According to new research, prices for vegan meat have fallen below those of their animal counterparts in the Netherlands.
Data commissioned by international food advocacy organization ProVeg shows that while meat prices in the Netherlands have risen sharply, plant-based meat alternatives for things like vegan burgers and vegan sausages have become cheaper.
The data, collated by supermarket researcher Questionmark on behalf of ProVeg, was collected in February and June this year.
The researchers found significant changes in the prices of various animal meat products compared to their plant-based counterparts.
Vegan meat prices
The researchers found that the prices of three herbal alternatives fell below their meaty versions between February and June this year when comparing the cheaper of the two product types.
In February, plant-based burgers were on average 56 cents per kilo more expensive than animal-based burgers, this figure fell to 78 cents per kilo cheaper in June.
Plant-based chicken parts went from €1.16 per kilo more to 37 cents per kilo less.
And plant-based ground meat was on average 29 cents per kilo more expensive than its meat counterpart in February, falling to €1.36 per kilo cheaper now.
ProVeg notes that just because “plant-based meat substitutes have become cheaper than meat on average, doesn’t mean that’s also the case for every plant-based meat substitute in every supermarket.” .
The cost of inflation
According to Pablo Moleman of ProVeg Netherlands, while inflation has had a significant impact on meat prices, which increased by 21% between February and June, plant-based meat substitutes have only only 2%.
This can be attributed to “higher raw material costs, combined with the inherent inefficiency of meat production”.
Mr. Moleman said: “Meat has always been a product that requires a huge amount of raw materials. To make one kilogram of meat, you need up to ten kilograms of grain. Now, in times of scarcity, it takes its toll.
“Due to the massive use of raw materials, meat is much more sensitive to global market disturbances than meat substitutes. Plant-based meat clearly trumps efficiency, and now we see that reflected in the price.
Low profit margins on meat prices
He also cited ‘very thin margins on meat products’ as a possible factor, saying: ‘Supermarkets try to attract customers by offering meat at the best possible price. cent are common, and sometimes the meat is even sold below cost.
“Meat substitutes, on the other hand, have margins of 35-50%. These higher margins may have acted as a buffer to absorb price bumps, while with meat supermarkets had no choice but to raise prices.
“That might explain why meat has been hit so hard by price increases and not plant-based substitutes.”
Want to eat something fake meaty? Why not try our 21 vegan seitan recipes that even carnivores will love?
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