The COVID-19 pandemic has brought widespread volatility among all sectors of industry. Be it fashion, textile, entertainment, real estate, infrastructure, automotive and also food industry. The uncertainty surrounding the deadly disease coupled with the absence of a successful, proven vaccine has caused altered decision making both at the business end as well as the consumer end. The stringent social distancing and sanitization guidelines implemented by government agencies have changed the way many businesses are run and impacted revenues.

(Ways in Which COVID-19 Has Impacted the Global Protein Markets. Source: Pixabay)

Proteins, considered the building blocks of life, dominate a high percentage of the food industry the world over. They help in repairing and enhancing the body’s immune system as they contain amino acids that repair and rebuild cells in your body that aid immunity levels. With the world still under the clout of coronavirus, there is an increasing demand of protein-based foods the world over. Overcoming stress at work, ascertaining the ambiguity surrounding the future of your employment in these trying times tend to take a toll on the body. Therefore, taking care of yourself with a proper nutritious protein-laced diet becomes important.

We will look at the ways in which the global protein markets have been impacted by the lethal COVID-19.

Impact on meat-based protein markets

The meat industry is the largest component of food production. There has been a considerable rise in demand of high quality animal protein over the last decade. However, COVID-19 has left a deep impact in the meat industry, its supply, demand and practices.

Although this sector isn’t alien to health crises since it has seen massive disruptions during the time of SARS disease in 2003, the ‘Mad Cow’ disease in 2005 and the subsequent ‘Bird Flu’ virus, COVID-19 seems to have had the biggest dent in its operations. Majority of countries implemented large-scale shutdowns and lockdowns restricting people’s movement which in-turn led to complications on international trade, supply chain mechanisms and consumer behavior.

Beef consumption in Brazil and China reduced considerably after meat production centers became ‘hot spots’ for the spread of coronavirus. In the USA, there was at one time widespread uncertainty regarding the future of meat and livestock markets resulting in higher prices for the consumers. India, the second largest exporter of beef in the world behind Brazil, saw a huge drop in exports. The global poultry meat trade saw a decline, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

However, not everything is gloomy and there are still good outlets that supply top quality, grass fed, pasture-raised meat options and learn more about it if meat is something you can’t live without. If you’re strictly adhering to the social distancing guidelines and putting a curfew on yourself by staying and working from home but don’t want to miss out on your favorite steaks, then check out this page to get the best options delivered right at your doorstep.

While concerns over meat production and demand grow globally, countries will do well to ensure the safety and sanitation of all the workers in the manufacturing units.

(Ways in Which COVID-19 Has Impacted the Global Protein Markets. Source: Pixabay)

Impact on plant-based protein markets

Over the last two decades, there has been a growing clamor for a shift towards pro-plant based diets for the sake of healthier lifestyle, animal welfare and overall environmental conservation. Risk of heart diseases, bigger risks of cancer, liver and bone disorders have prompted those associated with health and wellness to propagate the importance of plant-based foods. COVID-19 struck the world when more and more people were leaning towards anti animal-derived and a more plant-based lifestyle. This augmented rapid growth in the plant-based protein market.

As the pandemic hit the animal-sourced food industry hardest, it showed how the plant-based food industry involves lesser risks of human involvement during procurement and manufacturing as compared to the meat industry.

In terms of investing in plant-protein food generation, there has been a massive surge of late with top companies, individual businesses and high-profile investors jumping the bandwagon of safer healthier food production.

Companies like Beyond Meat saw a bump of 49 % in shares in April 2020 owing to widespread interest in vegetable-derived foods. Others like Impossible Foods raised $500 million which will be used partly for production of plant-based meat alternatives. In May 2020, Singapore-based firm Growthwell received $8 million funding from Temasek and acquired a stake in a food-tech company called ChickP for producing chickpea isolate protein for vegan products in Asia.

This is the reason why many experts predict a huge growth in the plant-based protein markets over the course of next five years.

(Ways in Which COVID-19 Has Impacted the Global Protein Markets. Source: Pixabay)

Impact on alternative protein markets

The COVID-19 urged the people to look beyond animal-based foods to plant-based alternatives such as meat analogue and vegetarian milk. As the alternative protein industry isn’t massively human labor dependent at the manufacturing level, it sorts out the issue of lack of staff when compared to red meat production that needs a lot of human hands.

In the pre-COVID era, regulations involving manufacturing of alternative protein foods were restrictive. The outbreak ensured easing of certain regulations so that major investment can be pushed into procuring alternative protein foods and many countries, mindful of this trend, relaxed their policies on the same. The FDA loosened its terms for selling plant-based meat alternatives. Now, even insects-derived foods have been placed high on the alternative food market and considered a safer more sustainable protein option than traditional livestock. This is also set to ease the pressure on the global food supply chain pattern.

The COVID-19 exposed the susceptibility surrounding industrial meat and its related public health hazards. Food safety and its laws have taken higher precedence than ever before. The future looks bright for good quality ‘meat-free’ protein foods that offer safer food processing amenities which results in healthier food.