According to a new report by the nonprofit institution, Good Food Institute Vegan-meat might quite soon become more affordable than its animal equivalent. The report made under the lead of Liz Specht, a senior scientist shows that companies like Beyond Meat are heavily investing their profits in the expansion of production capacity and effectively driving the price down.
“Lowering prices would just lower their revenue, which would, in turn, hurt their ability to scale and meet demand,” Specht said. “There are major and minor elements of the manufacturing facility and production process design that make sense only for production volumes 10-fold or 100-fold larger than the capacity of the existing plant-based meat facilities, and these changes can facilitate radical increases in efficiency and thus decreases in cost,” Specht said.
Economists have long studied the phenomenon of the economics of scale. According to this theory, companies can achieve higher efficiency by producing in mass-amounts. Driving down the cost for an individual unit of the mass-produced product. As of now, plant-based meat is a novelty product, not produced in massive amounts like beef or pork.
“Once plant-based meat achieves sufficient market penetration to tap into these emerging opportunities to optimize raw materials and make production more efficient, the industry will enter a bright new era of accessibility and affordability that will benefit both consumers and producers.”
Making the switch from meat to plant-based products has multiple advantages for the environment. Not just is plant-based meat a lot less polluting, it does take considerably less space. Space that could be used to reforest by planting trees and recovering the original habitat lost to agriculture.
“Industrial animal agriculture has been operating and optimizing at a global scale for decades. Yet it is still inherently more efficient to make meat directly from plants rather than feeding our crops to animals and then eating a part of the animal,” Dr. Specht Stated. “It’s all but inevitable that the plant-based meat industry will eventually be cost-competitive with conventional meat. In fact, this tipping point may hit relatively soon, given the recent flurry of activity reflecting new production capacity among the existing plant-based meat companies and the involvement of new entrants with massive resources.”