The United Kingdom tofu market was valued at USD 92.52 million in 2020, and it is projected to grow at a CAGR of 14.68% during the forecast period, 2021-2026.
- In the long-term, the COVID-19 situation is likely to impact plant-based food and beverages across the European region on a positive note, owing to a prolonged shift in consumption patterns as more and more people are likely to adopt vegan diets. This, in turn, resulted in an increasing number of manufacturers like Tofu King, The Tofoo Co., and others expanding their presence in the country to meet the propelling demand. - Altogether, the growing vegan population and an increasing number of lactose-intolerant people are the key factors driving the demand for tofu as a meat substitute across the United Kingdom. Furthermore, there has been an increasing demand for plant protein nutrients among consumers thereby, growing awareness about the health benefits of such nutrients led to the increasing growth of vegan protein sources, like tofu. - Expansion is one of the key strategies preferred by companies to strengthen their market dominance. Major players are constantly trying to expand their production facilities to accommodate the growing demand. For instance, The Tofoo Co. expanded the production capacity at its Yorkshire factory by approximately 70%, following the installation of new equipment at the site. Similarly, Tofu King established UK’s largest dedicated tofu factory in 2020.
Key Market Trends Growing Preference of Vegan Diet
The vegan population’s escalation by 117.39% from 2016 to 2018, coupled with the ascending health concerns, is driving the consumption of tofu and other soy foods in the United Kingdom, as they are associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease without affecting thyroid hormone levels. Additionally, inclining government regulation in support of plant-based food is further escalating the growth of the tofu market. With modified technologies, the companies are targeting consumers by producing innovative products with similar properties as real meat. These meat substitutes are made with a combination of soy (which also includes tofu), wheat, and pea protein to attain the desired structure. Moreover, tofu is the most common meat alternative, as more consumers around the market are turning to plant-based protein diets. In the United Kingdom, vegan food-related searches online depicted a 90% increase (Y-O-Y) in 2016, and consumer appetite for vegan-friendly food showed no signs of slowing down. Vegan food sales in the United Kingdom grew by 1,500% in 2016.? This is paying the way for more vegan launches in food products, which experienced a 35.29% (y-o-y) new launches in 2019, driving the tofu market. THIS, a UK-based company, secured EUR 4.7 million in seed funding to scale up the production of its bacon and chicken analogs, mainly from pea and soy protein in 2019.
Online Retail Emerging as the Fastest Growing Distribution Channel
The online retail market, although currently small, has grown rapidly over the last couple of years, with a very strong prospect over the next five years. The main reason behind the growing sales through online retailing is the level of convenience that it provides for consumers, as they find it easy to choose their preferred brands and get a wide range of flavor and product choices.? The growth opportunity for the sales of tofu through online channels has forced online vendors to improve the purchase processes, in terms of security and reliability, which, in turn, has propelled the demand for tofu products.? Moreover, tofu vendors are adopting online retail strategies, such as entering partnerships with different online retailers, in order to broaden their geographic reach and increase their margins. These initiatives may benefit the market studied, during the forecast period. ?Due to high economies of scale associated with vegan food products, the country has registered an increasing number of online grocery stores dedicated to vegan food products. For instance, Vegan Store (the United Kingdom’s online grocery store) offers more than 600 vegan options, including tofu, with convenient delivery options to consumers nationwide.
Competitive Landscape The United Kingdom tofu market is currently dominated by The Tofoo Company, Monde Nissin Corp. (Marlow Foods Limited), Taifun Tofuprodukte (Heck Unternehmensstiftung), and Clearspring Ltd. Strong brand loyalty for brands, like The Tofoo Company and Taifun, is the primary reason for the strong foothold enjoyed by these players in the market. The leading players are focusing on leveraging opportunities to expand their product portfolios, in order to cater to the requirements for various product segments, especially the snacking category. Moreover, these global companies are merging with local tofu product companies, in order to leverage their brand value and distribution and supply chains.
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