Report: 60% of Meat Will be Plant-Based or Lab-Grown by 2040

According to a new GovGrant report, by 2040 well over half of all meat eaten and available for purchase will be plant-based or grown in the lab rather than factory farmed.

Lab-Grown meat

Impossible Burger.

The report found that in just 17 years only 40% of meat will come from animals. By comparison, 35% is expected to come from lab-grown meat, and 25% from plant-based options.

“Since there’s such huge potential demand for lab-grown meat, that’ll only spur companies on to innovate further and perfect their products,” said Adam Simmonds, a research associate at GovGrant. “This could become an interesting area of growth for the US and other countries, particularly as not many nations possess the expertise to produce this meat.”

Simmonds says “There will definitely be an uplift in the number of producers, who’ll want to take full advantage of the upcoming boom in demand.”

Lab-grown (or “cultured) meat is meat that’s grown in a lab using a small amount of animal cells. This does not necessarily cause harm or death to the animal the cells are taking from, leading to their being a debate in the vegan-community on whether or not lab-grown meat is vegan. According to a 2021 Veggly poll, although around half of all vegans want to see further innovation in the cell-based meat category, slightly less than one in four (24%) say they would try lab-grown meat and still feel they’re following a strict vegan diet.

The report found that over 60% of the global investment in lab-grown meat is from the United States, followed by Israel at just under 22% and the Netherlands at 5.6%.

The report notes that “Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University, otherwise known as the ‘Hamburger Professor’, presented the first cultured beef burger back in 2013, it cost over €200,000. In 2019, he claimed it now costs about €9 per burger. Whilst this is still much more expensive than any hamburger you would find in a supermarket, it shows the massive progress that has taken place and the potential for the future.”

You can find further information on this report by clicking here.