Back in our predictions for 2020, we said “The age of plant-based ‘meats’ has gone mainstream.”
That certainly was true in 2020.
But in a cover story entitled Fake Meat Was Supposed to Save the World. It Became Just Another Fad, Bloomberg Businessweek makes a compelling case. (For what it’s worth, the headline of the print version was “Fake Meat Loses Its Sizzle,” which is a better headline for humans but less good for SEO.)
Mostly the article looks at Beyond Beef, which apparently has had problems though Impossible Burger has had more success.
Beyond the business aspects, there are concerns that plant-bast meats are highly processed foods — so it’s not the healthier alternative that it was initially considered to be. Of course, keep in mind: one measure for mainstream success, as defined by Bloomberg Businessweek, is the number of menu items featuring plant-based meats available at fast food chains; keep in mind, please, that many of those are not super healthy, either.
We’re not nutritionists (though one of us started our career doing food and nutrition PR for clients that include the Beef Industry Council) but we feel plant-based meats serve as an alternative to traditional meats, may have less impact on the environment than producing more beef cattle, and could be eaten occasionally. That last part mirrors the advice long given to meat eaters.
Frankly, we like the taste and mouth feel of the Impossible Burger.
Bloomberg Businessweek seems correct in its judgment that plant-based meats have faded. But there are some good alternatives that deserve to be part of the food offerings we get.