Consumer, Retail, E-Commerce

2024 Q1


In the Consumer Goods & Retail SectorReport for Q1 2024, we focus on the market for meat alternatives, in particular their manufacturers. We look at the latest market developments in this area, discuss current M&A activities and their significance for the market and analyse the takeover of vegan products and meat alternatives manufacturer Tofutown in February by the Vegan Food Group in the UK, an up-and-coming manufacturer of vegan food and meat substitutes.

The trend towards meat alternatives began shortly before the coronavirus pandemic, when more consumers started cooking and did not always want to resort to meat products. This trend has continued to grow since then. Many manufacturers, including of meat products, have reacted to this and developed meat substitutes made from tofu, tempeh, seitan and other foods with the aim of reproducing the consistency and flavour of meat products as closely as possible. This has also resulted in farmers in Europe switching to the cultivation of soya beans in order to meet the demand for the raw material, as many manufacturers of the basic products (tofu, tempeh, etc.) for meat alternatives want to source them as regionally as possible. For example, soya beans from southern Europe are used for tofu production in Germany.

The sharp rise in demand for meat alternatives has led to many start-ups entering the market alongside the usual large food companies and grocery retailers' own brands. The market is now beginning to consolidate, as shown by transactions such as the takeover of Rügenwalder Mühle by Pfeifer & Langen.
The takeover of Tofutown by the Vegan Food Group is also part of this trend. Many manufacturers also want to expand their product portfolio in order to be able to offer other products such as vegan spreads, milk substitutes and the like in addition to their main product, meat substitutes.

It remains to be seen which companies will emerge as relevant players in the market for meat substitutes in the future.

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