Mark Pesce ( Next Billion Seconds),
George Peppou (Vow Foods),
Michael Fox (Fable Foods),
Marcus Brown( Forbidden Foods)
Nick Hazell (V2 Foods),
Kerry Series (Impact Fund)
Christine Colgrave ( CSIRO)
The session was opened by Mark Pesce, a futurist. He shared how future technology will allow our smartwatch or portable devices to not only capture our health fundamentals but also diagnose what we may need as nutrients. Then the consumer can go and find food that caters to our needs.
This is not only about the next ten years, but the future of food as we move towards 2050.
PWP - While there is a lot of talk about nutraceuticals, bringing functional food elements into a product, like fortified foods, we refer to Colin T Campbell's work when referring to food and the power of food to heal. Whole food is what helps us heal. And major pharmaceutical companies have tried to capture and isolate elements with not much success to date. We are still open to new technology developments and eagerly watch this space.
All the founders shared the dire need to switch away from living animal protein for a more sustainable planet.
George is the CEO and co-founder of Australia's leading cultured meat start-up, Vow Foods. Cultured meat is a pioneering frontier of food, where animal cells are grown in a lab. Cultured meat will replicate most of the taste qualities you expect from live animal meat without the environmental impact.
The consumer challenges ahead of cultured meat adoption are costs, scale, and matching the taste.
Then we also have the regulatory support needed to approve the end product for consumption. Singapore, Israel, and Qatar are more supportive regions.
Globally, large-scale manufacturing of cultured meat is only just starting in Israel and Singapore.
At Vow Foods, they can see a line of sight for the price eventually dropping to $20/kilo in a ten – twenty-year window. To get there, they will need cutting-edge science and technology in manufacturing.
Nick Hazell re-iterated the dire need of the planet for humans to find an alternative to animal protein. In addition, he made an important point. If the product doesn't deliver on quality, it destroys the category.
V2 Foods has famous food ambassadors and restaurateurs like Neil Perry, who are encouraging the shift.
V2 Foods products are made to simply replace existing meat options like burgers, sausages, or mince.
One competitive advantage V2 Foods has is that they work with existing meat suppliers and plants. He likens this to Amazon using existing postal channels to get started.
Michael is the CEO of Fable, a mushroom-based alternate protein option. He shared the success they are now getting partnering with Grill'd, and higher-end QSR chains, and also exporting to Singapore.
Christine Colgrave from the CSIRO shared their mission to increase Australia's protein output by an additional $10 Billion. Now this includes all forms of protein, from
- Animal + Plant
- Plant + Synthetic Fats
- Cultured meat
This includes insect protein as well. Everything is on the table at present.
Marcus Brown from Forbidden Foods shared his investor pitches when they capital raise. Investors need to realise the gross margin is very slim when it comes to food products. They don’t have the multiples of technology products
On the positive, impact fund manager Kerry Series shared how there has been a significant lift in the last year, with money looking for impact related investments.
PWP - So now we just need to find more businesses ready for investments
PWP - Fable and V2 Food are going down two different approaches. Using the groupings by Food Frontier, V2 Food is using technology to create plant-based meat, while Fable is using traditional mushrooms as their raw ingredients to create a 'meaty' substance.
Their target audiences are different and important to note. Cultured meat products are very new to the public. The public will need a degree of convincing to try this. Based on overseas research, with the right information, the public is open to trying the products. The regions that are more supportive of the alternate protein landscape are likely to attract businesses and capital to invest.
Due to the global rise in affluence, much of the world is looking to increase its intake of meat protein. But the world cannot cope with the demand – hence the need for alternate proteins.
Alternate protein is the new food frontier and there are many different types of solutions; from different groups of plant-based protein to cultured meat, and even insect protein.
Many stakeholders, from governments, institutions to NGO’s and companies are all looking to address this issue.
Public awareness and behaviour are also changing in favour of alternate protein. Covid-19 has further supported the shift.
The public will need convincing to moving away from their animal meat.
Meeting customers based on their wants is the crucial step. Helping them make the shift are mainstream brands who ‘nudge’ customers towards plant-based. These companies are likely to roll out plant-based options successfully.
While there are several challenges, investment houses have predicted the fast growth of plant-based products globally.
Countries that provide favourable trading conditions are likely to lead, creating thousands of jobs and generating billions in GDP. Conversely, countries that set up road-blocks, will lose out.
Building a plant-based ecosystem is not easy. So many businesses have talked about collaborating in the sector.
If you are new to the plant-based environment, we highly recommend you attend the Food Frontier’s Alternate Protein Conference in Melbourne, on the 17th of May 2022 – the first of its kind in Australia.
At Purpose With Profit, we enable the growth of the plant-based economy: from industry events to coaching and advisory services. We have a key note that can persuade any audience. While we focus on plant-based businesses we also support businesses who want to grow their plant-based category.
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.