Are plant-based and lab meats really in high demand or is it just media hype? Check out these recent headlines and decide for yourself.

Amanda Radke

October 15, 2019

3 Min Read
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Every single day there is something “new” in the news about plant-based and lab meats. The media buzz echoes what these companies are saying — that faux meats are in and real meats are out.

Yet, are these stories more hype than a reflection of actual consumer demand?

I’ve rounded up some recent headlines to give us a better picture of what is being said and how consumers are really responding.

From industry groups fighting to protect our nomenclature and demand transparency in labeling claims made by these fake meat companies to a new report that indicates real meat demand is going to continue to climb through 2032. Here is a wrap up of the most recent headlines on this topic:

1. “Meat, milk groups seek to defend supermarket turf” by Heather Haddon and Jacob Bunge for the Wall Street Journal

Here is an excerpt: “This year 45 bills have been introduced in 27 states that seek to police the labeling of plant-based products and cell-cultured meats, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration held a hearing last month on how to update dozens of labeling standards governing food products, including plant-based meats.”

2. “Lab-grown meat start-up raises $14 million to build production plant” by Amelia Lucas for CNBC

Related:9 headlines reveal the highs and lows for fake meat marketers

Lucas writes, “As meatless burgers have landed at Burger King and Carl’s Jr., dozens of start-ups are racing to be the first to sell beef grown in a lab. Now, one of those start-ups has raised $14 million to produce its cultured meat products. Future Meat Technologies, which was founded in 2018 and based in Israel, is trying to do for lab-grown meat what Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have done for plant-based meat.”

3. "Beyond Meat shares jump after McDonald’s says it’s testing plant burgers” by Sarah Min for CBS News

Min reports, “Beyond Meat shares spiked after McDonald's announced that it will test the plant-based burgers in a handful of restaurants in Canada. Beyond Meat's stock price jumped more than 11%, closing at about $154 a share.

“McDonald's said it will sell what it calls the ‘P.L.T.’ — for plant, lettuce and tomato — sandwich for 12 weeks starting September 30 in 28 restaurants throughout Ontario, Canada. The fast-food giant said it formulated the item, which will sell for $6.49 in Canadian dollars, to mimic the taste of McDonald's regular meat patties.”

4. “Average household spent $961 on meat eaten at home in 2018” by Scott Brown for Farm Progress

Brown writes, “The average U.S. consumer was found to spend $961 on meat eaten at home in 2018, with respondents ages 35 to 44 spending $1,205. Consumers ages 45 to 54 ($1,101) and ages 55 to 64 ($1,053) spent more on meat than average.”

Related:4 meaty headlines: Fake meats, beef sales & sin taxes

5. “Are our attitudes to meat changing” by Natasha Spencer for Food Navigator

Spencer writes, “As we see a shift towards ‘clean’, ‘cultured’ and ‘lab-grown’ meat, what does this mean for the popularity of traditional meat consumption? Has the new meat revolution really taken off? And is it the end of meat as we know it today?”

He says, no. In fact, world consumption of meat grew between 2013 and 2018 and is expected to continue through 2023. This is due to increasing population sizes and rising disposable income levels, according to Euromonitor International.

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of or Farm Progress.

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