Argentina, a country famed for its beef culture and one of the highest levels of meat consumption in the world, is seeing plant-based meat production reach unprecedented levels.
Driven by demand from consumers concerned about environmental, nutritional, and animal welfare issues – particularly from younger generations – the country is experiencing a surge in alt meat interest. vegconomist takes a look at some of the players on the burgeoning Argentinian alt protein scene:
Kernel Mycofoods / Eternal
This week saw Kernel Mycofoods rebrand as Eternal. The Buenos Aires-headquartered biotech uses AI, computer vision, and proprietary tech to create mycoprotein; sustainable proteins from fungi. Eternal has ambitious plans for 2022, recently raising over $15 million and announcing a potential public listing. “We feel Eternal reflects better our commitment to future generations”, the company said of the rebranding.
Tomorrow Foods specializes in the development of plant-based protein systems and solutions for the food and beverage industry, and recently secured investments of $3 million, following two years of growth in Argentina. The biotech startup is now looking to expand its commercial footprint across Latin America.
One of the pioneering vegan food companies in Argentina, Frizata currently sells a range of frozen products direct to consumers across the country. It has recently expanded its product range and scope to Brazil, Chile, and the US, as the company continues to grow and last July closed a $5 million investment round.
Another member of this new alt protein generation is Moolec, which eschews the use of bioreactors to grow proteins, but carries out the process through plants themselves. This is done by genetically altering the plants to become protein “factories”. Although based in the UK, Moolec’s founders include Gastón Paladini, a member of a well-known family in Argentina historically dedicated to pork.
The largest plant-based food company in Latin America, NotCo, recently reached an agreement with Mostaza – the largest fast-food chain in Argentina. The partnership will see the launch of a new line of Mega NotBurger products to be available at more than 150 stores across Argentina.
“With the new Mega NotBurger, from Mostaza we are taking Argentine fast food to another level, we are pioneers with this product. We are making a difference and we are taking that big step that the category needed in terms of innovation and inclusion, generating a value proposal adapted to the new consumer habits,” explained Leandro Castorani, Commercial Director of Mostaza.