Meat Substitutes Starting To Gain Popularity

According to data from research firm Mintel, 36 percent of Americans say they use alternative meat.

As technology continues to progress and cutting-edge companies like the Bill Gates-backed Hampton Creek Foods and Beyond Meat continue to make waves,  it appears that the market for meat substitutes will continue climb at a rapid rate. Based on research by the Worldwatch Institute, alternative meat production has tripled in the last four years.

Based on a 2013 study from the research firm, Mintel, a large number of consumers have become interested in alternatives for beef and fish meat and according to Beth Bloom, food and drink analyst for Mintel, about seven percent of Americans now consider themselves vegetarian, while 36 percent say they use alternative meat.  

Critics still question the health risks that tag along when it comes to eating meat made in a tube., but it hasn't stopped companies from using non-GMO soy, wheat gluten and produced grains to replace the use of "animal products." Beyond Meat's plant-based Chicken-Free Strips are reportedly filled with protein and have all of the taste of a chicken without the use of "antibiotics, hormones, GMOs, trans fats and cholesterol."

"We're looking at how we can create value-added products with benefits that far exceed what [consumers] get from just eating meat," Ethan Brown, CEO of Beyond Meat, said. Soon Beyond Meat will present their beef replacement made with yellow pea protein minus gluten or soy.

"We're taking proteins and running them through a heating, cooling and pressure process that realigns them so that they substantially mimic the fiber structure that you find in animal flesh or meat," Brown said. "The outcome for the consumer is that it tears like meat, it has the same grams of force required to rupture and it has the overall mouth-feel of muscle."

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