The meat substitute industry is growing rapidly. According to research firm Markets and Markets, the global sales of meat substitutes increased by $4 billion this year alone and have seen a 42 percent increase since 2010. Experts anticipate the global meat substitute market to generate $5.2 billion in revenue by 2020, reports MarketWatch.
If these numbers aren't compelling enough, now one of the world's largest meat processors has gone on record to predict a meatless future. Tyson Foods CEO, Tom Hayes, told Fox Business that plant-based protein is the future of the food industry in a recent interview.
"If you take a look at the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) stats, protein consumption is growing around the world — and it continues to grow," Hayes tells FOX Business. "It's not just hot in the U.S.; it's hot everywhere. People want protein, so whether it's animal-based protein or plant-based protein, they have an appetite for it. Plant-based protein is growing almost, at this point, a little faster than animal-based, so I think the migration may continue in that direction."
While the company currently predominantly works with meats, it is investing in meat substitutes. Tyson Foods owns a 5 percent stake in Beyond Meat, a Silicon Valley plant-based protein startup, as of last October and created a $150 million venture capital fund to invest in startups that are developing meat substitutes.
"Where the consumer is headed is in a space of growth and demand for all forms of protein, with plant-based and alternative proteins being one of those areas of interest," says Monica McGurk, Tyson's president for food service, to Reuters.
Read more: Tyson Foods CEO: The Future of Food Might Be Meatless from Fox Business
What do you think? Are you eating more plant-based protein than you have in the past? Let us know in the comments.