the potential to capture a material share of animal protein demand growth in many countries.”

This momentum – along with increasing interest from startup companies and investors – is likely to see the market share of alternative proteins grow and become more established in Australia, says Sherrard.

“Three of the strongest demand drivers for alternative protein products are essentially those that are ‘pushing’ consumers away from regular animal protein consumption, namely concerns around health, animal welfare and sustainability,” he says.

“That said, there are also a number of ‘pull drivers’, such as curiosity to try new products, convenience, and personal nutrition.”