Alternative proteins are a trend in their own right, and one that has been on the radar for many years.
Within this ‘mega trend’, several sectors are gaining more attention. As we enter the new year, the Good Food Institute (GFI)—a nonprofit that advocates for the switch to more sustainable foods—has selected its top seven.
1. Fermentation Based Dairy AlternativesI
In 2022, GFI predicts that more consumers will have the chance to test alternative dairy products produced through precision fermentation. This technology enables the programming of microbes to produce complex organic molecules such as proteins.
The precision fermentation-derived dairy first hit the market in 2021, when Brave Robot ice cream launched at retailers across the US. The ice cream was made from Perfect Day’s fermented whey protein.
Since then, animal-free dairy ingredients have been sold in a number of products at select Starbucks locations, including Modern Kitchen’s cream cheese, Climate Hero cake mix, and milk.
Coming in 2022, GFI expects the expansion of precision fermentation to be on the shelf in the non-dairy categories. Every company (formerly Clara Foods) has already launched the truly world’s first fermented egg protein. Late last year, the firm debuted it in partnership with Pressed Juicery Smoothies.
And Motif FoodWorks will license its myoglobin hemami ingredient to food manufacturers. The supply start-up claims the ingredient improves the ‘meaty’ flavor of plant-based beef analogs.
2. Staining the Alt Protein LinesI
The GFI sees blurred lines between the three alternative protein pillars – plant-based, fermented and farmed meat – and expects this to continue through 2022.
A prime example on the other side of the pond lies in Impossible Burger’s use of fermentation-derived heme in its plant-based matrix. As mentioned, Motif FoodWorks is preparing to license its fermentation-derived heme to manufacturers of plant-based meat analogues.
It is likely that ‘hybrid’ or ‘blended’ plant-based meat products will launch this year, according to the famous GFI. Whereas ‘hybrid’ has in the past referred to a food item containing two or more specific protein sources, here GFI refers to plant-based products that are ‘cultured’ with enriched fats to improve sensory properties.
Again, in the farmed meat category, the GFI says the industry can market farmed meat products as blends of plant protein ingredients, which may cost less and appeal to consumers who want additional nutrients such as fiber. Looking for elements.
Another category is ‘staining’ plant-based dairy, whereby plant-based milk and cheese companies are using traditional fermentation techniques to achieve an authentic ‘sharp’ and ‘creamy dairy taste’ – on nuts and other plants. based on material. of traditional cheese.
3. Plant Based DiversificationI
In 2021, not only did the plant-based product categories remain diversified, but the GFI judged them for reaching ‘high fidelity’ to their animal counterparts. It is expected that these products will reach a greater audience in 2022.
Alternative seafood, for example, saw ‘record investments’ in the first half of 2021, completely exceeding $116m – and 2020 total investments. Space has exploded, and now more than 87 companies are making alt seafood products from plants, microbes, or animal cells. GFI predicts Alt Seafood Options to expand its presence in restaurants, grocery and online in the coming year.
Whole-cut formats are another growing niche. To date, ground and reconstituted meat analogues are leading the largely plant-based movement – such as ground beef, sausage, and chicken nuggets – yet the GFI predicts that whole-cut product formats will be out of date in 2022. will expand. These are designed to meet the ‘widest variety of cooking needs’. Juicy Marbles, which makes plant-based steak ‘marbled’ with sunflower oil, recently launched its plant-based filet mignon for consumers.
Other expanded categories include substitutes for processed meats such as bacon and pepperoni, eggs and milk.
4. More Regulatory Approvals on CardsI
In 2020, the world’s first cell-based meat ingredient received regulatory approval for commercialization. The product under consideration is a good meat farmed chicken, which got regulatory approval a year ago in December 2020.
GFI expects 2022 to be the year where more consumers can take their first bite of farmed meat and seafood products. While unlikely to happen in Europe, the USD and FDA have been working on a joint regulatory framework for farmed meat since 2018.
Several companies across the pond, including UPSIDE Foods, Wild Type, and BlueNalu, have suggested that they are at the initial gate ready for launch as soon as regulatory approval is received.
5. Sustainability ‘Top-of-Mind’ for Consumers and InvestorsI
From reduced greenhouse gas emissions to water use, land use and air pollution, the sustainability benefits of alternative proteins over animal-based foods are well publicized.
However, according to the GFI there is ‘still opportunity’ to reduce the environmental impact by upcycling the side stream materials within the alternative protein chain, as well as by using sustainable packaging, renewable energy and efficient transport.
Some industry players are already working to boost their sustainability credentials. France-headquartered pea protein supplier Roquette, for example, has built its latest facility—located in Manitoba, Canada—in regions that grow plant proteins to cut down on transportation miles.
And Finnish precision fermentation company Solar Foods is taking advantage of greenhouse gases as inputs into its fermentation processes.
“Sustainability is an important motivator for plant-based food consumption, especially among young consumers,” Noted GFI report writer and Corporate Engagement Coordinator Mel O’Donnell.
“We also expect alternative proteins to be increasingly recognized as a major ESG investment industry, supported by the ESG framework used in investor due diligence that is increasingly embedding the ideas of alternative proteins. Huh.”I
6. Investment InjectionI
Alternative Protein continued to raise some serious capital in 2021, and GFI expects that trend to continue. One of the biggest funding rounds of the past months was secured by Israeli farmed meat start-up Future Meat Technologies, which raised a record-breaking $347m Series B round.
A good number of Alternative Proteus operations raised more than $100m in 2021 and many more than $200m in rounds. These include Impossible Foods, Eat Just, Aleph Farms, Perfect Day, The Every Company and Knotco.
After the recent IPOs of Oatly, Biomilk, Veganz, Gosh, GFI also expects more alternative protein businesses to float on the stock exchange in 2022! Foods, Next Firm, and Bettermoo (D).
The GFI suggests that the purchase of alternative protein firms by traditional meat traders also indicates ‘increased participation’ from ‘key meat industry functionaries’. Vivera and Biotech Foods are two examples of businesses acquired by JBS.
7. Increased Government ParticipationI
Public funding in the alternative protein sector is increasing. Governments around the world, including the European Union, Israel and Canada, have allowed more than $66m in research projects so far, and the GFI expects more to follow.
Of course, this represents only a fraction of the amount raised privately, which totaled more than $3.5bn in the first half of 2021 alone.
“Public funding for research is essential for the industry to grow at the required pace, and we expect to see more public funding dedicated to addressing high-priority infrastructure and research needs that will benefit the industry as a whole,” The famous GFI’s O’Donnell.