Meatless Product-Launches Increase by 451 Percent

New data shows that UN naming 2016 the International Year of the Pulses is driving the growth of legume-based meat replacers in Europe.

Scientists behind research project Transition Paths to Sustainable Legume-Based Systems in Europe (TRUE) found that 27,058 new legume-based products debuted worldwide between 2013 and mid-2017. Researchers discovered that during the research period, products containing legumes increased by 39 percent in Europe, 19 percent in the United Kingdom, 14 percent in France, and 13 percent in Germany. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) declared 2016 to be the International Year of Pulses, and researchers believe that declaration had a substantial impact on raising public awareness about legumes and beans as nutritious replacement for animal-based protein. “The product subcategories with the highest increment were meat substitutes,” lead researcher Carla Teixeira said, “with an amazing growth rate of 451 percent, pasta with an increase of 295 percent, and bean-based snacks, growing by 128 percent.” Researchers also found that the number of vegan products containing legumes increased by 196 percent, and chickpea-based products grew by 47 percent—a trend consistent with consumer habits in the United States, where chickpea-based snacks increased by 150 percent in 2016.

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