Organic plant protein is a type of protein derived from plants that are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, or genetically modified organisms. Organic plant protein can be found in various forms, such as powders, bars, drinks, and meat alternatives. Some examples of organic plant protein sources are soy, pea, hemp, rice, quinoa, and nuts.
The market potential of organic plant protein is huge and growing rapidly, as more consumers are seeking healthier, more sustainable, and more ethical food choices. According to a report by Bloomberg Intelligence, the plant-based foods market could make up to 7.7% of the global protein market by 2030, with a value of over $162 billion, up from $29.4 billion in 2020. Another report by Statista estimates that the global plant protein market value will reach $17.4 billion by 2027, up from $12.2 billion in 2022. A third report by Boston Consulting Group and Blue Horizon Corporation projects that the alternative-protein market, which includes plant-, microorganism-, and animal-cell-based alternatives, will reach at least $290 billion by 2035.
The main drivers of the market potential of organic plant protein are the increasing consumer awareness and demand for health benefits, environmental sustainability, animal welfare, and food safety. Organic plant protein can offer advantages such as lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, lower risk of diabetes and heart disease, lower greenhouse gas emissions, lower water and land use, lower animal suffering, and lower exposure to antibiotics and hormones. Moreover, organic plant protein can also appeal to consumers who have dietary restrictions or preferences, such as veganism, vegetarianism, gluten-free, lactose-free, or kosher.
Mainstream Plant Protein Products in the Market
|Soy protein isolate (SPI)||A highly refined form of soy protein that contains at least 90% protein and has a neutral flavor. It can be used to make various products such as tofu, tempeh, soy milk, soy yogurt, soy cheese, soy sauce, soy flour, and textured vegetable protein (TVP).||Soy protein isolate is the most widely used and versatile plant protein source, accounting for 68% of the global plant protein market value in 2020. However, its growth rate is expected to slow down due to consumer concerns about allergenicity, GMOs, and phytoestrogens.|
|Wheat gluten (WG)||A protein fraction derived from wheat that has a high elasticity and can form a meat-like texture when cooked. It can be used to make seitan, a popular meat alternative in Asian cuisines.||Wheat gluten is another common plant protein source that has a moderate growth rate due to its widespread availability and low cost. However, it faces challenges from the gluten-free trend and consumer preferences for other plant protein sources.|
|Pea protein isolate (PPI)||A relatively new plant protein source that is extracted from yellow peas and has a high protein content (about 80%). It is hypoallergenic (free from gluten and soy) and has a neutral taste. It can be used to make powders, drinks, bars, and meat alternatives.||Pea protein isolate is the fastest-growing plant protein source, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.8% from 2020 to 2027. It is driven by consumer demand for clean label, sustainable, and allergen-free plant protein options.|
|Hemp protein||A plant protein source that is derived from hemp seeds and has a high protein content (about 50%). It is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, fiber, iron, magnesium, and zinc. It has a nutty flavor and a coarse texture. It can be used to make powders, bars, drinks, and baked goods.||Hemp protein is a growing plant protein source that has a CAGR of 15.9% from 2019 to 2025. It is driven by consumer interest in organic, vegan, and gluten-free products that offer multiple health benefits.|
|Sunflower protein||A plant protein source that is derived from sunflower seeds and has a high protein content (about 80%). It is low in fat and carbohydrates and has a mild flavor and a smooth texture. It can be used to make powders, bars, drinks, and meat alternatives.||Sunflower protein is an emerging plant protein source that has a CAGR of 8.7% from 2019 to 2025. It is driven by consumer demand for novel, sustainable, and allergen-free plant protein options that are suitable for various applications.|
|Pumpkin seed protein||A plant protein source that is derived from pumpkin seeds and has a high protein content (about 65%). It is rich in fiber, iron, magnesium, zinc, and antioxidants. It has a green color and a savory flavor. It can be used to make powders, bars, drinks, soups, and sauces.||Pumpkin seed protein is an emerging plant protein source that has a CAGR of 12.4% from 2019 to 2025. It is driven by consumer interest in organic,vegan,and gluten-free products that offer multiple health benefits.|
The market potential of organic plant protein is expected to continue to grow in the future as more consumers adopt plant-based diets for various reasons. The challenges and opportunities for the organic plant protein industry include improving the taste, texture, and nutritional profile of the products; expanding the variety and availability of the products; reducing the cost and increasing the affordability of the products; increasing the consumer education and awareness of the benefits of organic plant protein; and complying with the regulations and standards for organic certification.