The plant-based protein industry is focused on improving the price, taste and texture of its products as it weathers a period of consumer wariness brought on by the rising cost of living.

That’s according to industry experts, including Bill Greuel, CEO of Protein Industries Canada, who says there’s a lot of work being done in Canada to improve things like the meltability of plant-based cheese and the texture of plant-based meat.

Greuel says inflation and higher interest rates have made consumers more sensitive to differences in price, and therefore less willing to try plant-based meat alternatives.

He says the industry needs to build up its manufacturing and processing capacity in Canada to help address the price differences between plant-based meat and its conventional counterparts.

Over the longer term, however, Greuel says there’s still lots of growth predicted for the industry, though not at the steep rate previously predicted.

He noted that compound annual growth rate estimates for plant-based protein are now in the single digits, compared with double digits at the beginning of the pandemic.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 18, 2024.