Feed plant-based protein market Analysis, Segments, Key Players, Drivers, Trends and Forecast

The global feed plant-based protein market size is estimated to be valued at USD 2.5 billion in 2020. It is projected to reach USD 3.4 billion by 2025, recording a CAGR of 6.3% in terms of value. An increase in demand for plant-based pet food due to rise in awareness among pet owners, pet owners’ inclination toward organic pet food ingredients, and innovative animal husbandry techniques to improve meat quality augments the demand for nutritional plant-based protein is driving the global feed plant-based protein market.

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The shift in human preferences to plant-based protein has affected a change in preferences for feed as well. Plant-based protein preferences in pets such as dog and cat food diets have been shown to closely mimic those of their vegan or vegetarian owners. According to the study published by the Pet Food Manufacturers Association in 2019, 34% of the British dog food buyers believe that a plant-based diet is better for their dog than a meat-based diet. The prime concern with meat-based pet food diets is farm animal welfare and rights. Moreover, most pet owners are animal-lovers and are more likely to place a high value on the humane and ethical treatment of animals raised for food production. An unhealthy perception of meat and environmental and sustainability concerns over animal protein production are also strong growth drivers promoting plant-based pet food in recent years.

Key manufacturers such as DuPont (US), Roquette Frères (France), Kerry Group (Ireland), and Ingredion (US) have been emphasizing on development of feed plant-based protein. Extensive research & development has resulted in the advent of new technologies in the pet food industry. The study published by the Kerry Group (Ireland), Global Innovation Center in 2020, demonstrates that its pet food product, PurePal, has witnessed an increase of 24% in the uptake among pets (suggesting a preference) due to greater aroma from the plant-based protein pet food.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association in 2019, pet diets tend to reflect the choices of their human counterparts due to the availability of plant-based diets for pets in the North American pet food market. Key pet food companies such as Purina, Pedigree, Natural Balance, and PetGuard have entered the vegetarian and vegan realm by offering plant-based options. They have been using protein from ingredients such as brown rice, barley, peas, spinach and potatoes. The strategic collaborations between pet food manufacturers and ingredient manufacturers have posed a huge opportunity for the feed plant-based protein market’s technological developments.

Based on source, pea is the fastest growing segment in the market. Pea proteins are used in alternatives to conventional feed protein ingredients. Due to its nutritional benefits and easy integration into final products, the demand for pea protein grows as a crucial ingredient in the feed industry.

Based on livestock, pet dominated the market. Plant-based ingredients and plant-based protein are trending among pet food manufacturing professionals and becoming more mainstream in the pet food market. The plant-based pet food trend is growing because pet owners have been more inclined to consume a meatless diet. Moreover, protein preferences in dog and cat food diets have been shown to closely mimic those of their vegan or vegetarian owners, with more of these owners opting to feed their pets a diet consisting of plant-based protein. These factors are expected to drive growth in the pet segment.

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Asia Pacific is the fastest-growing region in the global feed plant-based protein market. The market is majorly driven by an increase in the demand and consumption of livestock-based products, a rise in feed production, and the implementation of innovative animal husbandry practices to improve the meat quality and output of other livestock-based products. The increasing awareness about livestock nutrition and healthy diet, modernization of the livestock industry, and the rise in consumption of meat & other livestock-based products have led to an increase in the size of the feed plant-based protein market. Furthermore, the region is also attributed to the rising demand for pet food products in countries such as China, Australia, and India, and an increasing focus on the health of pets are expected to drive growth.