Report: Alternative Proteins Poised for Surge

March 25, 2021
Alternative proteins are set to explode, reaching at least $290 billion in sales by 2035, according to a new report.

Alternative proteins are set to explode, reaching at least $290 billion in sales by 2035, according to a new report from Boston Consulting Group.

The report, “Food for Thought: The Protein Transformation,” was done by BCG in cooperation with Blue Horizon Corp. It predicts that alternative proteins of all kinds – made from plants, microorganisms or animal cells – will grow from 13 million metric tons currently to 97 million metric tons by 2035, which would constitute 11% of the world's protein market. That figure could double with “faster technological innovation and full regulatory support,” according to a statement from BCG.

The report predicted that the global market will reach “parity” – meaning that alternative proteins will taste as good as conventional meat and cost the same or less – in stages:

  • Plant-based alternatives such as burgers, dairy, and egg substitutes made from soy, pea, and other proteins will achieve parity in 2023, if not sooner.
  • Alternative proteins made from microorganisms like fungi, yeasts, and single-celled algae will reach parity by 2025.
  • Alternatives grown directly from animal cells will reach parity by 2032.

“Alternative proteins could soon match animal protein in taste, texture, and price. We expect parity to spur a new wave of growth, catapulting what is a fairly nascent market today into the mainstream, yielding significant environmental benefits, and facilitating even faster growth,” says Benjamin Morach, a BCG managing director and partner.

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