Retail sales value of meat substitutes in Western Europe 2015-2022

Between 2015 and 2018, the retail sales value of meat substitutes in Western Europe increased by over 350 million euros, reaching approximately 1.7 billon U.S. dollars in 2018. Estimates for 2019 show a further growth of meat substitutes' retail sales value is expected. The sales value of meat substitutes has been forecast to reach over 2.2 billion dollars by 2022.

European market for meat substitutes

The United Kingdom and Germany were the leading markets for meat substitutes in Europe. For 2018, estimates put the UK market at over 400 million U.S. dollars and Germany at around half of that. Both countries were also among the top five countries, together with Italy, Sweden and Spain, whose population were most likely to eat meat substitutes. As of September 2019, about 49 percent of the population of Great Britain would try such products, while French, Hungarian and Romanian consumers remain to be convinced with over 60 percent. In the case of Romania, over 70 percent of the populous in these countries stating that they would not eat plant-based alternatives.

The British consumer base in focus

According to the producers of the Impossible Burger, a popular meat substitute product, a vast majority of consumers who eat the Burger are meat-eaters. Interestingly vegans in Britain were more likely to describe plant-based meat alternatives as ‘junk foods’ than meat eaters. Which gives us a perspective on who these products are predominantly aimed at.
About a quarter of British meat eaters tried to actively reduce their consumption of meat in 2019. A relevant barrier for the success of substitutes on the British market were consumers perceptions of the products. Almost a third of consumers viewed them as too expensive and a quarter viewed them as highly processed. Only slightly less respondents said meat alternatives are not as good a source of protein as meat. For the producers of alternative meat products such as Beyond Burger and Impossible Burger, taste remains the biggest issue in producing attractive substitutes. Around twenty percent of British consumers were convinced that the products measure up to the taste of meat, leaving a lot of room for improvement.

Retail sales value of meat substitutes in Western Europe in 2015 and 2018, with a forecast for 2019 and 2022

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Release date

November 2019



Survey time period

2015 to 2022

Supplementary notes

The source defines Western Europe as Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

* Forecast figures.

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