Future Farm CEO says future is still bright for plant-based meat: 'We have to take responsibility for developing this category'


By Mary Ellen Shoup, Food Navigator



Brazilian plant-based meat firm Future Farm is steadily making inroads into the crowded plant-based meat category in the US, where CEO Alexandre Ruberti still sees runway for growth.


With some talk about the overhyped future of plant-based meat alternatives, Ruberti is firm in his belief that there is room for another plant-based meat player in the US market and that flattening of growth in the market is largely because the category is not adequately addressing consumer needs.


Sales growth of plant-based meat was flat in 2021 vs. 2020 with $1.4bn in sales, according to 2021 data from The Plant Based Foods Association, The Good Food Institute, and SPINS. Consumer adoption of plant-based meat also held steady inching up 1% to 19% household penetration in 2021 vs. 2020.


"The category is so young that of course there’s going to be ups and downs. Despite these ups and downs, we do believe in the category, and we do believe in the potential,"​ Ruberti told FoodNavigator-USA.


According to market research provided by Future Farm, the company identified 28 million 'plant-powered consumers' who are actively seeking out alternatives to animal-based products.


"They do buy plant-based food, but they do not buy plant-based meat yet,"​ said Ruberti.


"And 80% of the households that buy plant-based meat -- they’re buying it between 12 and 15 times a year -- but 47% do not like what they’re trying."​


This all points to a clear unaddressed market white space opportunity for plant-based meat players to tap into, argued Ruberti.


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