GIESSEN, THE NETHERLANDS – Schouten Europe B.V., a Dutch family owned business, added plant-based beef and chicken facsimiles to the company’s product range of plant-based meat substitutes.

Schouten’s plant-based chicken and beef pieces are made with plant-based proteins from soy, wheat and peas, although the chicken pieces do not contain any soy, the company said. The beef and chicken pieces contain 18.3 and 22.7 grams of protein per 100 grams, respectively. Schouten said the products are low in saturated fat and salt and are easy to incorporate into various dishes. Target market segments include retail, the food processing industry and the out-of-home channel.

“There were already various chicken and beef pieces on the market, but we knew they could be improved upon,” said Niek-Jan Schouten, R&D director. “With these kinds of products, it is especially important that the consumer doesn’t have to compromise on flavor and texture. We have worked hard to produce products that we expect to become more popular than real chicken and beef.”

US consumers, while acknowledging the role of meat and poultry in a balanced diet, have expressed a desire to reduce their meat and poultry consumption, according to the 2021 Power of Meat Survey, prepared by 210 Analytics LLC and sponsored by Cryovac, a division of Sealed Air Corp.

“Respondents who are looking to reduce their animal protein intake cite an average of three reasons,” the study said. “The most common one is concern over the healthiness of eating meat, defined by the survey as being the combination of beef, pork and lamb. Eating less but buying higher quality and saving money increased as reasons and moved into the top five, whereas sustainability dropped out of the top five reasons.”

And demand for plant-based alternatives to meat continues to grow.

“According to the research firm Markets and Markets, the chicken and beef substitutes product segments are by far the largest product groups in the meat substitute market worldwide,” Schouten said. “The market research firm expects that chicken alternatives will represent sales of more than $13 billion by 2025 and beef alternatives of more than $6 billion.”