Early this century the concept of transition was introduced. A transition occurs at the system level when the old ways of production and consumption are constrained. The need for the protein transition was embraced in response to concerns about local and global environmental issues, animal diseases, food safety, animal welfare and human health.
Over the past 10 years there have been many developments related to this protein transition in various European countries, consumers have been informed by government agencies about the health benefits of eating less or no meat, and growing numbers of consumers are now including plant-based alternatives in their menu.
Growing market and significant improvements of meat substitutes
The market for meat substitutes is growing. In the Netherlands a growth of 6% in 2018 and 8% in 2019 is expected
. In the last few years, the texture and dietary benefits of meat substitutes have significantly improved. Recent research by the Dutch Consumers’ Association
(De Consumentenbond) shows that meat substitutes in the Dutch market are complete substitutes for meat, with an equivalent nutritional value due to the addition of vitamins and minerals. Improved recipes and technologies are leading to better quality products, such as recent processing innovations that have improved the structure and sensory experience of meat substitutes.