Consumer demands for food are changing faster than ever, as our understanding of nutrition and environmental impacts evolves – and the food industry is reacting accordingly. The New Food Conference serves as a platform for exchange of the latest developments in the field of emerging food solutions, allowing for valuable new insights and the creation of innovation networks.
‘Year of the vegan’
By the end of 2018, The Economist and Forbes both predicted that 2019 would be the year of the vegan1 2 – which has turned out to be a fairly accurate forecast. It has certainly been a big year for plant-based burgers, with products like the Beyond burger and the Impossible burger going mainstream, and many new versions of plant-based ice-cream, cheese, and meat alternatives hitting retail shelves. As consumers become increasingly conscious of the impact of their dietary choices, both the availability and the positive public perceptions of such products are continuing to grow.
Knowledge hub for alternative proteins: the New Food Conference
2019 was also the year in which the New Food Conference made its debut – in the midst of an expanding and evolving plant-based sector and a growing awareness of the implications of climate change. Established as a platform for international and cross-sectoral knowledge sharing in order to accelerate the movement towards alternative protein, the sold-out event shone a light on new approaches to creating successful and satisfying alternatives to commonly consumed animal products. These plant-based innovations and cell-based technologies can go a long way towards addressing the urgent challenges of the global food system in terms of environmental destruction, climate change, and public health, and, of course, global food security.
In response to the high demand for such a platform, the New Food Conference will continue to grow, allowing an even larger audience to tap into the knowledge of thought leaders in the food sector. In August 2020, ProVeg will once again invite international entrepreneurs, pioneers, and innovators to Berlin to discuss alternative protein solutions. Changemakers such as Mark Post (Mosa Meat), Rosie Wardle (Jeremy Coller Foundation), and Prof Peter Eisner (Fraunhofer Institute) have confirmed their attendance. The full programme is available on the website.
ProVeg International and GFI are extremely proud to announce a groundbreaking new project: Smart Protein is an EU-funded collaboration and will be launching in 2020.
The plant-based market – just a trend?
The conference takes place against a backdrop of the continued rapid growth of the plant-based sector. Between 2012 and 2017, the plant-based market in Western Europe doubled in size, with Europe as a whole accounting for more than a third of total global revenue in 2017, and per-capita meat consumption having decreased.3 4 The global plant-based meat market is currently valued at $12.1 billion and is predicted to reach almost $28 billion by 2025.5 The market for alternative dairy products is even larger: according to Euromonitor, the global market for plant-based milk alternatives reached $21 billion in 2015 and is forecast to achieve sales of over $34 billion by 2024.6 7
Health benefits and sustainability concerns will continue to drive consumer choices towards alternative proteins. Global consulting firm AT Kearney goes as far as predicting that, by 2040, 60% of worldwide meat demand will be met by cultured products or plant-based meat alternatives.8 While these are glimpses into the distant future, the growing shift in awareness and consumption behavior is now firmly established. At Anuga, the world’s largest trade fair for food and beverages, about 30% of the exhibitors presented plant-based products. At Internorga, a leading trade show for the food-service sector, it was even higher, at 65% – proving that the plant-based market is not just a trend but a key driver for business growth. The plant-based sector is relevant to all players in the food system, from producers to retailers and food services.
Transforming the food industry
Where there is strong growth, there are also challenges. In order to meet the rising demand for alternative food solutions, all the players in the food system need to be involved. Today’s food landscape is inherently complex – only if research, politics, industry, and consumers all pull in the same direction, will this urgently needed shift be possible. Where are there potential gaps in the value chain and what does it take to bridge those gaps in order to ensure reliable upscaling? Who is actually driving the change in demand and what exactly are customers looking for? Which are the most promising protein plants? And how will traditional farmers fit into this new age of food? It’s questions like these that the New Food Conference will address. And these are indeed questions that need answers. Join us in Berlin and become a pioneer in the new age of food!
- The Economist (2018): The year of the vegan. online at https://worldin2019.economist.com/theyearofthevegan?utm_source=412&utm_medium=COM [03.12.2019]
- Forbes (2018): Top Health Food Trends To Go Mainstream In 2019. Online at https://www.forbes.com/sites/eustaciahuen/2018/12/25/healthtrends/#4e5932181b82 [03.12.2019]
- Food Ingredients Global (2017): German meat-free market roars. Online at https://www.figlobal.com/fieurope/visit/news-and-updates/german-meat-free-market-soars [25.11.2019]
- Allied Market Research (2019): Meat Substitute Market Outlook-2026. Online at https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/meat-substitute-market [25.11.2019]
- Markets and Markets (2019): Plant-based Meat Market by Source (Soy, Wheat, Pea, Quinoa, Oats, Beans, Nuts), Product (Burger Patties, Sausages, Strips & Nuggets, Meatballs), Type (Pork, Beef, Chicken, Fish), Process, and Region – Global Forecast to 2025. Online at: https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/plant-based-meat-market-44922705.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIos2j9dCF5gIVyeJ3Ch1Z5gKsEAAYASAAEgJedfD_BwE
- Financial Times: Big business identifies appetite for plant-based milk. Online at https://www.ft.com/content/7df72c04-491a-11e6-8d68-72e9211e86ab [25.11.2019]
- Renub Research (2018): Dairy Alternatives Market, Consumption, Forecast, Global Analysis. Online at https://www.renub.com/dairy-alternatives-market-consumption-forecast-global-analysis-by-plant-based-milk-regions-companies-p.php
- A.T. Kearney (2019): How Will Cultured Meat and Meat Alternatives Disrupt the Agricultural and Food Industry? Online at https://www.atkearney.com/retail/article?/a/how-will-cultured-meat-and-meat-alternatives-disrupt-the-agricultural-and-food-industry [25.11.2019]