Plant based “meat”

Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat appear to be genuine sensations. Their products are so popular that Impossible Foods couldn’t produce fast enough. It remains to be seen if they are fads or a permanent trend. Based on how quickly fast food joints are reaching for fake meat products, it certainly seems like this is permanent.

What I don’t understand is “why?”.

People have largely ignored plant based diets. The diets lose out to Atkins style diets every year. Paleo, Keto, low-carb diets make loads of money for the food industry and the writers/publishers of diet books. That popularity is due to people’s preference for meat. If you tell people you can lose weight either by giving up meat or giving up bread and cookies, the majority give up the carbs despite the fact that Atkins-style diets rank among the worst of all diet plans.

So why are people so anxious to eat carb-filled fake meat? I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. It’s not better than meat health-wise, but seems to be better for the environment. But is that what’s driving demand – Burger King customers are suddenly eco-enthusiasts? Doesn’t seem likely.

Fake meat is a little lower in saturated fat than real meat, but since people generally prefer high fat diets I can’t believe that fear of saturated fat is big part of the demand for fake meat. Fake meat isn’t lower in calories.

So what is it? Do people go to Burger King or White Castle specifically for the fake meat? Or do they switch from real meat to fake meat? Does availability of fake meat drive demand from vegans or vegetarians who have been denied acceptable fast food up to now?

Who are the customers for this product and why are they eating it?

I’ve tried to find reporting on this, but there doesn’t seem to be an analysis of the demand so far. They just report that demand exists, not the cause or the nature of the customers. It would be interesting to know.


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