The Lancet

© The Lancet

Health

Media Wildly Misrepresents Findings of UPF Study in The Lancet to Slander Plant-Based Foods

Earlier this week, a study was published in The Lancet examining the health impacts of plant-sourced ultra-processed foods (UPFs). The results showed that while unprocessed plant-based foods decrease cardiovascular disease risk, ultra-processed plant-sourced foods may have the opposite effect. However, the study has attracted a slew of misleading coverage from mainstream media outlets, with some articles giving the impression that the UPFs in the study were predominantly meat alternatives. For example, a clickbait headline in The Telegraph falsely declared “Vegans are slowly killing themselves”, with the subheading “There’s nothing healthy about ultra-highly processed fake ‘meat’ products”. Unsurprisingly, the writer of the article is a dairy farmer. In reality, plant-based meats represented just 0.2% of the diets of the study participants, while foods such as packaged …

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Dig Insights report
Market & Trends

Report Reveals How Brands Can Capitalize on Plant-Based Protein Trends in 2024

The Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) and The Good Food Institute (GFI) recently conducted a comprehensive survey to examine consumer attitudes and behaviors toward plant-based proteins. The survey, which included 1,500 Americans aged 18-65, was carried out in late 2023. The results, compiled into a detailed report by Dig Insights, provide valuable insights into the current landscape, health perceptions, and barriers within the plant-based protein market. Current Landscape According to market analysts, the plant-based protein market has experienced consistent YOY growth and is projected to continue at a CAGR of 8.6% until 2034. Despite this, many consumers remain unfamiliar with plant-based proteins, suggesting a large potential market waiting to be tapped. While veganism initially boosted the popularity of plant-based diets, non-vegan consumers now incorporate plant-based …

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Foodsteps automated life cycle assessment tool

© Foodsteps

Sustainability / Environment

Foodsteps & GFI Launch Automated Life Cycle Assessment Tool for Alt Proteins

Foodsteps, a UK startup helping companies calculate and label their carbon footprint, has partnered with the Good Food Institute to launch an automated life cycle assessment (LCA) tool for alternative protein products. Previously, a lack of robust, standardized data for alternative proteins has made it difficult and expensive for the industry to commission LCAs. But the new tool makes it simple for companies to assess the impact of their products, from agricultural stage to factory gate. The free version of the software measures impact across five areas — greenhouse gas emissions, land use, water use, eutrophication, and acidification. A premium version with additional features is also available, allowing businesses to make substantiated, credible claims about the environmental impact of their alternative protein products. If a …

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SuperMeat's chicken cell line process meets Kosher meat Mehadrin standards

The Chicken @ SuperMeat

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

New GFI Report Reveals Current Trends in Cultivated Meat Production & Scaling

The Good Food Institute has released a new report, Trends in Cultivated Meat Scale-Up and Bioprocessing, that provides valuable insights into the production of cultivated meat. The report summarizes the findings of a comprehensive 2023 survey of 30 cultivated meat companies and equipment providers, which was conducted to uncover trends in equipment and material usage, production facilities, food safety, and scaling strategies. The following are the key findings of GFI’s survey. The complete report can be found here. Production facilities and sustainability Many companies are planning and building their first pre-pilot or pilot-scale production facilities to gain regulatory approval. 24 respondents revealed they use existing warehouses as facilities, while others are repurposing or building greenfield facilities. 14 out of 24 companies are either planning or have already made plans to …

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GFI 2023 State of the Industry Reports

Image by Cultivated X

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

2023 GFI Reports: Cultivated Meat and Fermentation Industries Growing Despite Drop in Investments

The Good Food Institute has released the 2023 State of the Industry Reports for the alt protein industry. These annual reports provide a global analysis of each sector’s commercial landscape, investments, scientific progress, and government and regulatory developments. The following are the top highlights in cultivated meat and fermentation for 2023, providing an overview of the key developments in these industries. The complete reports can be found here. Cultivated Meat Investments Cultivated meat and seafood companies raised $225.9 million globally in 2023, bringing the total (since 2013) to $3.1 billion.  $225.9 million is a fraction of the investments in technologies to reduce emissions and address climate goals like renewable energy.  However, investments in the sector were significantly lower than the $922.3 million capital injection of …

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GFI state of the industry report plant-based

© GFI

Market & Trends

GFI’s 2023 Industry Report Highlights Dynamics and Challenges in Plant-Based Sector

The Good Food Institute (GFI) has released its comprehensive 2023 State of the Industry Report, providing valuable insights into the plant-based food sector, which encompasses plant-based meats, seafood, eggs, and dairy. This year’s report reveals a dynamic industry landscape marked by both growth and setbacks amid fluctuating global markets and consumer trends. Here are the key insights from the report.  Market dynamic and consumer trends The industry saw a slight contraction in the US, with total retail sales of plant-based foods dipping to $8.1 billion from $8.2 billion in 2022. Data from SPINS, commissioned by the Good Food Institute and the Plant Based Foods Association, shows a decline in the US retail sales of plant-based meats both in terms of dollars (down 12 percent) and …

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Cell scaffolding at NUS

© National University of Singapore

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

A Deep Dive into the Role of 3D Scaffolds as the Building Blocks for Cultivated Meat

In addition to scaling and cost hurdles, cultivated meat production faces the unique challenge of developing final products that meet the consumer’s expectations of conventional animal-based meat, including larger pieces akin to whole cuts. However, most prototypes are made from ground meat and do not look exactly like whole cuts. Why is this the case? 3D scaffolds Companies in the space are experimenting with 3D structures or scaffolds to recreate the structure and taste of animal tissue to make complex products such as steaks, filets, and even burgers. In animals, the extracellular matrix (ECM), a structure made of proteins and carbohydrates, supports the cells and guides them in their growth journey: differentiation and tissue development to make the different organs and body parts. Scaffolds for …

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Future of Foods interview Laine Clark

© Future of Foods

People

Future of Foods Podcast: Laine Clark, Corporate Engagement Manager at the Good Food Institute

Alex Crisp of the Future of Foods podcast here interviews Laine Clark, Innovation and Corporate Engagement Manager at the Good Food Institute about trends in investments across the different sectors of alt protein including precision fermentation, plant-based, and cultivated meat. Laine sees a positive future for the sector, believing that for the sake of the future, “it has to succeed”. She stresses that alternative proteins are a nascent industry, and when asked if this is a bubble, Laine stresses, “No, this is definitely not a blip or a bubble. And the reason it’s not is that we have to shift the food system. It’s just not sustainable. “And the hype around the burst bubble, I think is just that – it’s hype – it makes …

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A cultivated chicken product

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Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Cultivated Meat Struggles to Gain Traction Among Consumers, Survey Finds

A recent Statista Consumer Insights survey has revealed that cultivated meat still struggles to gain widespread acceptance among consumers worldwide.  The survey, which included 2,000 to 10,000 adults aged 18 to 64 per country from January to December 2023, shows a varying willingness to try cultivated meat. According to the findings, in India, for example, one in five respondents expressed interest in trying cultivated meat, while only 9% of those surveyed in France showed interest in this new food concept.   In the UK, where, as reported by Good Food Institute Europe, at least 23 cultivated meat companies are working to develop slaughter-free meat, 17% of respondents said they were interested in trying it. Similarly, in the United States, where two different cultivated chicken products have …

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Growthwell Foods

©Growthwell Foods

Studies & Numbers

Report Finds Surprising Attitudes to Plant-Based Meat in Southeast Asia

A report commissioned by GFI APAC and conducted by the Good Growth Co. has studied consumer attitudes to plant-based meat in six Southeast Asian countries — Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. Unlike in many Western countries, only a small percentage of consumers (21% on average) said they were looking to reduce their meat consumption. In fact, almost a quarter of participants wanted to eat more meat. However, the consumers who ate the most meat were also the most enthusiastic about plant-based alternatives, while those who consumed less meat were more skeptical about plant-based products. This indicates that, unlike in the West, consumers are looking to diversify their protein consumption rather than replace meat. High levels of awareness 44% of participants said they …

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© GOURMEY and Romain Buisson

Politics & Law

Italian Cultivated Meat Ban Could Be “Unenforceable” Due to Violation of EU Scrutiny Procedure

The European Commission has said that Italy violated an EU scrutiny procedure by banning cultivated meat without allowing other member states or the Commission itself to give their views. The Italian government first proposed the ban in March of last year, citing a lack of studies on the effects of cultivated meat. In October, it was revealed that a draft law proposing the ban had been withdrawn from EU scrutiny, along with another bill to restrict the use of meat-like terms on plant-based product packaging. The controversial bills were then passed by the Italian Chamber of Deputies in November. According to the European Commission, the draft laws should have been subjected to the TRIS procedure, which is intended to prevent national parliaments from passing bills …

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The Good Food Institute has released two white papers that explore the potential of alternative seafood.

© The Good Food Institute

Studies & Numbers

New GFI Alt Seafood Reports: Meeting the Global Demand for Seafood Without Depleting the Oceans

The Good Food Institute (GFI) has released two white papers that delve into the potential of alternative seafood to meet the increasing global seafood demand while achieving the world’s climate and biodiversity goals.  With seafood production projected to grow by 14% from 2020 to 2030, traditional fishing and aquaculture will impact the oceans and the environment severely, threatening biodiversity and marine habitats, argues GFI. However, plant-based and cultivated seafood have the potential to mitigate GHG emissions and also address other global challenges, such as biodiversity loss, nutrition, public health, and food security. GFI’s new research reports shed light on how policymakers, researchers, and ocean advocates can advance alternative seafood. Building climate policy momentum for alternative seafood This white paper explores how plant-based and cultivated seafood …

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© Tofurky

Politics & Law

Tofurky Continues Pushback on Alternative Meat Censorship Laws in the United States

In recent months, a growing discussion has emerged in the United States surrounding the enforcement of alternative meat censorship laws. These laws, designed to regulate the labeling of plant-based and cultivated meat products, have faced legal challenges from advocacy groups and plant-based food companies, with Tofurky, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), and the Good Food Institute (GFI) taking the lead in opposing them. In Texas, the governor signed a labeling law for plant-based and cultivated meat in May. This law, which went into effect on September 1, 2023, mandates that products resembling traditional animal-derived items are prominently labeled with their nature as plant-based or lab-grown. Tofurky, represented by ALDF and GFI, has filed a legal challenge against this law, arguing that its requirements are …

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A tray with vegan steak skewers

© Chunk Foods

Studies & Numbers

Report: US Purchasers of Plant-Based Meat Spend $400 More and Visit Restaurants 30X More Than Average Consumer

Among several key highlights, a new GFI report on the performance of plant-based proteins in US foodservice in 2022 shows that consumers who purchase plant-based meat spend approximately $400 more than the average consumer and make over 30 more visits to cafes and restaurants.  According to the report, these engaged foodservice customers are vegans, vegetarians, flexitarians, and meat-eaters looking to replicate the animal-meat experience with sustainable options. The report says that younger (18-24) male and Black, Hispanic, and Asian consumers are more likely to purchase plant-based meat in restaurants than the average consumer, mirroring customer segmentation trends in retail. Besides plant-based meat; plant-based chicken, pork, and seafood sales have experienced significant growth since 2019 and continue to capture larger shares of the overall plant-based protein …

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A cultivated meat hamburger

© Mosa Meat

Cultivated Meat

World’s First Cultivated Beef Burger Marks Tenth Anniversary

This week marks ten years since Dr. Mark Post (CSO and co-founder of Mosa Meat) and his team unveiled the world’s first cultivated beef burger, which took over two years to develop and cost €250,000. The burger, created by growing stem cells from cows, was showcased at a tasting event in London on the 5th of August, 2013.  To celebrate this watershed moment in food history, the Good Food Institute has shared some of the most significant milestones of the cultivated meat industry on its path to becoming a reality. Ten years later “Cultivated meat is very much a European innovation. Its foundations were laid by French and Dutch scientists, and this week marks ten years since the Netherlands’ Dr. Mark Post traveled to London …

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A pasta dish with mycoprotein

© Quorn

Studies & Numbers

GFI Report: Europe Holds Potential to Lead in Fermentation-Derived Food Production

Europe has the potential to become a world leader in sustainable food production since the continent holds nearly 50% of the global fermentation capacity, says a new report released by the Good Food Institute (GFI) and Integration Consulting. According to the report, of 89 companies located worldwide, 47% are in Europe and 34% in the USA — 48 are producers with in-house manufacturing capabilities and 41 are food-exclusive CMOs (not pharma or industrial). The global fermentation-derived product manufacturing capacity is approximately 16 million liters to produce ingredients for meat, seafood, and dairy alternatives. The Fermentation — A Global Climate Solution report explores and analyses the growing mycelium and microbial fermentation sector and provides businesses and governments with insights on production challenges and alternative food developments to replace animal agriculture. Carlotte Lucas, senior corporate engagement manager at the …

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GOOD Meat & Chef José Andrés debut cultivated chicken dish in historic US first-sale

Image courtesy of GOOD Meat

Protein

GFI 2022 State of Global Policy Report: Policymakers Urged to Increase Funding for Alternative Proteins

The Good Food Institute (GFI) has released its annual State of Global Policy report covering the landscape of public investment, support, and regulations of plant-based, cultivated, and fermented foods in 2022, including global highlights from the first six months of 2023. Governments, understanding the positive impact that alternative proteins can have on the environment, economy, and food security, have invested and implemented policies that impact the alt protein industry’s development necessary to feed a growing population on a planet with limited resources.  The report’s most significant findings are summarized here. Global public support for alt proteins Public funding for alternative proteins increased significantly worldwide, with governments doubling their investments in 2022 alone, reaching a total of $635 million: approximately $180 million in R&D, $290 million in commercialization, …

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New Culture pizza slice

© New Culture

Politics & Law

White House Report Names Precision Fermentation as Key Part of Expanding US “Bioworkforce”

The White House has released a new report, “Building the Bioworkforce of the Future”, detailing the Biden-Harris Administration’s plans to expand US biomanufacturing capacity and infrastructure. In the report, the administration specifically names precision fermentation as a major area of focus for the emerging bioeconomy.  In 2022, President Biden signed Executive Order 14081, which directed the US government to increase training and education opportunities for all Americans in biotechnology and biomanufacturing. The new “Bioworkforce” report builds on this and additional reports, while also including input from stakeholders across government, business, education, and community-based organizations. The report identifies three major sectors of the emerging bioeconomy: Biomedical, Agricultural, and Bioindustrial.  Under “Agricultural”, the White House lists “Food ingredients made with precision fermentation” as a key component of …

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GOOD Meat chicken breast

GOOD Meat chicken breast © Eat Just

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Cultivated Chicken Approved for Sale to US Consumers: Industry Figures Respond

This week, as the majority of vegconomist readers will be aware, the USDA gave final approval to both UPSIDE Foods and Eat Just’s GOOD Meat division, for the sale of their novel foods to US consumers under the label cell-cultivated chicken. This regulatory approval means that the public should be able to order slaughter-free chicken within weeks. The restaurant selected for launch by UPSIDE is Bar Crenn in San Francisco, a restaurant owned by the three Michelin-star chef Dominique Crenn. And renowned restaurateur Chef José Andrés, owner of José Andrés Group, which operates more than 30 restaurants, will be the first in the country to serve GOOD Meat’s cultivated chicken at a yet-to-be-disclosed restaurant in Washington DC. Here’s what the GFI, ProVeg, and Meatable have to say …

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a graphic of a brown cow and a mark on its back that measures the wound inflicted to take a live cells sample

© Mosa Meat

Cultivated Meat

GFI Report Highlights Challenges of Sourcing Cell Lines for Cultivated Meat

The latest GFI cultivated meat report offers insights into cell line availability, desired qualities, sourcing issues, regulatory hurdles, and religious certifications — all challenges cultivated meat manufacturers face since there are very few commercial cell lines available. GFI experts conducted an industry-wide survey to address the lack of publicly available data on cell lines in the cultivated meat industry. They analyzed answers from 44 companies, providing “a first-of-its-kind portrait” of the progress, preferences, and hurdles of the industry as it seeks to scale up. “A deep dive into the companies’ responses also illuminates a regrettable reality: There is almost certainly significant duplication of effort with similar species, cell types, and product characteristics being pursued by many companies, and cell line development largely being conducted through resource-intensive …

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