Future Alternative – Food Frontier and the Alternate Protein Landscape in Australia (2/8)
Evolution of Plant-based Proteins
Thomas shared the evolution of plant-based proteins into four different groups as well as cultured meat and insect protein.
PWP - It's important to distinguish between these because the target audience will also vary.
Group 1 - Traditional meat alternatives for protein: Like chickpea, pulses, tofu and tempeh.
PWP - Depending on your regional background, many cultures have incorporated these types of foods over thousands of years.
Group 2 - Wholefood Mimics: Like tomato & jackfruit to mimic fish & meat, respectively.
PWP - This is an extension of group one with better R&D & marketing. For example, in South Asia, green jackfruit has been used as a 'meaty' substance for a very long time. Now there are brands with capital support to further enhance the taste and texture to mimic animal meat.
Wholefood plant-based audience prefers Group 1 & 2 products. Whole food health practitioners are advocates for the first two groups.
Group 3 - Legacy brands of plant-based meat: These brands could be argued as the first generation.
PWP - In Australia, Sanitarium pioneered this category through their veggie delight range. In the US, you have Tofurky and the in the UK; there's Quorn. In East Asia, there would be hundreds (if not thousands) of companies who served mock meat similar to the West.
Group 4 - New Generation: In the US, Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods and in Australia, we have V2Foods, Buds, Meet, Unreal and many more.
This is the new frontier, and R&D is playing a very large role in bringing a new era of plant-based meat-like products to the market.
PWP – We believe some legacy brands, with investors, are reinventing themselves and making their products even closer to meat. Quorn & Fry's are examples of this.
There are other types of alternate proteins as well, namely precision fermentation, cultivated meat and insect protein, to name a few.
Group 5 - Cultured Meat & Precision Fermentation - Cultivated meat, in simple terms, it's growing animal cells in a lab and re-constructing meat structure. And precision fermentation is making milk like properties, without the cow.
PWP- Vow foods is leading the charge in Australia. Now with over 40 staff, they are certainly on their way. This is the frontier of food science, cost and technology being the biggest blocks. They are starting with crocodile meat due to the exotic nature of the food.
Group 6 - Insect protein. There are already companies taking up the challenge because of the global need for protein as well as reducing farming waste.
PWP - As crazy as it sounds, growing a bogong moth, cockroaches or crickets for protein is alive and well. Insect protein can be masked into everyday foods like chips, cookies and cakes.
Food Frontier's market research in 2019 showed ~10% being vegetarian and vegan; a further 32% being reducetarian or flexitarian.
Latest Toledo data shows a significant increase in the reducetarian and flexitarian growth since Covid-19.
According to Food Frontier 2019 report, their middle of the road assessment is the alternate protein market will take 7.5% of the meat market, with $2.9B in revenue by 2030.
PWP - Covid-19 is raising public awareness to eat more plant-based foods and minimise animal foods, thus leading to a growth in the sector.
Which Support Structures Can Assist The Growth?
Food Frontier unpacked four strategies to help us get there:
1 - Unlocking the many varieties of pulses yet to be explored, like lupin, for example.
2 - Developing Australian ingredient processing, like Australian Plant Proteins and Wide Open Agriculture in Perth.
3 - Product Research and Development (R&D), manufacturing and export. Instead of simply being a net importer, we can build on the quality ingredients and increase the value up the chain.
4 - Policy & Regulation - Supporting R&D, Infrastructure, investments and partnerships. Whilst ensuring a fair and internationally competitive regulatory landscape.
PWP - The Australian Government research bodies, like the CSIRO, are supporting the alternate protein landscape AND research into reducing carbon from animal raising.
On the other side, the incumbent meat and livestock industry does not want to change the current trajectory of meat consumption.
Meat consumption is falling in most high GDP countries because of the greater awareness. And yet, global meat consumption is actually rising with the rising affluence in low GDP countries.
Whether it's the global environmental devastation caused by meat or the devastation to our bodies with a high meat diet - people are becoming more aware and reducing meat consumption.
If you want to understand the 10,000 Protein Food Disruption, do get in touch. We will not only show you the why but, most importantly, the how in shifting consumer behaviour. Data alone never moved the audience or investors to make a decision.
The missing pieces will.