Global protein market – a report from Food Innovation Australia Limited

Global protein market

  • This report from Food Innovation Australia looks at the global demand and opportunities for proteins.
  • Protein demand is likely to continue to grow quickly in the future, but the drivers of this demand will potentially be different from the past. Global protein consumption has risen 40 percent since 2000, with over half of the increase driven by Asia. Though population growth was the key driver of protein demand in the past – accounting for about 80 percent of global protein demand growth since 2000, the growing consuming class and urbanisation rates may increasingly replace population growth as the key factors fuelling future protein demand. As compared to 2018 levels, global protein demand is projected to grow by up to 20 percent by 2025.
  • The structure of global protein supply will evolve, with slowing growth rates in meat supply expected to be offset by increasing plant-based protein and aquaculture production. Since 2000, plant-based and meat protein have dominated the protein market by volume and value respectively. Going forward, four key trends – dietary shifts for health and ethical reasons, government regulations, environmental constraints and technological advances – are expected to trigger a shift towards increased plant-based and aquaculture consumption. Within the non-traditional protein category, insects are the largest and fastest growing protein type, but the market remains small in absolute terms. At a regional level, China will be the biggest market across all protein categories in 2025, with the exception of plant- based protein.
  • There are three strategic imperatives for Australian producers to unlock new opportunities in the global market. First, if Australian producers were to restructure their food production mix and shift into higher value protein categories such as aquaculture or differentiate their offering through the adoption of new technology and innovations to match global protein consumption, they could capture up to A$55 billion more in production value in 2025 as compared to a business-as-usual trajectory. While a complete transformation of the Australian food and agribusiness industry to reflect global protein demand is challenging in this short timeframe, Australian producers can still put in place mechanisms today to capture some of this future value. Second, Australian producers should seek to strengthen partnerships in high-potential markets by taking advantage of existing free trade deals and forming commercial collaborations with local players in these markets. Third, in order to harness business opportunities beyond food production, Australian producers should explore deeper collaborations with other players across the value chain such as food processors, researchers, nutritionists and technology providers.

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