The Thailand plant-based meat substitutes market has been rapidly gaining ground over the last decade, with sales rising from US$21.6m in 2015 to US$32.8m in 2020, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.71%. The market value is forecast to increase further to US$50.9m by 2025 at a CAGR of 9.2%, forecasts data and analytics company GlobalData.
GlobalData’s Q2 2021 consumer survey reveals that 27% of Thai respondents are actively trying to increase the consumption of plant-based meat alternatives, led by 45% of consumers of the Baby Boomer generation*.
Ravi Teja, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Manufacturers are expanding their portfolio of plant-based meat substitutes targeting various consumer cohorts, including vegans, vegetarians, and even flexitarians, who avoid meat only on some occasions. This resonates with internal research findings of Charoen Pokphand Foods, an agribusiness company in Thailand, that there is a global trend of ‘flexitarians’, those who eat one or two vegetarian meals in a week.”
Health and taste are the two main reasons that Thai respondents attributed for switching to plant-based meat alternatives, according to GlobalData’s Q1 2021 consumer survey**.
In terms of health, as chronic disease patients were deemed more vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic, more consumers began curtailing the consumption of red meat, which is proven to be one of the leading causes of obesity, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
The pandemic accelerated the shift of consumers towards plant-based meat alternatives in 2020. With slaughterhouses emerging as COVID-19 hotspots, consumers’ concerns about the risk of disease transmission through contaminated meat escalated in 2020. Also, pork prices rose drastically across the Asian region, including Thailand, owing to the African swine fever outbreak, prompting more Thai consumers to switch to plant-based meats.
Mr Teja concludes: “Manufacturers can gain an upper edge in the Thai market by fine tuning their offerings according to the varying purchasing behavior among the shoppers of each generation as per the findings of GlobalData’s Q2 2021 consumer survey. For instance, manufacturers can roll out premium/high-end plant-based meat alternatives offerings to target Gen Y (Millennials) and Gen Z consumers. They can introduce larger/bulk packs with discounts to target Baby Boomers who purchase plant-based meat alternatives in large quantities, or more frequently**."
* Data taken from GlobalData’s Q2 2021 Consumer Survey – Thailand (June 2021) with 526 respondents
** Data taken from GlobalData’s Q1 2021 Consumer Survey – Thailand (March 2021) with 508 respondents
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