In the two years since Protein Industries Canada released its first Market Forecast and Competitiveness Study with Ernst and Young, the Canadian plant-based food, feed and ingredients sector has made significant strides in meeting consumer demand for new protein options. More importantly, the sector has been able bridge the protein gap while working toward meeting other such demands—such as more product options, lower environmental impact and nutritional value closer to that of traditional counterparts.
With such accomplishments creating a strong foundation on which companies can build their plans for future innovations and product releases, it’s no surprise Ernst and Young’s latest market predictions reflect a similar outlook to that of their 2021 predictions. In their latest Market Forecast and Competitiveness Study, released this September, Protein Industries Canada and Ernst and Young reconfirmed their outlook that Canada is in the midst of achieving a $25 billion plant-based opportunity.
“It’s been challenging times in the plant-based food space, and in ingredient manufacturing, but … the fundamentals underpinning the growth of the sector are still very strong,” Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel said. “What we’re experiencing now, based on this report, is some short-term market down-turn, but long-term the findings suggest the growth of the plant-based food sector will be significant.”
Building on the growth of the plant-based meat segment outlined in the 2021 Market Forecast and Competitiveness Study, this year’s incorporates predictions about the growth of each the plant-based dairy and plant-based baking fortification segments. Each is expected see a significant market size increase, with plant-based meats seeing an expected 16.5 per cent CAGR. While this has been somewhat revised down from the original report’s prediction, it still represents significant growth for the segment. This growth trend carries over to each of the new market segments analyzed, with plant-based dairy forecast at an expected 9.5 per cent CAGR and plant-based baking fortification an expected 4.1 per cent CAGR.
According to Greuel, Canada’s ability to meet the market potential of each segment is largely dependent on the investments made in the coming years. He explained the country can make significant strides if the bulk of its investments into ingredient processing in the Prairie region—investments that would then ripple out to support further food and beverage manufacturing across Canada.
It’s the approach Protein Industries Canada has taken with its own investment portfolio, particularly as it rolls out its second round of funding and prepares to launch a new stream of projects.
“It really serves to highlight some of the issues and challenges facing the market in terms of diversity of product offerings, increasing supply chain resilience, some of those things came out in this report, that we really need to focus our innovation on,” Greuel said. “It also highlights the need for a diversified innovation portfolio for Protein Industries Canada, because we see market opportunities in all three of those segments that we assessed … so thinking about the diversification of our investments at that end of the value chain—product formulation and creation—will be critically important, as well.”
Through strategic investment, Canada has the potential to grow its plant-based food, feed and ingredient sector to $25 billion in annual sales by 2035. That outlook is as strong today as it was two years ago, proving that Canada’s plant-based companies are on the right track in their drive to meet evolving consumer demands.