I hope to graduate soon with my Masters in Food Science. Is R & D for Plant Based Foods a good career choice?

The Market Research firm Meticulous Research predicts that the global plant based food industry will be worth over $74 billion by 2027, growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 11.9 percent from the current year. It is safe to assume that such growth will be matched by a growth in career opportunities in this field. Concerns over the social issues associated with animal protein production with its high demand on land and water usage, not mention methane levels as a by-product of digestion by ruminant livestock contributing greatly to greenhouse gases has led to greater interest in plant based foods. The Covid-19 pandemic has also resulted in meat shortages which has led to an increase in interest, awareness and sales of plant-based foods. In the last year, U.S. retail sales of plant based foods totaled $5 billion, a growth of 11.4% which is 5 times faster than total food sales according to the trade group The Plant Based Food Association which represents over 300 plant based food companies and associates. With such obvious trends in growth, I believe that choosing a career in plant -based foods is a wise choice. We, as recruiters, have been contacted this year by more companies, large and small, who seek scientists interested and/or have experience in plant-based products than ever before. Plant based proteins seem to be a particularly hot area.  Such choice may not necessarily be limited to Research and Development. There will also be a host of opportunities in Quality Assurance, Flavor Chemistry and Process Engineering to name but a few. And let’s not forget the nutritional aspects of vegan food that opens up several other career choices.

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