Substitute meat products could be set to grow in popularity over the coming years, according to industry experts.
Global consumption of meat is increasing all the time and there are fears that there could come a point where demand outstrips supply. Members of the Food Ethics Council believe that this situation could be realised by 2050 as the world's food industry struggles to find the resources to feed 9.6 billion people across the globe.
Dan Crossley, executive director of the Food Ethics Council, explains that the industry needs to prepare for this possibility. The experts said that this situation could prompt companies to find innovative ways of using less but better meat or meat substitutes to satisfy a growing population of meat eaters.
"We need to look at ways of using less and better meat for high-meat consuming countries," Mr Crossley told FoodManufacture.co.uk. "Countries like China are going to have a massive impact on the production of meat across the world."
There are a variety of meat substitute products already available on the market, most notably Quorn. The products have been labelled as having half the saturated fat of meat and have been the subject of an advertising campaign fronted by Olympic gold medal winner Mo Farah.
Linda McCartney Foods is another company dedicated to providing meat-free dishes for the mass market. Founded by Linda McCartney in 1991, the firm produces a wide range of vegetarian meals such as sausages, mince, cottage pie and a multitude of stews.
Experts believe that food manufacturers will play a key role in reducing the amount of meat being consumed around the world. Introducing more meat-free products could potentially brace the industry should meat supplies be significantly depleted in the next 30 to 40 years.