Every year, more and more meat-free startups are making headlines. This trend of new vegan product businesses is simply a spark from the laws of supply and demand.
The fact is, more Australians are eating meat-free products every year. In 2018, Australia was the most popular country for veganism according to Google Trends.
However, this trend isn’t just affecting Australia. It’s worldwide. According to a report on Report Buyer, In the United States, the number of vegans increased by about 4 million in 2014 to 19.6 million in 2017. That’s a 600% increase in 4 years.
So what does this mean for those looking to get a slice of the meat-free industry? Opportunity.
Even Jack Cowin, (the owner of Hungry Jack’s) is hopping on the opportunity. In recent news, he officially stated that he’s backing a new plant-based startup, v2food.
This is a guy who sells hamburgers for a living. And he’s putting his money on the meat-free market.
This new Aussie plant-based startup is led by Nick Hazell who has vast experience in Research & Development for businesses including Masterfoods and Mars.
Before Nick Hazell hopped in as the leader, Jack Cowin met with Phil Morle who partners at Main Sequence Ventures (the parent company of v2food) to discuss a way to tap into the market. Hungry Jack’s parent company, CSIRO, which Cowin also own, joined forces with Main Sequence Ventures to contribute to v2food’s seed funding.
Cowin met Morle to see if there was a way to influence the alternative protein market that’s continuously growing.
Fast-forward to the beginning of the next big meat-free startup. Nick Hazell’s leading the way with a Research & Development team of 2,500 people, building v2foods up to be market-ready very soon. What takes most startups of this type about 2-3 years to launch, they’ve done in 9 months. According to a SmartCompany article, Hazell stated, “We have to get to scale really quickly if we’re going to have any impact.”
Another meat-free startup on the rise is New Zealand’s Sunfed Meats. In June, They announced they would be launching a meat-free alternative to chicken in Coles stores across Australia.
According to a news.com.au article, when Founder and CEO Shama Sukul Lee first started toying around with the idea, people were even telling her it was a “stupid” idea. But she knew there was demand. But, when she launched the promotional video for “Chicken Free Chicken”, back in 2017, it went viral.
Lee successfully raised $10 million to fund the Australian expansion of the meat-free chicken product. Lee said, “I didn’t expect this to happen when we first launched.”
In the article, she said, “I’m not out here to preach, all I am trying to do is empower consumers with choice and in order for that to happen I needed to create a product that was equal or better than what is already out there.”
The opportunity to dive into the meat-free product market has never been better. Plus it’s only going to grow. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, right now, Australia’s packaged vegan food industry is valued at about $136 million and is on pace to hit $215 million by 2020.