Danish biotech giant Novozymes has entered into a contract with an unnamed key player in the plant-based industry. As part of the contract, it will invest 2 billion Danish kroner into an alt-protein production line in Nebraska.
The company says it is increasingly committed to meeting the growing demand for sustainable proteins, after research found that plant-based meat was the fastest-growing retail category in the US in 2020. Alt proteins received $3.1 billion in investments last year, a new record and three times the figure for 2019. However, a report in July found that there are several challenges facing the industry, including scale-up, speed to market, and regulation.
Novozymes’ investment will begin later this year and is expected to complete in 2023. Within five years of commencing production, the company expects to have made at least DKK 1 billion in sales in the area of Advanced Protein Solutions.
“At a time of accelerating demand across the protein space, Novozymes can unlock significant value by building on decades of experience with fermented catalytic proteins,” said Ester Baiget, CEO of Novozymes. “Being a biotech powerhouse allows us to produce high-quality, novel ingredients for our customers. We look forward to making a meaningful impact towards feeding the world sustainably.“