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Plant based foods continue go mainstream as major industry players, including Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, recently expanded into the plant-based chicken market. Demand for vegan/vegetarian meat substitutes is steadily rising as fast-food companies opt in and strike deals with plant-based food brands.

Peas, a key ingredient in the production of plant-based food, is forecast to remain in short supply and push prices past their record highs. Plant-based production is forecast to increasingly rely on peas, meaning surging consumer demand could keep the crop price high and pass those costs onto the customer.

Related ETF & Stocks: Invesco Dynamic Food & Beverage ETF (PBJ), Beyond Meat, Inc. (BYND), Tyson Foods, Inc. (TSN)

Demand for Plant-Based Options Leads to Expanded Offerings

The number of consumers cutting meat from their diets has continued to grow this year. Per The Beet, nearly 25% of the world’s population no longer consumes meat products, aiming to adopt a healthier lifestyle and ‘play a part’ in the fight against the climate crisis.

In the United States, Business Wire reports that the plant-based meat category is no longer being driven solely by vegetarian demand as the sector is sparking interest in a far broader base of consumers. That factor is likely to drive demand for plant-based meals higher; a market that is forecast to surge to $2.6 billion by 2027. For comparison, the US plant-based market was valued at just $1.06 billion last year.

Plant-based producers, including Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, have been developing new faux meat products and striking deals with companies to capitalize on the growing adoption of plant-based alternatives.

MRP recently reported on Beyond Meat’s expansion into the faux chicken market, which is now available to consumers. Beyond announced its new tenders would go on sale in October in retail and grocery giants including Walmart, ShopRite and Harris Teeter. Similarly, Impossible Foods began selling its nuggets at Walmart, Kroger and Albertsons, reaching 10,000 stores by the end of the year, per The New York Post.

The New York Post continued on, reporting that sales of frozen, plant-based chicken tenders and nuggets surged 29% to $112 million for the year ending August 28, according to data from Nielsen IQ.

Further, Impossible Foods announced its plant-based pork will be coming to restaurants this fall, while Beyond Meat plans to launch plant-based breakfast sausage links at grocery stores nationwide in Canada. Both moves highlight the industry’s ability to innovate and create new products to reach a wider group of consumers as demand continues to climb.

The fast-food industry is also looking to take a bite out of the faux meat craze. According to Business Insider, Carl’s Jr., Burger King and Del Taco all offer a plant-based version of their marquee products, such as the Beyond Famous Star burger or Impossible Whopper. More recently, McDonald’s announced it would be launching its first ever plant-based burger, called the McPlant, in the United Kingdom this month. Yahoo Finance writes that McDonald’s partnered up with Beyond Meat to create the product, and that the move presents a $14 billion dollar opportunity over the coming years for the fast-food king.

Surprisingly, meat eaters are just as likely as non-meat eaters to try these new faux meat fast-food products. According to a Pipslay survey of 30,700 people…

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