The plant-based and alt-food sectors are exploding. From cultured caviar to plant-based ice cream to plant-based Michelin-starred restaurants, we’re moving ever closer to a more sustainable approach to food production and consumption. And in some very encouraging news, Amendment 171, known as the plant-based dairy censorship amendment, was rejected by the EU. Read on to find out more about these and other exciting developments.
TRENDS & PROJECTIONS
- Generation Z are spending more on food than on any other product category and favour value-led brands that care about social and environmental issues, according to American financial firm Piper Sandler.
- The use of the ‘plant-based’ label is under-exploited by food brands, particularly in relation to flexitarians, according to a new report from Euromonitor.
- The regulatory process for cultured meat in Europe is far too rigid and slow, according to industry players canvassed by FoodNavigator.
- 2020 was a record year for plant-based, cultured-meat, and sustainable protein companies, according to the Good Food Institute.
- Government buy-in will be crucial if the cultured-meat sector is to hit production-cost parity by 2030, suggests a new report from the Good Food Institute.
- How do consumers feel about cultured meat and precision fermentation? In this FoodNavigator piece, three startups talk about their research into consumer acceptance.
- Consumer survey reveals patterns of greater openness to cultured protein in regular diets, according to new research from Aleph Farms.
- Coop Switzerland has expanded its in-house plant-based range and now offers over 1,200 vegan products.
- Tesco has joined forces with Beyond Meat to expand its popular New Wicked Kitchen range.
- Lidl Germany has expanded its plant-based Vemondo range, with over 450 carbon-neutral products now available on its shelves.
- Burger King will open its first meat-free outlet in Cologne, Germany, this summer.
- In New York City, the 3-Michelin-star restaurant Eleven Madison Park is going completely plant-based.
- Starbucks’ new summer menu includes a vegan cake and a plant-based brownie frappuccino.
- The Vegetarian Butcher has rolled out six new plant-based meat-alternative products for foodservice businesses in China, after the brand landed in the country for the first time in December.
- Beyond Meat has released its new, healthy plant-based burgers with 35% less fat and fewer calories.
- Coca-Cola has launched its Simply Oat product, as oat milk shows triple-digit sales growth.
- According to people familiar with the company, Beyond Meat will debut its meat-free chicken later this year.
- Tyson is expanding its Raised & Rooted brand to consolidate its footprint in an increasingly competitive plant-based sector.
- Dutch cheese giant Westland Cheese has joined forces with alternative-dairy startup Those Vegan Cowboys to launch a plant-based dairy line.
- Nestle has announced a new pea-based milk brand to compete with Oatly and Alpro.
- Ben & Jerry’s now has 19 plant-based flavours and is the world’s biggest producer of premium dairy-free ice cream.
- Seasogood had launched the first plant-based canned tuna in the Netherlands.
INGREDIENTS SUPPLIERS/NEW TECHNOLOGIES
- Soya is still king in the plant-based space, with a new report from MyNutriWeb hailing its health and sustainability benefits.
- UK potato-supplier Branston is working on a project to convert unwanted potatoes into ‘clean-label functional protein’ for use in meat analogues.
- The European Commission’s Smart Protein project is looking at four underutilised crops – quinoa, legumes, fava beans, and lentils – which are tipped as ideal for cultivation on European soil and for new product development in the plant-based sector.
- Equinom has teamed up with sesame-seed processor and exporter Dipasa to roll out a protein-rich sesame variety as an alternative to conventional bases for plant-based products.
ONES TO WATCH OUT FOR
- At ProVeg’s New Food Conference, Eat Just predicted that it will become the “most consumed egg in the world”.
- British company Exmoor Caviar is developing the world’s first lab-grown ‘compassionate’ caviar so that more people can experience the delicacy’s unique taste and nutritional benefits.
- How does a cheese, yoghurt, or ice-cream brand expand into the plant-based space? FoodNavigator shares insights from three companies that have done exactly that.
- Vegconomist spoke to Simon Fried from MeaTech, an Israeli developer of 3D-printed cultured meat, about the future of the sector.
STARTUP & FINANCIAL
- FoodNavigator looks at the ways in which alt-egg companies are developing clean-ingredient formulations that deliver on functionality, taste, and nutrition.
- Cultured-chicken brand Future Meat has slashed its production costs, speeding up its goal of reaching price parity with conventional poultry within the next eight years.
- Memphis Meats, the first company founded to create meat through animal cells, has changed its name to Upside Foods, as it pivots towards a greater focus on consumers.
- DX Ventures has invested in Bluu Biosciences in order to bring cell-based fish into kitchens and restaurants across Europe.
- MeaTech has revealed plans for a pilot plant in order to begin scaled-up cultured chicken-fat production.
- German startup Innocent Meat is developing a plug-and-play technology that allows conventional meat processors to produce cultivated pork.
- The alt-milk sector is celebrating the EU dropping Amendment 171, known as the plant-based dairy censorship amendment. ProVeg successfully led the movement to oppose the amendment.
- This FoodNavigator article explores the feasibility of the cultured-meat sector getting traditional farmers on board.
- A coalition of more than 60 key players and stakeholders in the alternative-protein space are calling on the US federal government to make investing in the science and technology of alt-proteins a national priority in the 2022 budget.
- A new research collaboration between Chinese agritech firm Pinduoduo and Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research will focus on the impact of novel plant-based meats on human health.
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