· cellbased,vegan,plantbased,trends,QSR

Key Messages from the Future Alternative Roundtable Sessions and Our Commentary (1/8)

On the 26th of November 2021, The Intermedia Group held the first public round-table for the alternative protein industry in Sydney. The event impressed us for bringing a wide range of panellists together.

Many of the attendees are food-related businesses and stakeholders looking to understand the plant-based trend and cater for growing demands. From investors to farming bodies and everyone in between.

To start, it is important to understand what an alternate protein is and the history behind it.


As shared in our keynote, 10,000 Year Protein Food Disruption, the public curiosity to away from meat is rising in all high GDP countries. As our wealth increases, we (humans) tend to eat more animals.

Due to the trajectory of the global population, the increase in wealth, and our planetary boundaries, there is a need to find alternate sources of protein.

Simply put, we can longer rely on animals. Hence the rise of alternate proteins.


Furthermore, the global institutional move away from animal raised meat is due to environmental and public health concerns. . In Australia and US, the greater consumption of meat and processed foods has led to the prevalence of various chronic health issues amongst the population.

Alternate proteins include plant-based proteins, cultured meat proteins, insect proteins. algae-based proteins and even air-proteins – just to name a few.

According to the Australian think tank Food Frontier's 2019 report, 42% of the Australian public is now committed to reducing or eliminating meat from their diet. The latest market research, post-Covid-19, shows even a higher percentage are now open to reducing meat.

But's it's not smooth sailing.

In the 3rd quarter sales 2021, from the US, plant-based protein sales have dipped below their projected targets. 

One could argue, the growth of alternate protein is similar to alternate milk a few years ago. Alternate milk accounts for between 10-15% of milk sales in most high GDP countries.

Let's move onto the key messages from the event and our commentary. Each of the panel sessions below will have a separate blog.

1 - Opening Address - Food Frontier: Thomas King

Thomas shared the different types groupings in the alternate protein space, the marketing sizing for the decade, and the four structures which need to be overcome to get there.

2 - Catering To New Diner – Making Plant-based Profitable
Plant-based pioneers shared the approaches that are working for them in making plant-based appealing to a wider audience.

3 - Broadening Horizons: Harnessing The Alternative Potential
Australia currently imports a lot of ingredients for alternate protein. This session is about understanding the commercial opportunities for Australia to better prepare for the shift.

4 - Cracking The Retail Code: How to Get the Products in the Right Hands

Retail is a very competitive market. New start-ups share their successes in cutting through the public noise and growing their categories. With FMCG experts sharing insights too.

5 - Keeping It Local: Can Australia Provide What We Need

This particular discussion centred around keeping the value chain local for alternate proteins. This discussion is needed from a commercial & food security perspective.

6 - What Are The Road Blocks To Success?
Simply having a plant-based option may not work. Slower adoption to having the right distribution and supply channels all pose various roadblocks to business success.

7 - The Future of Food: What The Next Ten Years Will Bring & Our Conclusion
A futurist describes how food will evolve and what the major brands see in the next ten years, including Australian research arm, CSIRO's mission for 2030.

This event is a taste of many more events to cater for the growing alternate protein sector. Around the world, multinationals like Unilever have publicly stated they are looking to attract the conscious consumer. Nestle, the largest food producer, is following suit.

In the series of updates, we'll share some key points as well as our commentary with PWP acronym.

These blogs are written for anyone curious about the plant-based & alternate protein industry.

If you want to understand the Drivers Accelerating a Plant-based World, do get in touch. We will not only show you the why but, most importantly, the how in shifting consumer patterns & behaviour.

If you are a non-food business, we have a motivational keynote 10,000 Year Protein Food Disruption - the Lessons for Every Business - which will inspire your staff to take more ownership and action.

Data alone never moved the audience; staff or investors to make a decision.

The missing pieces will.