Summary of our market study

The market for plant-based meat in France is estimated at over €110 million

The global market for meat substitutes has grown significantly, with forecasts predicting a cumulative annual growth rate of 7%, taking the market value from €4.6 billion to €6.5 billion. Countries such as Germany and the USA are leading the way in vegan product launches, with France showing strong potential due to the high number of flexitarians.

The French domestic market for plant-based meat has also seen steady growth, with the processing and preserving market reaching a value of 4.1 billion euros. Traditional vegetarian brands such as Sojasun and Cereal are confronted with the arrival of new industrial players and private labels such as Herta, which has rapidly conquered a substantial market share with offers such as the 100% vegetarian Knacki range.

The penetration of plant-based products in supermarkets and restaurants is increasing, driven by consumer demand for healthier products, ethical considerations regarding animal welfare and environmental concerns.

Advances in meat substitutes have resulted in products that increasingly resemble animal meat in taste and texture. Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat stand out in the category of "third-generation" meat substitutes.

The trend towards meat substitutes

In recent years, the country has seen a palpable shift towards meat substitutes, accentuated by changing dietary preferences and a growing awareness of health, environmental and ethical considerations.

The number of flexitarians - people who are mainly vegetarians but occasionally eat meat - is on the rise, and now stands at between 30 and 35%. Vegetarians represent around 5% of the population, while the vegan community remains relatively modest, at less than 1%.

The market for meat substitutes is booming, not least because of environmental concerns and ethical reasons relating to animal welfare. The prevailing sentiment echoes a desire to mitigate the negative externalities of traditional livestock farming. Per capita meat consumption figures are down, with consumption estimated to have fallen by almost 1% in one year, with specific segments such as fresh and frozen meat seeing declines of between 1.5% and 7%.

Nearly half of consumers are ready to incorporate hybrid meats or products based solely on plant proteins into their diet. This growing interest is reflected in the gradual increase in products containing plant proteins, which have increased eighteen-fold over the last three decades.

This upward trend is even more evident in the retail sector. The frequency of purchase of these products is increasing, and private labels have conquered around 24% of the market, expanding their offer to include vegetarian meat products.

The meat substitutes market is set for strong growth, as it responds to and stimulates the changing tastes of a health-conscious, environmentally friendly and ethically conscious population.

Players in the plant-based meat market

  • Impossible Foods - California-based Impossible Foods is at the forefront of plant-based product innovation.
  • Beyond Meat - Pioneer of plant-based proteins in the fast-food sector
  • Herta - A Nestlé brand has made a name for itself by expanding its "Knacki" range to include a 100% vegetarian recipe.
  • Triballat-Noyal (Sojasun) - Soy innovators and long-time advocates of vegetarianism through its Sojasun brand.
  • Céréale - played a pioneering role in the plant-based food market.
  • Happyvore
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of the study

Meat substitutes or imitation meat products represent a food category of products whose taste or aesthetic characteristics imitate those of certain meats for human consumption, and which generally have intended to replace the use of animal meat for consumption.

As a general rule, meat substitutes are made from non-meat products and sometimes also exclude products of animal origin, such as dairy products. The majority of these substitutes are based on soybeans, wheat, cereals, peas, various photosynthetic plants, bacterial or fungal cultures which are denatured by chemical and mechanical treatment to obtain a product in the form of meat, whereby this is then flavoured.

The world market for meat substitutes is growing rapidly with forecasts of a cumulative annual growth rate of 7% per year between 2018 and 2023.  Europe is the dominant market for vegetable meat, ahead of North America and Asia-Pacific. In France, sales in the vegetable meat industry are also rising rapidly, with a 11% growth between 2018 and 2019 .

With rising flexitarian and vegan trends inovolving the reduction of meat consumption, vegetable meats are more than ever in ascendancy. This phenomenon is accentuated by a promise of a reduction of the carbon and environmental footprint compared to the negative externalities which traditional animal production produce. Finally, the increase in health problems such as obesity or diabetes, due in particular to the over-consumption of meat products, also encourages consumers to turn to vegetable meats.

The sector is strongly marked by novelty with investments in Research & Development to constantly find new products that use less water, pollute less and taste better. The current trend is to diversify the raw materials used in the manufacture of meat products, which until now have been mainly soy and wheat-based.

1.2 A growing global market, mainly in Western countries

Size of the world market for meat alternatives World, ****-*****, in billions of euros Source: ****

The world market for vegetable meat is expected to grow at a sustained rate of *% per year until ****, increasing the value of the market from €*.* billion to €*.* billion.

A study conducted by the British bank Barclays ...

1.3 A national market that has been growing steadily for several years now

The vegetable meat market is included in the category "Other processing and preserving of fruit and vegetables" (***) of the INSEE nomenclature.

Size of the vegetable processing and preservation market France, ****-****, in billions of euros Source: ****

The processing and preservation market grew by *.*% between **** and **** to reach a value of *.* billion ...

2 Demand Analysis

2.1 Demand for traditional meats structurally declining

Meat consumption per capita in France contracted by *% in ****. The main segments contributing to this decline were fresh and frozen meat (***).

Meat consumption per capita France, ****-****, in g/day Source: ****

The graph of meat consumption per capita in carcass equivalent shows a gradual decline since ****. While this decline in consumption ...

2.2 French people increasingly fond of meat alternatives

French consumers have been attracted to vegetable meat for a long time. As early as ****, a study reveals that **% of consumers wanted to reduce their meat consumption. According to the same study, **% of consumers said they are ready to eat hybrid meats (***) and **% of them could turn to products based exclusively ...

2.3 Consumer perception of vegetable proteins

The products containing the most proteins according to the French people France, ****, in % Source: ****

The consumer barometer conducted by the GEPV reveals that **% of French people, i.e. *.*% more than in ****, think that vegetable proteins (***) are beneficial for health. At the same time, **% are convinced that they are good for the ...

2.4 Motivations of vegetarian consumers

Ethical, environmental (***) and health concerns are the main reasons given for choosing a flexitarian or vegetarian diet.

Animal welfare

According to Opinion Way **% of those who say they abstain from meat and fish, choose animal welfare as the first criterion for doing so. In total, **% of French vegetarians consider this criterion ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Value chain of the vegetable meat market

The interview given by the French startup "Les Nouveaux Fermiers" to L'Usine Nouvelle is rich in lessons on the organisation of the value chain of the vegetable meat industry. Raw materials are first purchased from a network of French or European producers. The finished product is then produced by an industrial ...

3.2 A market shared between specialist brands, industrial players and private labels

Traditional vegetable and meat substitute brands :

The current leaders in the vegetable and meat substitute sector are those who were able to offer similar subsitutes at *st generation (***). These include Triballat-Noyal which owns the Sojasun brand. Another player, the Breton company, started to design soy-based products in ****, starting with milk, and ...

3.3 The battle for the distribution of vegetarian meat

The vegetarian meat market has a very strong potential and could reach $*** billion worldwide by ****, according to estimates by the British bank Barclays. There is therefore competition both between distribution channels and, above all, between players in the same distribution channel to obtain supplies from the best vegetarian meat producers.

Barclays ...

3.4 French restaurants are changing in response to new vegetarian and vegan demand

It is estimated that between **** and **** the number of vegetarian restaurants in Paris has increased *.* times to a total of ***. This trend does not only affect table-top restaurants but also fast food restaurants, with for example McDonald's launching its vegetarian burger, the "Grand Veggie" in ****, or university restaurants with the development ...

4 Analysis of the offer

4.1 Overview of the different types of vegetable meats

There are several generations of meat substitutes. Each generation has brought a form of technological innovation compared to the previous one, with the common thread always being the desire to resemble animal meat more and more.

*st generation

These are products that do not resemble animal products. They are the ...

4.2 The advantages of vegetable meat

Vegetable meat has several environmental, health and ethical advantages which are at the root of its nascent success with French consumers.

Environmental benefit

Meat consumption has a major environmental impact. According to United Nations figures, the sector's greenhouse gas emissions amount to **.*% of the world total (***), far ahead of aviation or ...

4.3 Obstacles to the growth of the vegetable meat market

In spite of all its qualities, vegetable meat is not a panacea for the moment. Indeed, there are still many criticisms and doubts about its future development.

An ultra-processed product harmful to health

Among the potential risks, analysts at the British bank Barclays cite "the fact that alternatives to meat are ...

5 Regulation

5.1 Food regulations

Meat substitutes are subject to a set of standards governing the production and transport of food for human consumption

Thus the following standards apply to the production and transport of these foodstuffs:

Regulation (***) No ***/**** of the European Parliament and of the Council of ** April **** on the hygiene of foodstuffs. Order of ...

5.2 Regulation on the appointment of meat substitutes

On Wednesday ** May ****, the National Assembly definitively adopted the law on the transparency of consumer information on agricultural and food products. The text includes a number of provisions adopted in the framework of the Egalim law but which had been retooled by the Constitutional Council in October ****.

It is now prohibited ...

6 Positioning of the players

6.1 Segmentation

  • Olga Groupe (Triballat Noyal)
  • Nutrition & Santé Groupe
  • Tossolia
  • Fleury Michon
  • LDC Groupe
  • Beyond Meat
  • Les Nouveaux Fermiers
  • Accro (Nxtfood)
  • Heura
  • Umiami

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Taille du marché mondial des alternatives à la viande
  • Pays avec la plus grande proportion de lancements de produits végans
  • Taille du marché de la transformation et conservation de légumes
  • Évolution du nombre de produits contenant des protéines végétales
  • Consommation de viande par habitant
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Latest news

LDC passes the €6 billion mark in sales - 30/05/2024
  • Sales: up 6% to 6.5 billion euros.
  • - Net income: strong growth to 304.4 million euros.
  • - Poultry consumption since 2000: up 36%.
  • - Poultry Division France :
    • - Sales: 4.4 billion euros.
    • - Growth: 5.9% overall, and 2.3% on a like-for-like basis.
  • - Catering division :
    • - Sales: 911.8 million euros.
    • - Growth: 10.2%. - Volume: up 1.1%.
Why chicken king LDC is betting big on the delicatessen department - 30/05/2024
  • LDC Group, known for its Loué, Maître Coq and Matines brands
  • Sales of 6.2 billion euros in 2023
  • The company has entered into exclusive negotiations to acquire 100% of the capital of Pierre Martinet, one of the market leaders in delicatessen salads and number one in tabbouleh.
  • This family-run business generates sales of 230 million euros,
  • The delicatessen division will exceed 1 billion euros in 2024, compared with 911 million in 2023.
  • Poultry consumption continues to grow in France, up 3.4% last year.
  • Leader in the poultry sector with 40% market share and sales of 4.4 billion in 2023
LDC ready to acquire caterer Pierre Martinet - 29/05/2024

Pierre Martinet

  • - Sales in 2023: €230 million
  • - Number of employees: 700
  • - Number of sites: 5
  • - Markets: France, international with notable development in Spain
  • - Activities: Delicatessen salads, seafood salads, delicatessen products, savoury pastries
  • - Brands: La Belle Henriette (acquired in 2010), Maison Randy (acquired in 1997)

- LDC :

  • - Sales for fiscal 2023-2024: €6.2 billion
  • - Number of sites: 102
  • - Number of employees: 25,000 Sectors: Poultry (Le Gaulois, Maître Coq, Loué, Doux), fresh and frozen delicatessen (Marie, Traditions d'Asie), in negotiations to acquire Pierre Martinet

- Self-service (LS) catering market:

  • - Sales in 2023: €8.5 bn, up 2.9
  • - Sales volume: down 3.1% according to Circana to end 2023
  • -lDC in negotiations with the industrial division of Les Mousquetaires for the takeover of Délices de Saint-Léonard (specialized in the manufacture of fresh and frozen pizzas, quiches, crêpes and tarts), announced for October 2023
  • - Takeover of Routhiau (fresh and frozen charcuterie and delicatessen) announced in January 2024
Fleury Michon, the king of ham, bets on plant-based products with vegetable slices - 28/03/2024
  • - Fleury Michon sales: 795 million euros.
  • - Products offered: three legume-based products (coral lentils, chickpeas, white beans)
  • - Target market: 50% of consumers in France claim to be flexitarians.
  • - Annual decline in the pork ham market: 2% to 3% in volume since 2015
  • - Estimated supermarket delicatessen market for plant-based products: close to 150 million euros, up by around 3% in volume.
  • fleury Michon's "nitrite-free" market share: 62% of sales.
Loué poultry conquers the Polish market - 23/11/2023
  • LDC, France's leading poultry company
  • Acquisition of Poland's leading turkey producer, Indykpol, with Rolmex, a real estate investor, poultry exporter and wine distributor.
  • Poland is Europe's biggest turkey and chicken producer, exporting half of its poultry to the European Union
  • This operation will take LDC's total international business to over €1 billion by 2024, with total sales of over €6 billion.
  • The French company will then own 16 plants in Poland, with sales of 700 million euros
  • Indykpol achieved sales of 228 million euros in 2022, over 60% of which in the domestic market.
  • Poland
  • The aim is to establish the LDC model with poultry born, raised and processed locally, and to develop consumption with well-known brands such as Indykpol.
  • LDC set up in Poland twenty years ago
  • The devastating effects of bird flu are a thing of the recent past, and the vaccination of ducks has given new hope to the industry.
LDC negotiates the purchase of DSL (Délices de Saint Léonard), a plant in Morbihan, France - 23/11/2023
  • LDC is France's leading player in the poultry market.
  • LDC aims to acquire the Les Délices de Saint-Léonard (DSL) plant belonging to Agromousquetaires.
  • The aim of the acquisition is to increase its market share in the delicatessen business and consolidate its territorial coverage.
  • DSL is based in Theix-Noyalo (Morbihan) and is part of the Les Mousquetaires cooperative, which has some sixty plants in France.
  • By 2022, the LDC group's sales were set to reach 5.8 billion euros.
  • LDC employs 23,000 people and has around one hundred sites.
  • The DSL plant has a turnover of 50 million euros and 265 employees.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Olga Groupe (Triballat Noyal)
Nutrition & Santé Groupe
Fleury Michon
LDC Groupe
Beyond Meat
Les Nouveaux Fermiers
Accro (Nxtfood)

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the meat substitute market | France

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