Eight Opportunities Ripe for Growth in the Alternative Protein industry

Pioneers across alternative protein sector continue to break new ground, launch new technologies and unlock key partnerships to enable scale-up.

Future Food-Tech Alternative Proteins on June 21-22 will bring together senior decision makers at the forefront of innovation to accelerate these technologies and partnerships across the supply chain.

“There is a part to play for everyone – corporates, early-stage start-ups, technology and ingredient players, academia and public entities. The New York summit will bring many of these together, also across geographies,” Vivek Dogra, Venture Partner at ECBF.

Ahead of the summit, the organizers spoke to 15 industry leaders to learn more about the biggest opportunities in the booming alternative protein sector.

Precision Fermentation

“A key opportunity I see for the industry is to create better alternatives to traditional meat. Using precision fermentation, we can produce ingredients like animal oils, collagen, and elastin, and then mix them into plant-based alternatives to achieve the texture and taste of real meat. Although prices of plant-based meat have decreased, adoption hasn’t increased much. This tells me we need to focus on R&D to make products taste more like the real thing,” says Will Patrick, Co-Founder and CEO at Culture Biosciences

Vivek Dogra, Venture Partner at ECBF continues: “In terms of technologies, those evolving rapidly include precision fermentation and 3D printing. Here, the scalability and cost competitiveness for the final applications will be critical. In this context, we are looking forward to enriching interactions that the Future Food-Tech Alternative Proteins Summit would facilitate, encouraging a critical discussion where everyone has a part to play – corporates, early-stage start-ups, technology and ingredient players, academia and public entities,”

Carole Bingley, Technical Specialist at RSSL goes one step further to highlight fermentation as offering “the biggest potential for growth in the area of alternative proteins”.

She explains: “Proteins produced through precision fermentation are likely to revolutionise vegan cheese alternatives, making it possible to develop products which deliver on taste, texture and nutritional profile.  Fermentation also scores highly on sustainability and environmental impact when compared to production of cow’s milk.

Cultivated Meat

Record investment is driving down the cost cellular agriculture and is poised for launch in many companies including the US.

“There has been over $2B invested in the sector and leading protein producers are stepping in. Pioneering companies are addressing input ingredients and scaling challenges to bring cultivated meat products to consumers across the globe. At Roslin Tech, we see a gap in the market for high-quality, self-replicating cell lines which are essential for large scale, profitable production of cultivate meat in the future,” details Ernst van Orsouw, CEO at Roslin Technologies

Achieving Mass Market Adoption

Cultivated meat will become more mainstream and accessible in 2022 and beyond, combined with fermentation technologies and plant-based solutions, the sector is ready for widespread consumer adoption.

“We are on the cusp of alternative proteins becoming viable for mass market consumption. This industry needs to present a united front to help make this change. It is crucial for our health, for the future of the environment, for the welfare of animals, and to ensure food security globally. We are proud to be taking part,” shares Rachelle Neumann, VP Marketing & Corporate Affairs at Wilk

 

Prioritizing Taste and Texture

To appeal to consumers, food brands and innovators are continuously leveraging technology to improve the texture of alternative protein products.

“As the products become widely consumed in the market there is continuous improvement from providers such as start-ups and corporates to bring the best quality products in terms of nutritional, sensorial and textural aspects to consumers. We are seeing better product textures such as whole muscle products, alternative fats for product juiciness, products with clean labelling to meet consumer needs with the use of bio-based ingredients and improving nutritional benefits,” explains Lalana Thiranusornkij, SVP – Head of Innovation and New Product Development, CPF

“There is still a big gap in the cheese alternative space when you compare dairy cheese to the non-animal alternatives, both in terms of taste and texture, as well as nutrition. Nailing that texture and protein content so it comes as close as possible to dairy cheese would be huge.” Steve Matzke, Senior Manager at CP Kelco

Another huge hurdle is creating alternative proteins that don’t compromise on taste. Consumers expect great tasting, nutritious and flavorful alternatives.

“The greatest opportunity in alternative proteins lies in products that deliver the same great taste and experience that consumers expect, and require no compromise, but can utilize technologies that provide unique benefits and solve global challenges. The Future Food-Tech Alternative Proteins Summit showcases companies, products and opportunities, while inspiring collaborations and partnerships, so that new age innovators and legacy corporations alike can create meaningful impact through delicious products for consumers worldwide,” shares Lou Cooperhouse, Co-Founder, President and CEO at BlueNalu

Taste, Nutrition, and Cost Parity to Meet Consumer Demand

Alongside taste, Ingredion is focusing on three other crucial areas to offer superior alternative products: “We are continuing to improve the taste of alt proteins without sacrificing the nutritional content and benefits; establishing cost parity or even a cost advantage to make foods made with alt proteins available to mainstream consumers; continuing to leverage sustainable benefits of alternative proteins to meet consumer demand; ensuring protein solutions meet health and nutrition profile requirements for those consumers who are looking for specific protein quality and other health benefits,” shares Yadu Dar, Director, Business Development, Plant Based Proteins, Ingredion

Hadar Sutovsky, VP External Innovation & General Manager at ICL Planet continues: “I see the rise of alternative proteins as a transformation, rather than a revolution so if we want alternative proteins to reach widespread adoption, they must reach parity with animal proteins that is way I see the biggest opportunities lay in techs that could match animal protein in taste, texture, and price. “

 Tackling the Climate Crisis

The food industry has a responsibility to create environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable systems around food – and the time is now.

“Our food system’s role in climate change is largely underappreciated, but animal agriculture is a major contributor to climate change. The world will not get to net-zero emissions without addressing food and land. Alternative proteins are a key aspect of how we do that. Alternative proteins are to agriculture as renewables are to energy–the future. Yet, alternative proteins are still massively under invested in as a climate technology solution,” details Caroline Bushnell, VP of Corporate Engagement at The Good Food Institute

Scale Up

Innovators are looking to make a global impact with scalable solutions. They are looking for partners and collaboration opportunities with industry leaders to facilitate the rapid growth of moonshot technologies.

“The industry is looking critically at scale-up pursuits and how to address the growing demand for these innovative products. As alternative protein products continue to gain traction and popularity, we expect to see substantial capital continue to be raised. Exciting opportunities lie ahead, indeed!” shares Jason Robertson, Vice President, Food + Beverage, CRB

Collaboration

Collaboration is key to unlocking the true potential of alternative proteins. The Future Food-Tech Alternative Proteins summit on June 21-22 will unite the alternative protein industry in New York to unlock new collaboration opportunities.

Hear from the summit’s Advisory Board and Partners as to why this is an unmissable event to bring together likeminded professionals in the alternative protein sector:

“The speed of change occurring in the global food system is unprecedented and frankly very exciting. Gatherings like the Future Food-Tech Alternatives Proteins summit are so vital for those of us driving this positive change. I’m looking forward to hearing about the new technologies that underpin our shift into creating foods that are good for the planet, our climate and our health,” says Joana Montenegro, Chief Science Officer, Califia Farms

“With the explosion of alternative protein options over the past few years, there are incredible opportunities for collaboration between brands and across categories (plant-based, fermented, cultivated). Not only can we work together to build appetite for new forms of protein production, but there are real opportunities to create demand together for supporting technologies and suppliers to our growing industry,” details Justin Kolbeck, CEOWildtype

“The post-pandemic era has changed the way people consume food and think about their health, nutrition, and the environment around them. Gatherings like Future Food-Tech Alternative Proteins are exciting but also vital for this positive change in the alternative protein space. It is wonderful to be a part of a community that shares the same mission and vision towards a healthier and brighter future, and I look forward to not just participating in these conferences, but also to meeting other changemakers and creating food that is healthier for the ocean, the climate, and our health,” shares Ofek Ron, Co-Founder and CEO at Plantish

“I’m excited for scientists, entrepreneurs, investors, and brand leaders to come together at the summit and learn from each other so we can move the alternative protein sector forward. It’s crucial to leverage each other’s capabilities and expertise across the space to make progress,” states Will Patrick, Co-Founder and CEO at Culture Biosciences

“I am looking forward to joining Future Food-Tech Alternative Proteins in New York since it brings together people from all different geographical areas who share a common passion to all disciplines in alternative proteins field, and it’s a great venue to meet new proteins savvy professionals. At the summit I will be able to get together with people from a wide range of backgrounds, of whom I may not encounter at my home workplace or institution and expand my professional network”, tells Hadar Sutovsky, VP External Innovation & General Manager at ICL Planet

“I have attended Future Food-Tech events for several years and it is so impressive to see the growth of the industry reflected in the rising number of attendees each year. It is an exciting time in the alternative proteins market with so many innovative products being developed,” says Jason Robertson, Vice President, Food + Beverage, CRB

“Future Food-Tech brings together leaders in the alternative protein industry, and we look forward to exploring opportunities to collaborate. New York will mark the first in-person event in a number of years for Roslin Technologies, and we are delighted to be back interacting with other food innovators and highlighting how our cell lines can offer cultivated meat producers an advantageous step towards profitability,” shares Ernst van Orsouw, CEO at Roslin Technologies

Join us in New York at Future Food-Tech Alternative Proteins, take advantage of the super early bird rate and look forward to the global gathering on June 21-22.

Register is open: https://www.futurefoodtechprotein.com/register

By Laura Hodgkiss, Marketing Manager at Future Food-Tech