According to a report, plant-based meat products could replace a significant amount of conventionally processed meat on Africa’s menu, fueling the growth of a market for alternative and sustainable protein products. Plant-based diets are seen as crucial to mitigating climate change and boosting food security and nutrition on the continent.
by Seth Onyango, bird stories agency
The changing taste preferences of African heavy consumers is driving the spread of plant-based diets in Africa as diners become more aware of their health and climate.
Research from the US-based North Mountain Consulting Group and South Africa’s Credence Institute shows that Kenya, Nigeria and Egypt have the continent’s biggest appetite for vegan meat.
He further found that Gen Z and millennial age groups (18-39) have developed the greatest taste for PBM in the three African states.
“Although not currently familiar or widely adopted, Kenyan and Nigerian consumers were quite willing to try and buy PBM (about three-quarters of Kenyans and Nigerians were very likely to try to buy ),” the report reads in part.
“Egyptian consumers were also quite open to PBM (around half were very likely to try to buy), but less so compared to Kenya and Nigeria. Health and food safety were the most important motivators and were statistically significant predictors of purchase intent in all countries.
Plant-based meats are made from plants and manufactured to smell, taste and look like real meat.
PBMs are considered healthier than regular meat because they contain less saturated fat and calories, with ingredients such as coconut oil, vegetable protein extract and beet juice.
They’re also rich in micronutrients, such as zinc, iron, and calcium, making them an obvious choice for health-conscious diners.
In Kenya, Nigeria and Egypt, the main reason for eating meat was lifestyle habits.
“In all three countries, the most important reasons for eating meat included: part of their usual meals or recipes, important for their health and taste. Culture and religion were the least important reasons for our panels in Kenya and Nigeria, but were slightly more relevant in Egypt,” the Credence Institute report found.
Beef, chicken and fish were the most regularly consumed types of meat in all countries.
According to Markets and Markets, the PBM market was valued at US$4.3 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach US$8.3 billion by 2025, registering a CAGR of 14.0% in terms of value.
It is experiencing significant growth due to the growth of the vegan and flexitarian population across the world, awareness of the health benefits offered by plant-based meat over animal meat, and the growth of government initiatives as well as significant investments that drive the global market.
“Sales of plant-based meat can be increased by adopting marketing strategies such as diversification and segmentation. The goal is to create more demand among consumers, such as health-conscious consumers, vegetarians, flexitarians and vegans. Along with this, positioning the product in the right place through the right sales channel is crucial,” the M&M report states.
In a context of rapid population growth in Africa, PBM is expected to help reduce emissions from beef on the continent and improve its nutritional outcomes.
“This expected growth in meat consumption will pose significant challenges to local food economies in Africa,” the Credence Institute said.
“Food insecurity in Egypt, Kenya and Nigeria is still high, with 27.8%, 68.5% and 57.7% of the population experiencing moderate or severe food insecurity respectively between 2018 and 2020. “
Studies show that the meat and dairy industries create 7.1 gigatonnes of greenhouse gases per year, or about 14.5% of total man-made emissions.
Conversely, plant-based meat emits 30 to 90% less greenhouse gases than conventional meat (kg-CO2-eq/kg-meat) according to the Good Food Institute.
Worldwide, animal agriculture contributes more to climate change than exhaust emissions from the entire transport sector.
It is important to note, however, that traditional African dishes are already vegan, namely yams and vegetables, Ghanaian beans and plantains, South African pap and chakalaka, and chapati, ugali and Kenyan vegetable stew.
These everyday African meals contain no meat, dairy or eggs. Likewise, many traditional Ethiopian dishes are vegan.
bird story agency