As consumers, mindful of animal welfare and environmental issues, demand more and better meat alternatives, big business is taking notice. Triggered by disturbing conditions at factory farms and growing concern for environmental issues that accompany rearing livestock, investors like Biz Stone and Evan Williams of Twitter, Bill Gates and Hong Kong magnate Li Ka-shing have all gotten behind the business of fake meat, reports the New York Times.
For many of them, fake meat offers a lucrative business opportunity more than anything else. Sales of meat alternatives grew 8 percent from 2010 to 2012, when sales hit $553 million -- and are expected to grow more.
"Much of the new growth in the segment is coming from younger consumers who seek foods that fit an overall lifestyle, be it for health reasons or personal ethics," Andrew Loucks, president of the United States frozen foods business at the Kellogg Company, which owns MorningStar, told NYT. "They are not just seeking foods that mimic meat. Instead they specifically want vegetarian foods with distinctive flavors and visible, recognizable ingredients."