2020 Sustainable Food Conference: Is alternative protein the next bull market for investors?

· Alternative protein companies raised $1.5billion in the first seven months of 2020.

· Companies of fermentation technology received over a record $435 million in venture capital funding, up from $274million in 2019.[1]

· Alternative protein market is expected to reach $17.9 billion by 2025.[2]

Global investors are showing greater interest in alternative proteins, such as plant-based substitutes and lab-grown meat, as the climate impact of agriculture and food production comes under the spotlight.[3]

Further, the high performance of the alternative protein market signalled to investors there is opportunity ahead.[4] For instance, investment in Beyond Meat by Bill Gates, and investment in Impossible Meat by Serena Williams and Katy Perry, is an obvious indicator that the alternative protein market exhibits bullish behaviour. The noticeable change in the food industry towards meat alternatives can be seen in numerous fast-food chains, as plenty chains announced deals with alternative-protein producers to offer vegetarian options of the popular menu item.[5]

The calm before the storm: Alternative Protein

By 2050, global food systems will need to meet the dietary demands of more than 10 billion people. Food will have to be produced sustainably in ways that contribute to reducing climate change, and that address other environmental challenges[6] [7] meanwhile meeting human dietary needs. It is with an urgency that these challenges should be met. Fortunately, it seems the cumulative start-up investments in the food sector from the past decade, shows a possibility of genuine disruption in the near future: with the use of alternative proteins. Plus, with online platforms such as Sustainable Food Conference, a collaborate 3-day event propels the solution of meeting our environmental challenges: through the gathering of expertise in the food sector on a diverse range of subjects.

What is Alternative Protein?

Alternative proteins, or meat alternatives, are terms used to describe either plant-based or food-technology (‘clean meat’) alternatives to animal protein. They are products that replicate animal agriculture products and provide consumers with products that have a similar look, texture and taste to animal-based meat products, but with a lower sustainability impact.[8]

Covid-19 also contributed to the acceleration in demand for animal-free protein. Because even during pre-pandemic, the animal supply chain was already under scrutiny due to its negative impact on the environment. [9] Thus, a pathological virus found in meat was the last straw on the camel’s back.

Fortunately, on 18th, 19th and 20th November, experts across the food ecosystem are gathered at the virtual Sustainable Food Conference, hosting a variety of food sustainability topics that could benefit the people and planet. Discussion on the potential and limitations of alternative protein are held on 20th November.

FoodTechies Finland is proud to be a marketing partner for the Sustainable Foods Conference. Save 15% off your ticket today by going to https://sustainablefoodsconference.com/ and using discount code SF15MP

[1] https://plantbasednews.org/news/investment-alternative-protein-2020-report/

[2] https://www.meticulousresearch.com/product/alternative-protein-market-4985/?utm_source=globenewswire.com&utm_medium=PR3

[3] https://www.ft.com/content/a176c6b6-ce4c-11e9-b018-ca4456540ea6

[4] Mike Murphy, “Beyond Meat soars 163% in biggest-popping U.S. IPO since 2000,” MarketWatch, May 5, 2019, marketwatch.com.

[5] https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/agriculture/our-insights/alternative-proteins-the-race-for-market-share-is-on#

[6] Tilman, D., Balzer, C., Hill, J. and Befort, B. L. “Global food demand and the sustainable intensification of agriculture”. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. vol. 108, 2011, pp. 20260–20264.

[7] Bajelj, B. et al. “Importance of food‑demand management for climate mitigation”. Nat Clim Change vol. 4, 2014, pp. 924–929.

[8] https://www.fairr.org/article/alternative-protein-market/#:~:text=Alternative%20proteins%2C%20or%20meat%20alternatives,')%20alternatives%20to%20animal%20protein.

[9] https://thespoon.tech/fairr-investment-in-alternative-protein-has-already-reached-1-1b-in-2020/

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