Region/Countries: Australia, Australia and New Zealand Industry: Food and Beverage Date: January 2020

Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: The U.S. is the second-largest supplier of food ingredients to Australia, and Wisconsin companies can help meet rising demand.

According to a report from Food Frontier, concern for a healthy diet is steadily rising in Australia, as 42% of Australians are consciously cutting back on their meat intake. The market for plant-based meat is growing as people seek alternatives. This trend can be seen as major retailers, such as Woolworths and Coles, stock meat alternatives in their stores. Various restaurants and fast food franchises are also including plant-based products on their menu—for example, Dominos, Hungry Jacks (Burger King), Soul Burger, Lord of the Fries, Grill’d, Ribs and Burgers, and Mad Mex.

Not only does this trend create opportunities for food producers, but it also stimulates the industry for food processing equipment and upgrades and establishments of new facilities, as illustrated by the opening of a major extraction facility for vegan meat in March 2019.

One vegan cheese business is enjoying its fair share of success by exporting its products to numerous countries. Many more are speculated to follow, leading to a demand for vegan meat–related equipment.

As stated in the projections from Deloitte, consumer spending on plant-based meat is projected to grow from $150 million AUD ($103 million USD) up to $4.6 billion AUD ($3.16 billion USD) by 2030.

Research also states that the market is not solely dependent on vegan/vegetarians. A significant portion of this revenue will be generated from meat eaters or meat reducers as plant-based meat becomes more accessible and, essentially, cheaper than actual meat. The goal of the industry is to not only cater to vegans but also let the meat eaters consume plant-based meat alternatives as they choose.

The U.S. is the second-largest supplier of food ingredients to Australia, and the free trade agreement between the U.S. and Australia provides advantages for U.S. products, as tariff rates for many U.S. food products exported to Australia are zero. This, in combination with the success of plant-based meat in the U.S., makes the U.S. a strong candidate for exporting meat alternatives. Wisconsin companies that produce vegan food or support its production are encouraged to explore the opportunity to enter the Australian market.

Wisconsin exporters interested in this market are recommended to familiarize themselves with Australian biosecurity and quarantine requirements for import permits.

To better understand the market and explore business opportunities in Australia, the following trade shows in Australia may be of interest:

  • Fine Food will be hosted in Melbourne Sept. 7-10. This is the largest international food gathering in Australia, with 25,000 visitors in 2019.
  • Foodpro Trade Exhibition will be hosted in Melbourne July 5-8.
  • Foodservice Australia will be hosted in Sydney May 17-19.
  • AusPack will be hosted in Sydney May 25-28. This is the largest biennial packaging and processing machinery and materials exhibition in Australia.