Optimistic outlook for plant-based food exports


Potential Explained in Ministry Study

Thailand is the world’s sixth largest exporter of plant-based foods, according to the Office of Trade Policy and Strategy.

Plant-based diets and meat substitutes are growing in popularity, offering promising export prospects thanks to increased awareness of health issues, innovations and a growing population, according to the latest study from the Department of Commerce. more global.

Poonpong Naiyanapakorn, director general of the Office of Trade Policy and Strategy, said the agency has studied plant-based food trade and export trends and opportunities for Thailand. Shipments in this segment have steadily increased over the past few years, he said.

Mr Poonpong said Thailand was the world’s sixth largest exporter of plant-based foods, with the country’s shipments in 2021 exceeding $2.85 billion, or 4.1% of the global total of $69.3 billion. .

In terms of shipments of plant-based foods, the United States leads the pack with exports worth $8.04 billion (11.6% of the total), followed by Singapore with 6 .54 billion dollars (9.4%), Germany with 5.96 billion dollars (8.6%), the Netherlands with 5.38 billion dollars (7.7%) and China with $2.96 billion (4.3%).

The United States, China, Germany, the Netherlands and Canada were the top five importers of plant-based foods, accounting for 12.2%, 6.9%, 4.4%, 3 respectively. .8% and 3.5%.

Since products classified as foods of plant origin do not yet have exclusive tariff codes, the Office of Trade Policy and Strategy has classified them into three groups: processed foods; beverages and protein concentrate; and textured vegetable proteins.

The study found that beverages accounted for the largest proportion of Thailand’s plant-based food exports, accounting for $1.5 billion or 52.7% of total exports, with major markets including Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, China and Laos.

Plant-based milk can include several options such as soy, coconut, oats, hemp, rice, quinoa, peas, almonds, and other varieties of nuts.

Processed foods came in second, with $1.34 billion, or 47.2% of total exports, with key markets including the United States, China, Myanmar, Japan and Cambodia.

Exports of protein concentrates and textured vegetable proteins generated a value of $2.3 million for the country, or 0.1% of total exports, with key markets including Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, the United States States and Myanmar.

Poonpong said one product group that Thailand has a relatively high competitive advantage for exports is plant milk drinks. Plant-based milk can include several ingredient options, such as soy, coconut, oats, hemp, rice, quinoa, peas, almonds, as well as other varieties of nut.

Thailand is the world’s second largest exporter of plant-based milk, with shipments worth $1.5 billion, behind only Switzerland, which generated plant-based milk exports worth $1.5 billion. $1.95 billion in 2021.

In the processed food category, the study found plant-based non-dairy cream, organic coconut milk, and tofu show great promise.

In the category of protein concentrates and textured vegetable proteins, meat and vegetable protein powder offer potential if Thailand succeeds in developing its export capacities, he said.

Poonpong said the study also revealed that plant-based meals offer high potential thanks to their convenience, product diversity and people’s busy urban lifestyles.

However, he urged producers in the country to thoroughly study information on labeling regulations for plant-based meat products abroad.


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