Getting Pulses Racing: Growing Demand for Plant-based Meat Analogues Increases Opportunities for Pulses in Asia

Demand for grain, oilseed, and pulse protein ingredients for plant-based meat analogues (excluding tofu, tempeh, and wheat gluten) in China, India, and Southeast Asia (the ‘Three Regions’) will increase by a CAGR of 72% from 2021 to 2030, as demand for plant-based meat analogues in the Three Regions increases by a CAGR of 74% during the same period. Despite the high growth rate, the total volume of plant-based meat analogues in the Three Regions will still be very low (less than 1%), relative to total annual conventional meat consumption.

Report summary

Increased consumption of plant-based meat analogues in the Three Regions could mean that growth of grains and protein meals for animal feed may slow somewhat, as this meat alternative volume would replace some of the animal feed required to produce conventional meat. While soybean protein will continue to be the dominant plant-based protein ingredient for meat analogues in the Three Regions, Rabobank also expects pulse proteins to be increasingly used as an ingredient.

To meet this expected demand increase, investments in extraction and texturizing facilities are needed in the Three Regions. China’s industry shows overcapacity, but it is often dated, whereas other regions produce protein ingredients locally or rely on imports of ingredients and/or meat alternatives. As demand for pulse proteins increases, production of pulses will also need to increase in the Three Regions, which will require efforts along the whole pulse value chain.