It's hard to find a single aspect of human life that hasn't been profoundly impacted by COVID-19. But the plant-based meat sector, having already experienced steady growth leading up to 2020, shows no signs of slowing down now.
COVID-19 has been nothing short of devastating — for individuals, families, and nations the world over. And I acknowledge that this moment is yet to pass. But while the gravity of the present situation cannot be overstated, it’s worth considering the possible long-term effects it will have on our attitudes and behaviours, and it’s worth seeking out — dare I say — some positive stories.
In a recent article for SmartCompany, Stephanie Palmer-Derrien highlights the booming growth in Australia’s plant-based meat industry.
Now, more than ever, people are thinking about immunity, gut health, and how best to protect themselves from illness.
While it’s still too early to say exactly how large a part the pandemic has played in this changing food landscape, it’s fair to say that COVID-19 is one of many factors contributing to the fertile ground on which these companies are experiencing unprecedented success.
CSIRO Molecular Analysis team leader Michelle Colgrave told SmartCompany:
We have people who are looking at health as a primary driver, but they’re also looking at planetary health and sustainability, and considering animal welfare.
A combination of these elements, perhaps magnified by the intense backdrop of a global health crisis, has a lot of people experiencing sudden, dramatic changes in their relationship with food. And depending on where you live, plenty of other factors may be coming into play — indeed, across the world, demand for animal-derived meat has plummeted.
I’m grateful we have so many plant-based food producers here in Australia who are making that adjustment easier for people. Because that’s what makes me optimistic for our future. As Michael Fox, co-founder of Fable Food Co., said of their plant-based meat range:
I see a point in the very near future where we at least match, if not better, on taste and texture, and we’re cheaper on price.