Plant-based meat alternatives are expected to boom by 2030 and thousands of full-time jobs and a $3 billion increase in the economy are projected because of this. According to hospitality consultants, Australians are currently spending $150 million a year on plant-based products and by the end of the decade, it could increase to as much as $4.6 billion. This projection is driven by the two in three Australians who have yet to try plant-based meat alternatives.
One in three Australians is now consciously cutting back on meat consumption. Advances in food science and culinary creativity have drawn interest in new plant-based products with the aim to mimic the sensory experience of eating real meat with few health and environmental impacts. This is a multi-billion dollar opportunity for Australia to be a global plant-protein powerhouse, as the country has the intellectual and infrastructure assets to do it.
There’s still room for growing demand. Right now, over 100 products are supplied by 21 brands across the country’s major supermarkets and this will further expand by year’s end. Based on overseas experience, there is a demand for plant-based meat alternatives. Investors backed up Beyond Meat, one of the most successful plant-based brands. In the US, KFC, Dunkin’ Donuts and Burger King have started offering alternatives to their products as well.
The projections are expected to help create 6,000 new full-time jobs and add about $3 billion in the nation’s economic value. Hospitality consultants say New South Wales and Victoria are predicted to take the biggest slice of the pie with about 30% of the jobs apiece. Queensland is expected to take 22% while South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania are set to take the remaining slices of the pie.
The public and private sectors should seize this opportunity for such projections to materialise. The government should support investors and businesses should invest in the plant-based meat alternative industry, to drive job growth and economic benefits nationwide over the next decade to ensure a competitive and robust commerce. Support is needed from R & D, to ingredients and crops, and to capacity of product manufacturing. There should be grants and tax incentives to help grow the sector.
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