Quick-service restaurants lead Australia's plant-based meat rise | QSR Media
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Quick-service restaurants lead Australia's plant-based meat rise

QSRs represented 80% of the volume of plant-based meat sales in 2022.

Sale of plant-based meat in Australia surged by 47% between 2020 and 2023, with per-capita consumption increasing by 28%, according to the 2023 State of the Industry report by the independent think tank on alternative proteins Food Frontier.

The report said that quick-service restaurants are boosting the segment's growth, with QSRs representing 80% of the sales volume in 2022.

Comprising Deloitte Access Economics insights and industry data by Food Frontier, the report found that in 2023 total plant-based meat sales in Australia reached $272.5m, representing a compound average growth rate (CAGR) of 14% since the 2020 financial year.

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Significant growth has been seen in foodservice, where the wholesale surge of plant-based meat represents a CAGR of 59% since 2020 whilst retail sales experienced a slight contraction (-1% CAGR) from 2020.

"Noting that most foodservice sales of plant-based meats are in quick service restaurants, the report found there is strong potential for growth if plant-based meat manufacturers expand into to new foodservice outlets and across untapped foodservice segments. This is discussed amongst the recommendations included in the report,” Dr Simon Eassom, CEO of Food Frontier said.

Plant-based burgers top choice

The report cited Food Industry Foresight’s data that in terms of value, the top five plant-based meat formats in the commercial foodservice sector were in descending order: beef-style burgers, bacon, chicken-style burgers, mince and chicken-style strips/slices. 

This aligns to the higher volume of plant-based meat sold in QSRs in the same year, which typically serves burgers or sandwich-style products. In the same year in the institutional foodservice sector, it was noted that sausages, chicken-style strips/slices, mince, chicken-style pre-prepared products (battered and crumbed), and beef-style burgers were the top five formats in value, indicating that institutional operators are looking for and serving plant-based meat in a wider variety of dishes and cuisines.

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