According to American consulting firm AT Kearney, cultured meat and meat substitutes are on their way to “disrupt the multibillion-dollar global meat industry”. The study says that the world's total 'meat' consumption will evolve and leave traditional meat products to become insignificant, with a market share as low as 40%, as these new alternatives gain ground over the next twenty years. Qualitative forecasts for 2040, based on economic data, research and expert opinion gathered by the firm, have confirmed the inevitable disruption.
Based on the firm’s analysis, around one-third of the global meat supply will be provided by these new approaches (meat cultivation and substition) within the next 10 years.The firm forecasts that vegan meat replacements will show a strong growth until 2030, while cultured meat (with an annual growth rate of 41 percent) per year will outgrow them between 2025 and 2040, due to technological advancements and consumer preferences.
According to the AT Kearney study, this disruption is supported by a “general shift toward consumption of non-meat proteins as a consequence of new lifestyle trends, all aimed at a more sustainable and healthier diet…”.
Health concerns increasingly go hand-in-hand with environmental ones, surrounding the production of traditional meat - as reports of agricultural greenhouse emissions caused by industrial animal farming, water pollution, and the amount of waste generated, come to light.
Meat alternatives would reduce the carbon footprint by a considerable amount and cultured meat technology that takes one cell from a living animal and grows it in laboratories will ensure minimal wasted produce. In addition to this, other problems of the current meat industry, including added pressure on land and other natural resources in the face of population growth and the treatment of animals, could be addressed by these up-and-coming alternatives.