SINGAPORE: Alternative meat companies here are turning their attention towards a growing market segment – fine dining restaurants.
With global demand for plant-based fast foods taking a hit, firms are pivoting to creating premium products. Examples include plant-based wagyu beef and cultivated meats like lab-grown fish maw.
The plant-based market has been facing inflationary pressures and attracting fewer investors in recent months.
Large companies like Beyond Meat posted a 30 per cent drop in sales in the second quarter of this year, and it is expecting an even bumpier road ahead.
Firms specialising in cultivated meat, however, believe there is still potential for gourmet products that can also fetch higher prices. Banking on that, Avant Foods is building a pilot production site in the north of Singapore which is expected to open early next year.
CEO of the firm Carrie Chan predicted that in the next five to 10 years, people will continue to get their protein from different sources and that plant-based proteins will remain popular.
In particular, the seafood sector is plagued with problems which her industry can help, she said.
“We understand that there are a lot of challenges with our seafood, such as heavy metal, micro plastic, and most recently we are thinking about some of the nuclear waste that may go into our ocean system,” she said. “There will be a need from the consumer to consider alternatives (in) which they will have a higher level of confidence in the production process.”