Alternative proteins, which are among food techs, have emerged as one of the top consumer trends and thrived over the past few years. KResearch is of the view that the alternative protein market in Thailand is set to grow in the future as such products are now available through numerous channels while there has been growing demand from flexitarians, and those who want to reduce meat consumption. However, consumers' decision to purchase alternative proteins is being affected by murky economic conditions and eroding purchasing power due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, plus numerous choices of food products available in the market at varying prices. Additionally, prices of alternative proteins are relatively high.
KResearch projects that turnover in the Thai alternative protein market (products that are derived from food innovations) may reach approximately THB4.5 billion in 2021, amounting to 12 percent of the overall alternative protein market that is worth more than THB36.2 billion in Thailand, before rising to THB5.67 billion in 2024 (CAGR, 2021-2024: 8 percent p.a.). Presently, more than 89 percent of the total turnover in the Thai alternative protein market (products derived from food innovations) are from foods and the remaining 11 percent from beverages. The market is driven primarily by large businesses rather than SMEs as they have more advantages in terms of production capacity and distribution channels. If SMEs want to compete with larger rivals, they must focus on flavor and product differentiation, as well as marketing and pricing tactics.
Looking ahead, related Thai entrepreneurs are advised to explore overseas markets because demand for products such as insect-based proteins is projected to grow faster than in Thailand. Insect-based proteins are being promoted commercially by the relevant Thai public agencies in response to anticipated demand growth in the future. However, because alternative proteins are the latest food innovations, related entrepreneurs should thoroughly study regulations and trade standards of exporting countries.