10 Experts, 10 Year Predictions: Re-Imagining the Future of Protein
Before they head out to New York for the summit, the organizers of Future Food-Tech Alternative Proteins spoke to 10 experts from across the sector to hear their predictions and hopes for the future of protein in the next 10 years.
“My fervent hope is that in 10 years the world will be firmly on its way to achieving critical climate, global health, food security, and biodiversity goals, with alternative proteins serving as an essential tool to get us on that path. Investors can play a major role by embracing the industry as central to ESG and impact investing,” shares Sharyn Murray, Senior Investor Engagement Specialist at The Good Food Institute
Meeting Consumer Demand
Nutritional value, taste, sustainability, texture, price and clean label are all front-of mind for consumers. A growing demand for healthier alternative protein products will see more products that are better for people and planet come to market in the coming decade.
“The next-gen of global consumers demand sustainable, clean label products, and the market is searching for tastier, nutritious, and more sustainable plant-based solutions to address this. In the coming years, InnovoPro intends to significantly increase its growth to build a global chickpea-based ingredient platform to inspire our wellness-focused consumers,” details Taly Nechushtan, CEO at InnovoPro
“Currently, supporting the transition to more mindful and sustainable diets has meant mimicking traditional meat and dairy, but that’s poised for change. In the coming years we expect to see more imaginative plant-based applications. Of course, taste and sensory appeal will still be the key factors driving consumer preference. New and evolving technologies like biotech will play a pivotal role in bridging the taste and texture gap in these not yet imagined food experiences,” explains Fabio Campanile, Global Head of S&T, Taste & Wellbeing at Givaudan
“As long as brands can meet the expectations of consumers in taste, texture, appearance, nutritional value and price, I am certain that the alternative protein sector will take off with exponential growth in the next 10 years. There are different segments of consumers such as vegans and flexitarians and many reasons as to why they do not prefer to consume meat such as health, sustainability or animal cruelty but product quality will be the determining factor for consumer’s choice. Therefore, technology is key for manufacturers to adopt to create the consumption pleasure for the changing consumers,” adds Lalana Thiranusornkij, Head of Innovation and New Product Development at CPF Food
Over the next decade, many technologies emerging today will have scaled, advanced and integrated into mainstream food production. Collaboration and partnerships will continue to enable the adoption of technologies across the alternative protein sector.
“Over the next 10 years, the maturation of precision fermentation will have completely raised the bar for widely available animal-free products that are delicious, functional, and sustainable. Plant-based will have been surpassed by this new category of animal-free products that consumers love, highlighted by New Culture’s animal-free mozzarella and our full portfolio of tasty products,” Matt Gibson, CEO and Co-Founder at New Culture
“As our time to create significant change is running short – the need for accelerated disruption grows. We can achieve this only by collaborating and integrating the various technologies aiming to solve alternative proteins today, supported by a robust onboarding of regulation: promoting novel processes, setting standards, and allocating the needed funds,” adds Tammy Meiron, CTO at Fresh Start Foodtech Incubator
“By the 10-year mark, we can expect heavy investments and partnerships on cultured meat supporting supply chain and manufacturing, that will ensure large scale facilities to meet high volume demands and competitive costs. Consumers will not only be aware of cultured meat and its benefits to the environment, animal welfare, and human health but also actively accept and demand these delicious, nutritious, and sustainable solutions, alone and in combination with other protein alternatives available,” details Timothy Olsen, Head of Cultured Meat at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
New Protein Sources
To feed a growing population, new protein sources and crop varieties are critical to enabling the production of more sustainable and nutritious foods on a global scale. In the next decade new varieties delivering high protein content and/or better taste will take center stage and be adopted into mainstream agriculture.
”The growth in alternative proteins from increasingly novel areas of exploration will likely exponentially increase as research and technology in lockstep with financial backing enables us to unlock previously unreachable or even unthought of sources. Protein from sources that may seem novel today will either start to enter the main-stream or wither well before 2030, replaced with even more fantastical concepts. One thing is guaranteed – it’s going to be fascinating watching it play out & I’m excited to be a small part of the scene,” says Chris Horridge, R&D Director Plant Proteins at Kerry
“We expect to see huge growth in plant-based proteins and high moisture meat analogues, including those from pulse ingredients and blends that include oat and canola ingredients. With the world’s population reaching 9 billion people by 2050, alternative proteins will be vital to feeding people the quality protein they need,” states Murad Al-Katib, President and CEO at AGT Food and Ingredients
In all four corners of the world, governments, institutions, and investment funds are supporting the food of the future in alternative proteins including Canada’s Protein Industries Supercluster, Denmark’s 1 billion kroner for plant-based foods and Singapore’s funding in food innovations.
“Asia will be the world’s largest alternative proteins market within the next 10 years, and companies will ‘go native’ to succeed in the region. This will mean more localized products like Eat Just’s cell-cultured Singaporean hawker food and Roquette’s plant-based Japanese curry, produced in Singapore and within the region,” shares Jingxin Zheng, Regional Vice President, Americas, Singapore Economic Development Board
No doubt over the next 10 years, many more countries will emerge as frontrunners who are investing in and scaling up alternative proteins.
With a focus on cultivating new partnerships to accelerate scale across the sector, Future Food-Tech Alternative Proteins will bring together mission-driven leaders from over 40 countries to share ideas and unlock new partnerships.
Register online www.futurefoodtechprotein.com/register
By Laura Hodgkiss