Demand for plant-based meat alternatives seen rising

Consumption of alternatives to animal protein is expected to surge in the new normal after the coronavirus as more health-conscious consumers focus on boosting their immunity.

Al-Mahdi Jul-Ahmad, trade-industry development specialist at Department of Trade and Industry Export Marketing Bureau, cited SalaamGateway noting the consumption of healthy and fresh food driving immunity versus processed food could be much higher.

Jul-Ahmad said plant-based meat alternatives have grown rapidly in the last two years as more consumers choose to reduce their meat consumption.

“This is one sector that is certain to get growing in 2021. In the Philippines where there is a lack of halal slaughterhouses, plant-based meat (alternatives) can be an avenue to introduce signature Filipino meat dishes,” he said in a webinar.

Apart from plant-based meat alternatives, Jul-Ahmad said the demand for essential foods has also grown and online grocery deliveries have boomed, feeding into cooking at home.

He identified some supermarkets which have provided their customers an option for online grocery delivery.

“…Since the connotation of halal food is hygiene and it promotes health and wellness, this is a very good avenue for our manufacturers to introduce halal as an alternative,” he said.

Jul-Ahmad said some companies and restaurants are making their signature meals available in the grocery as ready-to-eat food.

Citing the State of the Global Islamic Economy report, he said halal food and halal pharmaceuticals were among the least impacted industries by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“Thanks to the strong support of regulators and government entities worldwide, halal pharmaceuticals and supplement sales have grown as consumer (buy) products to enhance their immunity,” he added.

However, Jul-Ahmad said the global halal cosmetic and fragrance markets have taken a hit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“But it has created opportunities for new product lines such as hand creams, face creams, eye care and sanitizers,” he said.

Jul-Ahmad said consumer spending for halal cosmetics is expected to drop by 2.5 percent to USD64 billion from USD66 billion in 2019.

“However, by 2024, it is expected to grow at 2.9 percent to hit at 76 billion US dollars,” he said, adding the halal cosmetic market size is estimated to be 1.9 billion people.

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