Market Research Project for the German Meat Subtitute Market from the Perspective of the US-Company "Impossible Foods"

Hausarbeit, 2021

22 Seiten


Table of content

Table of figures

1. Introduction

2. Initial Situation and objectives
2.1. Company Background
2.2. Problem definition
2.3. Research Questions and Hypothesis

3. Data collection methods
3.1. Secondary Data
3.1.1. PESTEL
3.1.2. Porter's Five Forces
3.1.3. SWOT
3.2. PrimaryData - Survey
3.2.1. Procedure
3.2.2. Target Audience and Sample Size
3.2.3. Advantagesand Limitations
3.3. Primary Data - In Depth Interview
3.3.1. Procedure
3.3.2. Target Audience and Sample Size
3.3.3. Advantagesand Limitations

4. Measurement procedure and data analysis

5. Conclusion and business recommendation



Table of figures

Figure 1: Company overview

Figure 2: PESTEF-Analysis of German meat substitute market

Figure 3: Porter's 5 Forces of the industry

Figure 4: SWOT-Analysis of Impossible Foods

Figure 5: Procedure of developing a questionnaire

Figure 6: Advantages and limitations of surveys

Figure 7: Advantages and limitations of In-Depth Interviews

Figure 8: Data analysis of questionnaires

Figure 9: Data Analysis process of qualitative data

1. Introduction

Plant-based diets are currently a huge economic trend. More than eight percent of the world's Population now eat a plant-based diet. Around 70 percent of the world's population is reducing its meat consumption, so the market for plant-based foods is growing every year. By 2027, this market is expected to grow to more than 35 billion U.S. dollars (Statista, 2021).

The following essay looks at a market research analysis of the German meat substitute market from the perspective of "Impossible Foods", a U.S. Company. "Impossible Foods" focuses on plant-based meat substitute products, but is not currently active in the European market.

The market research observes the German market for two key reasons. Firstly, more than ten percent of the population live a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Secondly, meat consumption is with 60 kilograms of meat per capita also on a significant high level (Statista, 2021).

These two facts are very interesting for Companies in this market, as these different eating styles combine itselfwithin their target group.

This market research project includes secondary and primary market research methods, in order to analyse the German market for the Company and to make recommend Strategie actions based on the potential and the target group in the very end.

2. Initial Situation and objectives

This chapter introduces the initial Situation and the general objective of the paper by looking at the Company background, the research problem and the market research hypothesis, which are always the first Steps in any market research projects (Malhotra, 2010).

2.1. Company Background

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"Impossible Foods" was founded in 2011 by Dr. Patrick Brown in Redwood City in the USA. Today, the Company employs more than 600 people and is active in five different markets: The United States, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong and Macao (Impossible Foods, 2021).

"Impossible Foods" has focused exclusively on meat substitutes and launched its first product, the 11 Impossible Burger," in 2016.

This was followed four years later by the "Impossible Sausage". The products to date have been extremely successful, leading to sales of more than 160 million in 2019 (Impossible Foods, 2021).

The company's mission combines protection of the planet Earth and a healthier lifestyle through its plant-based products.

The production of a plant-based "Impossible Burger" generates 89 percent fewer greenhouse gases and requires 87 percent less water compared to a similar meat burger (Impossible Foods, 2021).

2.2. Problem definition

Defining the market research problem is one of the most difficult and the most important task in a market research project (Malhotra, 2010 p.36).

As mentioned in the introduction, the current Status is as following. "Impossible Foods" successfully established mainly its first plant-based "Impossible Burger" in five different countries, but is not yet active in the European market, which is one of the biggest worldwide (Statista, 2021). The product ränge is being expanded piece by piece to serve a broader customer base (Impossible Foods, 2021).

The core research problem is that the vegan meat substitute market is growing rapidly, and with it the number of competitors in the various markets is growing incredibly fast as well, which makes rapid expansion of the Company a key success factor in order to secure certain shares in the respective markets.

Problem definition:

Rapid expansion is one of the key success factors for Companies in the industry of meat substitute products and "Impossible Foods" is not currently active in Europe, which is one of the biggest markets worldwide.

With Germany, this report investigates the potential and the target group of one of the largest meat substitute markets in Europe, in order to be able to give the American Company clear recommendations for action at the end (Statista, 2021).

2.3. Research Questions and Hypothesis

In orderto solve the Market research problem, very clear research objectives are required. This will be achieved in the form of clear market research questions and a defined hypothesis.

It is essential to reach down and specifically answer if possible, each component of the problem in the research questions (Malhotra, 2010, p.52).

For this purpose, the following two research questions were selected.

Research questions:

1. What is the potential for "Impossible Foods" meat substitute products in Germany considering the end consumer and the competitors?
2. What is the main consumer group considering age, gender and eating behaviour?

The final Step in the beginning of a market research framework is the definition of a clear hypothesis. It gives the process of previously developed research question sets structure, rigor, and a with proof or disproval an unmistakable result (Hamlin 2000).

The final hypothesis of the market research project is:


"20 percent of Germans between the ages of 18 and 35 prefer meat substitutes to original meat products."

To answer the research questions and the hypothesis, primary and secondary research methods will be used.

The secondary data-based method will give a first overview of market size, environment, competition, opportunities and threats.

The primary data will then provide more specific results about consumer behaviour and characteristics. Here, the tools of surveys and in-depth interviews will be taken into account. Surveys in order to gain quantitative data, interviews to get qualitative and more in detail information regarding values und behaviour about the consumer (Hamlin, R., 2000)

3. Data collection methods

In order to clearly separate secondary and primary data, this chapter is divided into these two parts.

3.1. Secondary Data

The secondary data research method involves using data that already exists (Manu and Akotia, 2021). Therefore, this method is applied to provide an overview of the industry and the market in Germany.

3.1.1. PESTEL

In order to give a first overview of the country Germany in general and in relation to the meat substitute market, the instrument of the PESTEL analysis is used.

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- Germany has one of the most politically stable Systems (Political Stability Index in 2019: 0.58; worldwide: -0.05)
- Germany is a member of the EU, therefore has no trade policy of its own; no tariffs within the EU
- Biliteral Trade Agreement with the US
- 8 parties are represented in the Federal Parliament
- Ageing population in Germany (average age in 2000: 40 years; in 2040: 49 years)
- 10% of the population in Germany eat on a plant-based diet
- Predominantly young people buy meat Substitutes (16-24-year-olds: one in five; 55+ year-olds: only one in twenty)
- The average German ate 60Kg of meat in 2019

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- Highly developed country (more than 80% of the population uses Smartphones)
- More than 59 billion revenue in e­commerce, 1.4 billion in the food sector
- Germany's largest poultry farm (PHW) launches artificial development of chicken meat with Israeli start-up “Su permeat"
- Ambitious climate targets until 2030
- High water demand for meat consumption (more than 50,000 litres per kilogram of beef; 1 kg of soy requires about 2,200 litres of water)
- Animal farming causes 20 percent of global greenhouse gases
- Stricter working regulations (August 2020) for the meat industry following several COVID19 outbreaks.
- The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in 2017 that purely plant-based products cannot use traditional names to protect Consumers from deception
- Two lockdowns in 2020 let Restaurant sales drop tremendously due to pandemic


Amt, A., 2021;, 2021;

Meek, T. and Meek, T, 2021

Figure 2: PESTEL-Analysis of German meat substitute market Looking at the PESTEL analysis, Germany offers a convincing environment combined with a potentially huge market for meat substitutes.

As already mentioned in the introduction, the first analysis shows that on the one hand the meat industry with thousands of jobs and the high meat consumption per capita is of enormous social and economic importance.

But on the other hand, there is a huge increase in the purchase of meat substitutes and a growing health and environmental awareness, especially among the younger generations. When considering and comparing the figures of water consumption and CO2 emissions, the advantage for plant-based products is clearly shown.

3.1.2. Porter's Five Forces

After the overview of the country in relation to the industry, the meat substitutes market is analysed more in-depth using Porter's five forces based on supplier and buyer power, threat of substitutes and entry, as well as overall rivalry.

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Taking the Porter's 5 Forces into account, one can see how young the meat substitute market still is, but at the same time how much potential and growth there is within the market.

Because of this growth, the threat from new market entrants is extremely high.

The power of the suppliers is low because the ingredients are plant-based and can be supplied mainly in large quantities.

Currently, buyer power is still at a medium level due to partial supply shortages and reduced competitive choices. However, this will change abruptly in the very near future as the number of competitors increases rapidly and the differences in taste become smaller.

In fact, the market is already a substitute for traditional plant-based meat products.

However, some laboratories are currently working on the artificial production of real meat without animal suffering, grown from small tissue samples. The first products are expected to be launched in Germany in 2025.

At present, no Statement can be made about the quality and health of these products, which is why this risk is classified as medium for the time being.

Rivalry in the market is currently at a medium level, but will continue to increase strongly over time. Market growth forecasts are extremely good at just under 10 percent per year.

This analysis clearly confirms the problem definition at the beginning of the report that rapid expansion is a key factor for success.

3.1.3. SWOT

The SWOT analysis is the last content that belongs to the secondary data collection. The Strengths and Weaknesses provide insights into Impossible Foods, while the Opportunities and Threats belonging to the external market conclude the previous PESTEL and Porter's Five Forces.

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Figure 4: SWOT-Analysis of Impossible Foods

Considering the strengths of the SWOT analysis, it is important to highlight two key strengths of Impossible Foods.


Ende der Leseprobe aus 22 Seiten


Market Research Project for the German Meat Subtitute Market from the Perspective of the US-Company "Impossible Foods"
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market, research, project, german, meat, subtitute, perspective, us-company, impossible, foods, Fleichersatzmarkt Deutschland, Market research methods, Marktrecherchen Methoden, Meat substitute market, Impossible Foods, Marktanalyse
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Jakob Scheidel (Autor:in), 2021, Market Research Project for the German Meat Subtitute Market from the Perspective of the US-Company "Impossible Foods", München, GRIN Verlag,


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