February 09, 2022 — As the alternative protein market continues to boom, ADM takes a deep dive into the burgeoning sector, taking a close look at new approaches, protein sources and consumption factors shaping the current space and why investment is crucial.
The findings, based on research from the company’s proprietary Outside Voice consumer insights platform, reveal what lies ahead for alternative proteins, which are expected to hit $125 billion by 2030.
“Consumers are turning to protein alternatives for a variety of reasons, including wellness and concern for the environment. A variety of alternative protein options can help satisfy these consumer desires, while providing new ways to feed our growing population,” said Leticia Goncalves, President of Global Foods for ADM. FoodIngredientsFirst.
“Over the past 12 months, the number of plant-based meats, cheeses and dairy products available to consumers has more than doubled,” she points out.
“Innovation driven by forward-thinking brands like Air Protein, Future Meat Technologies, Nature’s Fynd, in partnership with big industry players like ADM, is transforming how we will sustainably feed a growing global population. “
ADM is currently exploring the diversification of plant proteins, such as sunflower and chickpea, next-generation technologies, such as fermentation and cell-based, and fermentation as a service.
“We recently announced our intention to partner with Asia Sustainable Foods Platform, a 100% owned company by Temasek, to provide precision fermentation advice and technology development, and we have also invested in Air Protein to support ways to create sustainable alternative protein solutions,” explains Gonçalves.
“Products aimed at meeting the increased demand for forward-thinking solutions that can meet consumers’ changing taste and texture expectations will continue to be released over the next decade.” she.
Seven emerging trends in the spotlight
New products will be heavily influenced by the seven emerging trends outlined below, including the continued development of new protein sources, the introduction of different product formats, and an increased commitment to sustainable practices, from sourcing ingredients to packaging and distribution.
1. New protein sources, from cells to mushrooms and air – Soon, the market could open its shelves to burgers produced from elements found in the air, or slices of cheese made from mushrooms native to a national park.
Brands are exploring a wide range of innovative protein sources to complement the industry’s continued focus on peas and soy. Cellular solutions made from cultured animal cells are becoming increasingly common as players such as Future Meat Technologies develop more efficient processes to manufacture meat products at scale.
Beyond cellular options, a number of new and existing players in the space are exploring new protein sources from volcanic ash, algae, insects and more.
2. Fermentation as a service – Microbial fermentation is attracting growing interest as a new method for developing alternative protein products.
ADM offers expanded fermentation capabilities and explores new ways to serve food, beverage, health and wellness brands seeking assistance with downstream processing, laboratory services and consulting.
3. Next Generation, Herbal Solutions for All Muscle – Whole muscle and plant-based solutions, such as chicken breast substitutes, are increasingly available to consumers in international markets.
These solutions will continue to evolve as brands look for new ways to replicate the texturing of whole-muscle cuts of animal origin, from sirloin steaks to shellfish.
last November, FoodIngredientsFirst attended an exclusive press event where Israeli food tech pioneer Redefine Meat debuted what was previously considered “technologically impossible” for plant-based meat – whole cuts of nervous 3D-printed plant-based meat that “bleed” like traditional cuts of beef and lamb.
4. Innovation and transparency from seed to fork – As concerns about climate change continue to grow, consumers are increasingly demanding greater sustainability in existing food systems. This is in line with Innova Market Insights’ “Shared Planet” main trend for 2022.
This has led many people to search for brands and products that can deliver the plant-based solutions they need in an environmentally and ethically responsible way.
Seed-to-fork initiatives, for example, leverage advanced technology to improve seed breeding and reduce the cost, time and environmental impact associated with creating ready-to-eat protein sources. .
5. Towards price parity for cultured meat products – Companies like Future Meat Technologies are contributing to a move toward greater price parity of cellular solutions with more traditional alternatives.
In December, the company said it was producing cultured chicken breasts for just US$7.70 a pound, down from around US$18 a pound six months earlier.
According to reports from the Boston Consulting Group, cultured meat will account for 35% of global meat production by 2040 and reach price parity by 2032.
6. Child-friendly product formats – “Plant-based chicken nuggets are just the start,” ADM analysts point out.
New products featuring kid-friendly flavors, colors and formats—fun, familiar, and easy to eat and drink platforms—are becoming a priority for brands looking to appeal to flexitarian parents and children at different stages of development. life and at different ages, from yogurt to pizza and mac and cheese.
ADM’s Outside VoiceSM study indicates that the largest cohort of flexitarian consumers are parents looking for mealtime solutions.
7. Plant-based versions of traditional and authentic cuisines – Brands are exploring solutions that can provide the regional specificity and appeal that today’s consumers are looking for, from plant-based shawarma to schnitzel and shrimp dumplings.
With new products featuring an assortment of globalized flavors, textures and product formats, the brands aim to deliver a range of flavorful and filling comfort food analogues.
This trend towards multinational, plant-based culinary offerings was on display at the recent Anuga 2021 expo, where FoodIngredientsFirst reported from the show on expanded vegan offerings hitting the market this year and targeting adventurous consumers with cravings for grilled meats from the Middle East, Asian satays and Mediterranean palate.
By Benjamin Ferrer and Gaynor Selby
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