Market & Trends

“Massive Growth” of Alt Protein Field in Israel as Total Investment Increases 8X Since 2018

©GFI Israel

According to a new GFI Israel study, the total investment in companies developing alt proteins in Israel has increased eightfold across the plant-based, cell-cultured and fermentation fields. The total of all investments in 2020 was almost three times higher than the previous year, with 154% annual growth (YOY).

As global investments in alt protein companies reached $3.1 billion in 2020 – three times higher than in 2019 – the GFI has identified Israel as playing a key role in the alt protein movement, with record-breaking numbers and capital investments reaching $114 million. Between 2018 and 2020 the total investment in companies developing alt proteins rocketed from $14 million in 2018 to $114 million in 2020.

Additionally, in 2020:

  • Plant-based meat, egg, and dairy companies received $77 million in investments.

  • Cultivated meat companies received $16 million.

  • Fermentation companies devoted to alternative proteins received $21 million.

  • Sales of plant-based products in Israel grew 13 times more than sales of animal-based products. 
Israel’s Prime Minister Tastes Aleph Farms Cultivated Steak (photographer Koby Gidon, Government Press Office (GPO))

Findings also recently revealed that the growth of the alt protein market in Israel was 13 times greater than that for animal products in 2020, with the Israeli alternative meat market growing by about 24% overall. The latest GFI report backs this up by revealing the “Massive growth” of the alt protein field when compared to other industries, with an average annual investment growth of 187% and a huge advantage over other leading high-tech industries in Israel.

Israel aims to position itself at the forefront of the global alt protein market, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu making a well-publicised trip to Aleph Farms’ facilities and becoming the first world leader to sample cell-cultured meat. In another example of the aforementioned investment, Israeli startup Chunk Foods last week raised $2 million in a pre-seed funding round to develop its fermentation technology to produce whole-muscle meat alternatives. Cell-cultured leader MeaTech also recently announced its $25 million IPO and Nasdaq listing, which you can read a vegconomist interview regarding here.

Chunk Foods
© Chunk Foods

“GFI Israel focuses on advancing alternative protein innovation in the “Startup Nation”. Israel is recognized as a world leader in agricultural research, tissue engineering, stem cell research and engineering and thus has emerged as a hub for alternative protein innovation and cultivated meat companies. Israel is ranked 2nd in the world (after the United States) in the number of fermentation companies (10) and cellular agriculture companies (9).

“As this industry is still in its infancy, we are expecting to see more emerging startups and bigger investments being made as mature companies scale up, in the coming years. Startups in Israel are no longer in a rush for an exit, and although their target market is in most cases overseas, they have learned to scale effectively and build global brands. This is why we see more and more tier 1 international investors active in Israel,” says Aviv Oren, Business Engagement Manager at GFI Israel.

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