But Bloomberg reports that customers are not as interested in fake meat, partly and predictably due to price:
Supermarket sales of refrigerated plant-based meat plummeted 14% by volume for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 4, according to retail data company IRI. Orders of plant-based burgers at restaurants and other food-service outlets for the 12 months ended in November were down 9% from three years earlier, according to market researcher NPD Group.
…Plant meat still costs more than the real thing, and with inflation pushing up prices across the supermarket, many grocery shoppers have swapped the expensive imitation for chicken or, in some cases, beans and lentils [Deena Shanker, “Fake Meat Was Supposed to Save the World. It Became Just Another Fad,” Bloomberg via The Business Standard, 2023.01.21].
With the price of eggs still on the rise, it seems people are reaching for a cheaper alternative: plant-based options.
Andrew Noyes, head of global communications and public affairs for Alameda-based plant-based egg company JUST Egg, said their sales have been higher than ever.
Found on grocery store shelves and restaurant menus, plant-based alternatives are becoming increasingly prominent. But Noyes said the plant-based egg market is one of the fastest-growing categories in the plant-based food space.
The latest data shows the price of eggs has risen 59 percent year over year as of December 2022 due to both inflation and an avian flu outbreak. The national average of a dozen eggs has reached about $3.59, but there have been reports in the Bay Area of a dozen eggs reaching as high as $8.99. This compares with plant-based options like JUST Egg which costs about $4.30 for the equivalent of eight hen’s eggs, Noyes said [Miabelle Salzano, “Are More People Turning to Plant-Based Eggs Amidst Egg Price Surge?” KRON-TV San Francisco, 2023.01.17].
Aberdeen’s low-wattage Republican Legislative delegation was floating House Bill 1068, another silly sally into Beef-Its-What’s-for-Dinnerism that sought to fight the scourge of fake meat pretending to be real meat. Representative Carl Perry, Senator Al Novstrup, and rookie Representative Brandei Schaefbauer wanted to stuff a bunch of language into South Dakota’s deceptive-advertising statutes to make it a crime to advertise, brand, or sell any product as meat or poultry that isn’t meat or poultry (kind of like how Perry, Novstrup, and Schaefbauer market themselves as limited-government conservatives). Perhaps acceding to the wisdom of the market, Rep. Perry withdrew HB 1068 on Friday. Trust the people, Carl: people know the difference between real meat and fake meat without the government’s help. They certainly know the difference between the prices.