The world population is rising: at the moment there are 7 billion people on the planet. If the population continues to increase at the same rate, there will be as many as 9.5 billion people by 2050. That would put quite a strain on the planet and therefore on the available supply of raw materials.
Research into alternative proteins such as algae, insects and quinoa to fulfil this ever-growing demand is important in the face of increasing shortages. But vegetable-based beef or chicken flavours also fulfil our need for the taste of meat, without requiring an animal at all.