Alternative Proteins: Disruptive trend or here to stay?
An assessment of external drivers towards behavioural change
What are the core drivers of adoption in new tech/innovations and what does this tell us about the future trajectory of the industry?
As alternative proteins may have started as a trendy niche or dietary necessity, but now they are part of the mainstream market. The growth in commercial range and availability of products suggests these products are here to stay and will continue to proliferate as more producers invest in product development and go to market strategies. Each new novel product seemingly begets newer, more complex, or advanced forms of plant proteins which in the majority aim to be near indistinguishable from meat or animal proteins.
Looking at patterns of product innovation and development across different sectors, improvements to existing products is a direct threat to established businesses models and modes of usage. The alternative protein market is not new but the latest variants and adaptations in roughly the last three years, as a result of demand, linked with technological and scientific advancements mean that the current new products are not – as tradition would suggest – a risk to older alternative meat forms, but a potential replacement risk to the actual meat and animal protein market. Whether this risk manifests will depend on the rates of adoption and the drivers behind consumption decisions.
This paper is a non-scientific exploration of the scale of the potential or actual risk posed by the rise of the alt meat industry, to the established animal protein ecosystem. Will the rise of alt meat lower meat consumption enough to significantly damage the market, or will both models of production and consumption meet a midpoint of uneasy equilibrium?