Modern-day vegans are increasingly turning to meat alternatives. The rise of flexitarianism is also creating a huge market for food products that look and taste like meat. The meat replacement market is expected to exceed $6 billion dollars globally by 2023 according to AustralianNews.com.
Food tech is big business, with small companies gaining from large investors like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos; experienced, wealthy business people who sense the change in attitudes towards environmental issues. The market is being driven by people concerned about environmental and animal welfare, but who are busy and want products that contain the protein, taste and look of the original animal products.
Companies like Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat and Gardein expand and grow whilst new innovations with cultured meat are coming to stores and restaurants in the near future, all clamouring to meet the global demand of meat substitution.
Ms Sukul Lee, a software engineer from New Zealand, told Australian News.com that she had had an “existential crisis” and decided in 2015 that she needed to change paths. She established Sunfed Foods, secured $10 million Series A funding in a round led by Australia’s Blackbird Ventures, and gathered a group of engineers to help her manufacture a product that was she describes as a “true alternative to meat”. Ms Sukul Lee was determined to create an animal-free product with the low carb, high protein nutritional benefits of meat, using the most simple and natural products possible. By 2017, her chicken-free chicken was flying off the shelves of New Zealand’s two biggest supermarkets and is set to launch in Australia by June, along with a beef-free burger.