Hemp is gaining popularity as a protein substitute among consumers who are looking for alternatives to traditional animal-based sources. Hemp protein is derived from hemp seeds, which contain all 10 essential amino acids, and it can be grown without the use of herbicides, fungicides, or pesticides. Hemp protein has the highest percentage of protein as total weight and is gluten free and non GMO. Additionally, hemp DNA is closely aligned with human DNA, allowing it to nourish the body in perfect proportion.

Hemp witnessed solid growth over the last few years thanks in part to the U.S. legalizing its production in late 2018. The worldwide market for hemp was estimated at $990 million in 2018, and is projected to reach $4.2 billion by the end of 2025. Meanwhile, the hemp protein market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 15% from 2019-2024, according to a report by Mordor Intelligence.

The success of other plant-based protein sources made headlines this year, including several brands who are producing plant-based meats, burger patties, and sausages. While these plant-based products are derived from ingredients like peas and soy, other companies are looking to utilize more exotic forms like insect protein.

Hemp’s many benefits could make it a strong contender in the plant-based meat market. While not yet in burger form, we are seeing hemp protein in bars, snacks, and powders. Hemp protein can be found in brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers. Hemp protein’s projected growth through 2024, coupled with its untapped category reach, make it a major player to watch in the plant-based protein segment as we enter 2020.