The Good Food Institute, an organisation which works with scientists, investors, and entrepreneurs and focuses on making clean meat and plant-based alternatives a reality for consumers, has released its top five alt protein predictions for 2020.
The GFI gave some fascinating information to vegconomist last summer indicating that plant products are consistently outperforming their animal counterparts in every category, and also that plant-based meats will soon become more affordable than animal products.
The organisation now uses its insight to predict how this year will develop in terms of alt protein.
1. New plant-based and cultivated meat products
“From new breakfast items to plant-based jerky, bacon, and seafood, alternative proteins are now much more than just burgers. Options will continue to expand this year as the demand grows and new players get involved.”
“This year, we expect more companies and investors in legacy meat and seafood to capitalize on these growing opportunities and get involved. Expect more investment, more product rollouts, and more truly sustainable seafood in 2020!”
2. Innovative ingredients and enhanced flavors
The GFI thinks that producers will lean towards umami-rich foods in 2020. “I foresee more conventional flavors combined with raw materials that offer the umami flavors and compounds seen in cooked meat,” GFI food scientist MJ Kinney speculates. “That may include fermented plant products, yeast, and various mushrooms.”
3. A growing international market and increasing consumer demand
” Major industry partnerships have brought alternative protein products to more consumers than ever before and will continue to make products more accessible internationally.”
GFI senior consumer research scientist Keri Szejda said, “In multiple countries, survey research shows that prior familiarity with plant-based meat is the strongest predictor of purchase intent. Implicit testing indicates that taste is the strongest driver at the actual point of purchase.”
4. More private sector investments and opportunities
GFI business innovation specialist Blake Byrne observes, “In 2019 we strapped a rocket to demand for alternative proteins. In 2020 we will need to do the same, but this time on the supply side. Companies should increasingly focus on building manufacturing capacity and boosting product diversity.”
“Commercialization of new plant-based meat production methods like 3D printing, the increased use of microbial fermentation to enhance and produce plant-based foods, and the scaling up of cultivated meat production to at least a pilot scale, are all trends in the space that could attract investors.”
5. A greater need for public sector funding
GFI director of policy Jessica Almy notes, “Last year, both the U.S. House and Senate encouraged research on plant proteins in their agriculture appropriations reports. This year, we hope to see direct allocations of public funds for research that will benefit plant-based and cultivated meat. Publicly funded research will accelerate progress toward a healthy, sustainable, and just food.