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Alternative Meat & Dairy

Research
Last Update 06/15/21

This is a research project to assess implications on the Food & Beverage industry standards from increasing consumer demand for alternative meat and dairy products.

Sector

Food & Beverage

Issues

Business Model & Innovation

Project Status

Ongoing Research

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Project Overview

Project Objective

The intent of this research project is to assess (1) whether there is an opportunity to improve communication by companies to investors of decision-useful information pertaining to this emerging trend and (2) the potential scope of impact of this emerging issue on the Food & Beverage industry standards. The project will result in a staff recommendation on whether to proceed to standard-setting activities.

Project Background

Globally, consumer demand for alternative meat and dairy products is growing, with investment analyst projections of market value reaching between $100B-$140B by 2029. Companies are offering more alternative meat and dairy options (1) to accommodate this growing consumer demand and (2) to reduce their environmental footprint. Preliminary research also suggests that growing consumer demand for these products may impact a company’s financial performance and there is increasing investor interest in alternative meat and dairy products. This is an important trend to evaluate in the context of the SASB standards as it is growing globally, has attracted investor interest, could be relevant in several industries and is not currently addressed in the Food & Beverage industry standards.

Based on research and evidence gathered to date, in May 2021, The Board approved initiating a standard-setting project, Alternative Product in Food & Beverage, and added it to the research agenda.

Project Status

  • Phase 1 - Initial Research
  • Phase 2 - Stakeholder Consultation
  • Phase 3 - Post-Consultation Analysis
  • Phase 4 - Ongoing Research
  • Phase 5 - Completed

Current Status

Conducting additional research and consultations to understand the scope of alternative products within the Processed Foods Industry.

Next Steps

Determine if standard-setting is necessary for the Processed Food Standard.

Published Documents & Supplemental Materials

Published Documents

There are no published documents or drafts at this time.

Supplemental Materials


Board Materials & Decisions

Board Meeting Outcomes

May 2021

  • Staff presented key research and consultation findings from the Alternative Meat & Dairy research project, which included a staff recommendation to initiate a standard-setting project.
  • The Board unanimously agreed to initiate the standard-setting project recommended by staff: Alternative Products in Food & Beverage. The project scope includes the consideration of new or revised disclosure topics and metrics to address alternative products in the Meat, Poultry & Dairy industry and the Food Retailers & Distributors industry.
  • The Board agreed to exclude the Restaurants and Non-Alcoholic Beverages industries from the scope of the standard-setting project. The Board discussed considerations and trade-offs related to whether the Processed Foods industry should be within the scope of the standard-setting project. The discussion centered on challenges related to the prevalence of alternative products in the industry and the feasibility of developing improvements to the existing Standard. The Board ultimately agreed to exclude the Processed Foods industry from the scope of standard setting, but encouraged a resolution to the ongoing research project in a timely manner, given that the sole outstanding question pertains to whether standard setting should be pursued in the Processed Foods industry.

December 2020

  • Staff presented an update and key findings from the consultation phase, including views on the industry-specific relevance of the issue and an assessment of the findings against the criteria for standard setting.
  • The Board discussed and provided input on the staff analysis of consultation findings and proposed next steps. The Board expressed further interest in understanding financial impacts, and agreed with the industry-specific approach to assessing the opportunity for standard setting. Furthermore, the Board generally supported the prioritization of three industries for continued evaluation of standard setting: Meat, Poultry & Dairy, Food Retailers & Distributors, and Processed Foods.
  • Next steps in the project will consist of additional research and consultation as the staff continues to formulate a view on advancing to standard setting.

February 2020

  • The board discussed a new research project on exploring the relevance of alternative meat and dairy products across the Food & Beverage sector.

Board Materials

For a full list of past and upcoming Standards Board meetings, as well as associated materials, please visit our Board Meetings Calendar & Archive.


The staff has prepared this summary for informational purposes only. Any Standards Board decisions are tentative and do not change current accounting. Official positions of SASB are determined only after extensive due process and deliberations.