Webinar: riding the plant-based wave

The context of traditional protein production is no longer sustainable. For 2050 alt protein production is going to be double of what it is today. Startups are fulfilling new consumer needs across three main areas: taste, nutrition and sustainability by offering new, innovative solutions and now larger companies want to be a part of it by investing in them. 

Last Thursday June 4th, our partners at Eatable Adventures launched the latest edition in their series of international webinars, as they delved into the role of plant-based protein as the new food revolution. They were joined by experts from industry pioneers; Nir Goldstein, Managing Director of The Good Food Institute Israel; Elizabeth Gutschenritter, Managing Director of Alternative Protein at Cargill and José Luis Cabañero, CEO of Eatable Adventures, who shared their visions and insights into the present and future of alternative protein.

Here are some key takeaways from the webinar in case you missed it:

1. Reasons behind the growth of plant-based meat
There are four main motivations – economic, health, environmental and animal welfare.
By the year 2030 the plant based market could be 10% of total global meat consumption.
Consumers are becoming more environmentally-conscious. Especially those from the millennial and Gen-z generations who are changing their diets and revolutionizing the sector.
93% of consumers still consume meat, but many are turning to flexitarianism to reduce their intake and make more sustainable choices.

2. Startups as accelerators of innovation
The FoodTech sector is still in its youth, and its predominant characteristic lies in innovation.
Larger companies can learn from more agile-minded startups whos teams are more mission-driven and risk-taking.
Mutual support between corporations and startups is essential to satisfy new consumer needs. Collaborations are a great way to power innovative solutions.

3. Industry “best practices”
Impressive universities like Berkeley are putting together alt protein programs to educate students and teach them about the best practices to launch startups and new developments.
Venture capitals like Blue Horizons are continually investing in startups of the future.
Cell-based is an almost untouched market and there still exists barriers to its commercialisation – like cost reduction and market strategies.
Increased B2B engagement needs to be encouraged but there are lots of opportunities and entry points into the sector across the food supply chain.
There are still lots of white spaces to be researched and developed on, including fermentation, dairy-free cheese and cultured meat.
“There is no one way to collaborate” – Nir Goldstein.

4. Effects of covid on the plant-based trend
Both research and development efforts of companies have been attacked with the closing of factories and research labs.
Startups have still managed to secure significant investments e.g. Impossible Foods half a billion funding win.
Alternative protein retail sales have still jumped in growth despite the pandemic although still not as much as traditional meat – can they catch up?
Consumers now have different buying behaviours and seek to lead a more sustainable and healthy lifestyle – these trends will remain post-covid.
Consumers are still latching onto comfort and staple foods but interest in trying new alternative products has increased during the pandemic.

You can watch the full video here:

Stay tuned for more online offerings here.

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