Pulse weekly outlook: Pandemic may pose market opportunity

MarketsFarm — Plant protein products were steadily rising in popularity before the COVID-19 pandemic set in — but that industry could also get a boost from consumers shifting away from meat in a post-pandemic world.

“There’s an increased level of awareness of hygiene issues in the meat industry,” Vishal Vijay, head of business development at Agrocorp International in Singapore, said in a conference with the Global Pulse Confederation.

Several meat processing facilities in the U.S. and Canada were shuttered or cut production at the onset of the pandemic as workers fell ill with the coronavirus due to a lack of social distancing measures.

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“Meat consumption won’t completely go away, but we will see a pivot to consumers consuming more plant protein than they did in the past,” Vijay said.

“That’s going to be beneficial to our industry as a whole.”

Agrocorp, whose Canadian footprint includes four pulse handling facilities on the Prairies, is today “dabbling” in consumer products, having set up a food lab in Singapore, and is also getting into the pulse protein extraction business, he said.

The company last year set up a pea protein extraction plant alongside its pulse facility at Cut Knife, Sask., “and we’re trying to see if we can set up a few more in various parts of the world.”

— Marlo Glass reports for MarketsFarm from Winnipeg. Includes files from Glacier FarmMedia Network staff.

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