World news – « Alternative » proteins could represent 11% of the global protein market by 2035, the report predicts



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Food For Kids Series 2020

By Elaine Watson

– Last updated on
March 24th, 2021 at 17:36 GMT

Related tags:
cell-cultured meat

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In the « base case » core scenario, two metaphorical dominoes have to be overturned, say the authors of « Food for Thought »: the protein transformation, which has been praised by some but dismissed by others as wishful thinking on a grand scale in the face of the Consumer loyalty to animal protein and the nascency of some of the technologies in question.

Domino # 1 is consumer and investor interest in sustainability, which they claim is « already sinking, » while Domino No. 2 reaches parity with animal proteins in terms of taste, texture and price (clearly not a small thing, but something they insist on is plausible in 14 years).

In this base scenario, in which vegetable proteins will die by 2023 Would reach price parity, proteins from microbial fermentation by 2025 and proteins from cell culture by 2032, a moderate increase in animal production is still assumed until 2035, as the total official protein market continues to grow. It also requires, among other things, USD 30 billion in investment capital for bioreactors for microorganisms and animal cells as well as a cool USD 11 billion in new extrusion capacity for plant-based meat.

Should we overturn Domino No. 3 – gradually achieve technological changes – , the authors predict that price, taste and texture parity could come in earlier and lead to a 16% market share by 2035.

If we overturn domino # 4 – ensure regulation is secured to transition from animal husbandry to alternatives Accelerating protein inputs, some commentators believe will be of vital importance if the food system is to fundamentally shift its focus – then Alt-Proteins could reach a massive 22% share by 2035, a long way from Dr. Pat Brown’s prediction of a massive breakdown in animal husbandry, but still a huge change in an incredibly short time.

« At that rate, Europe and North America would be » top meat « by 2025, and then animal protein consumption in those markets would be are actually declining, « the report said.

What technological barriers need to be overcome to improve the viability of alternative proteins?

Vegetable proteins: more work is needed to improve protein crops for old meat / Optimizing eggs / dairy products (higher protein content, fewer color and taste disorders, etc.) and finding higher quality markets for side streams from starch to fibers, say the authors. Protein extraction methods also need to be improved and expanded.

Microbial Fermentation: More work is required to increase the efficiency with which microorganisms use the feedstock by optimizing the strain, adjusting the growth conditions and finding carbon feedstocks that are cheaper than convert the glycerine and glucose commonly used today into protein. In precision fermentation, for example, more efficient filtration membranes [to separate the target proteins from the growth media] that require less maintenance and less water can « significantly reduce production costs, » they argue.

To former Quorn CEO Kevin Brennan, to quote: « It took us six weeks to find the right microorganism and 20 years to get the process up and running reliably on a large scale. »

Cell-cultured meat: More work is needed to Achieve higher density cell cultures, more efficient use of food grade media, food grade equipment in facilities, and significant cost reductions in recombinant protein and growth factor production (read more HERE).

For those who are naturally Are suspicious of any analysis based primarily on interviews with companies with a reasonable interest in Alt-Proteins based, the authors point out that leading CPG brands from Nestle to Unilever; leading meat companies from Tyson to JBS; the world’s largest food service brands from McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC to Pizza Hut, Starbucks and Dominos; to leading retailers like Kroger and Tesco; have all placed pretty big bets on alternative proteins.

And while we don’t yet know if those bets will pay off, it turns out that the rapid rollout of meat, dairy and plant-based eggs in the past 12 up to 18 months shows that there is an appetite for change even when there are still significant challenges:

“The first domino is already falling: Public concern about the climate – and sustainability in general – is widespread. In addition, 85% of investors now include environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria in their investment strategies Investors will evoke to overturn the second domino: refining and scaling existing technology to unlock parity. « 

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So should we make predictions like this with a pinch of salt, given the number of known unknowns (and possibly unknown unknowns) in this room, especially in the emerging field of cell-cultured meat and dairy products that is present for many players in the room Haven’t moved from the lab to the real world yet?

Alan Bjerga, SVP communications at the National Milk Producers Federation, told FoodNavigator-USA: “This is not research. It’s a marketing document. « 

He added, » It only makes sense that we should be wary of any « analysis » based primarily on interviews with companies that have an interest in the scenario that is emerging, particularly those that are emerging encouraging potential investors to buy.

« Consumers are generally very skeptical of highly processed artificial foods. These types of reports often underestimate factors that harm the interests of their funders and exaggerate those that help them .. Add them to the ever-growing pile. « 

Jack Bobo, who served 13 years at the State Department’s global food policy and now heads Futurity, a food-technology consultancy that works in the dairy and waste protein sectors has advised, noted that it does. There does not appear to be any consideration as to how the new Alt-Proteins hit the vegetable protein market a slaughter.

« The old milk market offers some lessons here. Just as almond growth took a bite out of soy milk and oat milk took a bite out of almond milk, we can expect a similar battle among legacy protein producers. « 

As for pricing, it is logical to assume that lower prices increase consumption (assuming taste and texture improve too), but a race to the bottom could have some interesting ramifications for consumer psychology: « The day these products get cheaper than [conventional beef] hamburgers is the day making hamburgers a premium product.

« The more CEOs like [Impossible Foods CEO] Pat Brown talk about making vegetable proteins cheaper than hamburgers, the harder it is to convince people to do so Quality products are what they should want. Nobody wants cheap food. It would be a lot.  » better to speak in terms of affordability.

« People who were lucky enough to pay $ 20 for an impossible burger at Founding Farmers raised concerns about the ultra-processed nature of the burgers than regular consumers buy them at 18,000 restaurants could. « 

 » It is difficult to judge how quickly alternative proteins will grow.  » Most of the judgments we make now will be wrong. I assume that alternative proteins will grow faster than we think … ”Vipul Chawla, President of Pizza Hut International

Tom Mastrobuoni, Chief Investment Officer at Big Idea Ventures, which is in the Alt-Protein space is immersed, added, « It is impossible to predict the future size of the alternative protein market. I get this question all the time. My answer is, » I don’t know. « Nobody does.

 » But Here’s what I know. Consumers are driving demand in an expanding CAGR and companies of all stages and sizes are responding. FMCGs develop products and messaging to satisfy consumers who make purchasing decisions based on a mix of personal health, animal welfare, or sustainability motives meet.

« The global protein market is worth trillions of dollars and whether alternative proteins account for 11% or 22% is not the point for me. It takes an ecosystem to power an industry, and the alternative protein ecosystem needs to involve the companies that really stand behind the innovators and the governments that have a multi-year plan to work with the same innovators to establish a food system that can meet the challenges fair is ahead. .

« Big Idea Ventures has set itself the goal of being part of this ecosystem and, together with the executives, building a food system that is robust, scalable and truly sustainable. »

Dan Altschuler Malek, managing partner of New Crop Capital Venture Fund from Unovis Partners, which has invested in companies in plant-based, cell-cultured, or « cultured » meat and microbial fermentation proteins, added that the report « confirms our long-standing » view that alternative proteins Could play a significant role in how the world feeds itself.

« We anticipate that the market share of alternative meat, seafood and dairy products will reach parity with plant-based milk within the next 10 years and will continue to grow .

« This expected growth is on the supply side due to technical innovations and the increasing attention of interest groups ppen of the ecosystem (investors, food manufacturers, farmers and governments) driven by exponential consumer demand led by an increased interest in health, global environmental challenges, sustainability and animal welfare. « 

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