New data released by the Good Food Institute shows that the American cell- and plant-based meat markets have skyrocketed in the past two years, with $23 billion invested in alternative meat, dairy, and egg companies in 2017 and 2018 alone. This brings total American investments in these companies to more than $16 billion since 2009, according to GFI.
“With global demand for meat set to double by 2050, capturing even a fraction of this burgeoning market would represent a massive opportunity for both plant-based and cell-based meat companies,” said GFI Director of Innovation Brad Barbera.
“These industries are accelerating rapidly, and we are about to see them take off. There is a great deal of momentum, which has been brought about by product innovation, greater emphasis on quality, more investment, and a change in consumer values.”
Beyond Meat is one of the biggest players in this growing market and last week became the first plant-based meat company to go public. Fortune called its initial IPO the “best debut of 2019,” and Beyond Meat’s stock is already up 199 percent from the IPO price of $25 per share, reports Bloomberg.
Larger companies have also been investing in or acquiring alternative meat and dairy brands, such as Danone, which acquired plant-based milk producer WhiteWave Foods in 2017 for $12.5 billion, or Tyson Foods, which invested in Beyond Meat but sold its shares before the company went public in order to focus on producing its own plant-based meat alternatives. Before its IPO, Beyond Meat had also attracted high-profile investors like Leonardo DiCaprio and Bill Gates.
GFI also found that 2018 was a record year for cell-based meat (formerly known as clean meat), with 12 cell-based meat companies raising capital worth $50 million. This year also saw 11 new cell-based meat companies join the marketplace, bringing the total to 27 currently racing to be the first to bring cultured meat to the open market.