Plant-based market set to grow
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Plant-based market set to grow

People examine plant-based food at a previous edition of THAIFEX-Anuga Asia.
People examine plant-based food at a previous edition of THAIFEX-Anuga Asia.

Thailand's plant-based food market is expected to grow around 10%, with the value estimated to reach 45 billion baht this year.

Following a recent workshop entitled "The Future of Essential Agricultural Products of Thailand: A Case Study of Plant-Based Food", which was joinly organised by the Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO) and Fiscal Policy Research Institute Foundation, Poonpong Naiyanapakorn, director-general of the TPSO, said plant-based food products are likely to grow rapidly in both the domestic and international markets.

The compound annual growth rate of the plant-based market from 2019 to 2024 was estimated to be 10.5%, generating US$25 billion in value terms, according to Euromonitor.

According to Krungthai Compass, the value of Thailand's plant-based food market this year will reach 45 billion baht with an average annual growth rate of 10%, rising from 28 billion in 2019, driven by rising numbers of health-conscious consumers and concern for animal welfare and ethics.

One definition of plant-based food is food produced using only ingredients from plants. This definition covers beverages, too.

This type of food is touted as being more sustainable because it is said to use significantly fewer natural resources than animal-based foods and puts less pressure on the environment, said the research house.

Other major drivers include an increasing global population, ageing demographics, and innovations and advanced food processing technology.

The growing demand for plant-based options presents a unique opportunity for Thai agriculture and businesses, noted Krungthai Compass.

There is potential for innovation in developing affordable, accessible and diverse plant-based food products, which could stimulate local economies and support sustainable agricultural practices as the government aims to turn Thai festivals into a contributor to economic growth, according to the research unit.

There is a promising opportunity for Thailand to be the world's major producer and exporter of plant-based food to meet growing global demand for sustainable future foods thanks to its food technology and innovation, said Krungthai Compass.

Thailand's plant-based food industry still needs to be developed and supported in all dimensions including production and processing, marketing, research, tech and innovation, and databases to add value to Thai agricultural products, it noted.

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