Tempeh, a staple of Indonesian diets, is growing in popularity around the world.

Indonesia has become a key market for U.S. soybeans, a valuable protein source both for livestock feed and for plant-based protein alternatives. According to government reports, most of Indonesia’s demand is for human consumption. Indonesian consumers have developed a preference for U.S. soybeans due in part to their uniform size, color and suitability for tempeh and tofu manufacturing.

The appreciation for tempeh as a high protein, probiotic food is spreading. According to an industry report, the demand for tempeh is expected to grow to $5.8 billion (USD) by 2026, a compound annual growth rate of 6.1%.1 Much of that growth is expected in North America, creating a unique opportunity for tempeh manufacturers in Indonesia.

As interest in plant-based proteins grows, Indonesians see opportunity to share their staple around the world. For example, a Jakarta Post article explains that tempeh could become a key export from Indonesia to the U.S. Indonesian manufacturers may even invest in tempeh production in the U.S. and other countries, to offer the food in forms consumers are more likely to try.

With Indonesians working to meet the growing demand for tempeh, it’s likely that demand will also increase for the U.S. soybeans they prefer for tempeh production. The global nature of the tempeh supply chain will add value for all industry segments – while supplying a high-protein soy food option to more consumers.

1 Tempeh Market Prophesied to Grow at a Faster Pace by 2026, Primefeed, July 29, 2020.