As consumers become more concerned with the climate crisis and animal welfare, emerging markets, such as plant-based eating, continue to grow quickly across the global food space. Operating within the Food and Beverage Executive Recruitment space, Connect Search  is taking a look at the growth of meat free and cultured meat options for consumers.

Meat Free

Sales of alternative proteins are expected to rise to $125 billion by 2030. In the last 12 months, the number of plant-based meat, cheese and dairy products available to consumers has more than doubled. Innovation, driven by future-forward brands like Air Protein, Future Meat Technologies and Nature’s Fynd , in partnership with larger industry players, are transforming the way we will feed a growing global population sustainably. Based on the current innovation pipeline, it looks certain that products which are aimed at meeting the heightened demand for health-forward solutions that can deliver on evolving consumer taste and texture expectations will continue to come to market over the next decade.

Plant-based versions of authentic cuisines – From plant-based shawarma to schnitzel and shrimp dumplings, brands are exploring solutions that can provide the regional specificity and appeal that today’s consumers desire.

Through new products featuring an assortment of globalised flavours, textures and product formats, brands are aiming to deliver an array of tasty, satiating comfort food options.

Cultured Meat

Clean meat – or cultured meat – is set to revolutionize the food industry. Can it provide a viable alternative to conventional meat that is healthier, more ethical and better for our planet?

Supermarket shelves and fast-food restaurants are serving up vegan burgers, meatballs and plant-based chicken nuggets, showing consumers there is an alternative to relying on animal-based protein. But a quiet revolution is also taking place in labs, where scientists are working to cultivate meat and seafood grown from cells, with the potential to reduce demand for industrial animal agriculture even further.

The rise of plant-based products and the arrival of cell-cultured – or ‘clean’ – options as meat alternatives are trends very much on the radar of the world’s largest meat companies, along with a number of fast-growth, well-funded start-ups.

Cultivated meat significantly reduces the amount of antibiotics needed, which are widely used in agriculture and contribute hugely to worsening antibiotic resistance. And since the animal cells are extracted humanely and grown in a facility rather than within the animals themselves, cell-based meat has the potential to all but eliminate animal suffering.

The global cell-based meat market is predicted to be worth $572m by 2027, according to analysis. One report estimates that 35% of all meat will be cultured by 2040. Cell-based meat (also known as cultured, cultivated, slaughter-free, cell-cultured, and clean meat) could be a common sight in supermarkets across the West in the next three years, according to the Institute of the Future in Palo Alto.

Speaking recently, Sean Lydon, Director of the Food & Beverage Practice at Connect Search commented, “The growth of the meat-free sector is well documented and firmly established and now in a position where product quality and innovation will drive future success. However, cultured meat is in its infancy and the race is on to develop another range of options in the alternative protein sector. This is providing exciting and fast-growth career opportunities at executive level and will be fascinating to watch over the next 5 years.”

If you’d like to learn more about the latest trends in the Food and Beverage space, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Connect Search today. Speak to one of our industry specialists on or head to our Contact Us page.