The western meat-based diet as we know it is living on borrowed time. In a planet with limited resources and a growing population, meat productions capacities will soon not be able to supply demand. There is also a growing awareness of the environmental impact of livestock farming and the toll it is taking on water resources. As a result, plant-based alternatives to meat are gaining ground, with sales jumping 23% in 2018 in the United States, and globally reaching $19.5 billion in 2019.
According to financial analysts from JP Morgan, the global market for plant substitutes to animal meat could reach more than 100 billions dollars in 15 years. Analysts at Barclays go even further, forecasting a total value of 140 billion dollars in 10 years.
This plant-based burgers and sausages trend has not gone unnoticed by investors, as evidenced by the stellar IPO of U.S. startup Beyond Meat, whose share price rose by almost 218% in three weeks. Not wanting to miss the train, a new group of companies has started making meatless meat in recent months: meat producers. We can mention Tyson, Smithfield and Hormel, but also Maple Leaf, Canada's leading meat company, which invested $310 million in April 2019 to build the largest meat substitute factory in the United States.
But vegan meat alternatives are just the tip of the iceberg of the vegan market. Producers of vegan read-made meals, producers of fruits and vegetables, producers of soy, cereals and plant-based oils, flavour creators and distributors of vegan products are all part of this growing market, which our list reflects. Overall, the global vegan food market is worth $12.7 billion by Grand View Research. And this valuation doesn’t even include vegan fashion and cosmetics… Some big names in this list may seem surprising, such as L’Oréal or LVMH. This is because the first one owns the German group Logocos Naturkosmetik, with exclusively vegan cosmetic brands, while LVMH owns the vegan fashion brand Stella McCartney.