Meat vs. Alt Protein: What’s the Diff?

Analysis of Intel Distillery data shows that health concerns drove the most influential conversations around alternative proteins this month. Although the bulk of attention focused on nutritional differences between meat and plant-based proteins, health-related messaging may resonate better as part of a “plant-based diet” than as a “meat substitute.”

  • Duke University researcher Stephan van Vliet concluded, “These products should not be viewed as nutritionally interchangeable, but that’s not to say that one is better than the other.”
  • Meanwhile, influential voices discussed alt proteins as part of plant-based diets that may ward off disease, including COVID-19 (Johns Hopkins University, via BMJ) and multiple sclerosis (University of Iowa).

Additionally, several other topics moved up and down in our rankings of the marketplace’s top topics. Innovation in the sector piqued interest as companies developed new ingredients, while environment and sourcing claims fell from relatively high volumes of discussion last month.

  • Nestlé partnered with Future Meat Technologies for cultivated protein.
  • Nonprofit XPRIZE announced a $15 million competition for the development of chicken and fish analogues.

This content was developed in partnership with Alt-Meat, a multimedia brand covering a myriad of topics in the meat alternatives market from a business point of view. For more information, visit