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Alternative proteins receive substantial public investment, yet conventional meat remains dominant

Alternative proteins receive substantial public investment, yet conventional meat remains dominant alternative protein, alternative proteins, fish and savoury ingredients, Innovation and NPD, Market Trends, meat, Proteins, Sustainability Food and Beverage Business

The alternative protein sector is experiencing significant growth with increasing investment. However, a recent study has revealed that traditional meat still dominates, both in terms of funding and the overall economic environment.

The Good Food Institute (GFI) predicts a bright future for the alternative protein sector, despite a 33% decrease in growth in 2022. Considered ESG aligned, firms in this sector are estimated to possess a collective $113bn (€105bn) in funds yet to be invested. These funds could be potential investments in alternative proteins.

The GFI’s latest report, “State of the Industry Report: Cultivated Meat and Seafood,” focuses on cultivated meat. The report highlights numerous investments made by venture capital firms in the cultivated meat sector. For instance, Big Idea Ventures closed 36 deals in 2022, 14 of which involved cultivated meat companies. In total, $896 million was invested in cultivated meat in 2022, accounting for a third of all investments.

A study conducted by Stanford University, published in “One Earth,” examines the meat and alternative protein sectors between 2014 and 2020. The study reveals that public funding for animal agriculture exceeds that for new technologies aimed at developing animal analogues by factors of 800 in the US and 1,200 in the European Union. Additionally, trade and non-profit organizations spend more on lobbying for animal agriculture than for cultivated meat, with factors of three in the EU and 190 in the US.

Despite the increasing investment in alternative proteins, traditional animal agriculture continues to receive the majority of funding and support. Governments even provide incentives for farmers to be less risk-averse, further favoring traditional agriculture practices. Animal agriculture lobby groups play a significant role in influencing the market, ensuring low meat prices, and introducing regulations that limit the labeling of dairy substitutes and sustainability-related language on dietary guidelines.

It is essential for the food and beverage industry to stay updated with trends in food manufacturing, food processing technology, food distribution, and food and drink regulations. Innovation, sustainability, and consumer trends are all crucial factors that drive the industry’s growth. Effective marketing and packaging strategies are also vital in capturing consumer interest and loyalty.

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