Plant-based and cell-based investment skyrockets

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

Investment in meat alternatives has grown in the past two years
Investment in meat alternatives has grown in the past two years

Related tags plant-based

Investment in plant-based and cell-based meat alternative companies has grown significantly in the past two years, new research has shown.

Reports from the Good Food Institute revealed that more than US$16bn has been invested in US plant-based meat, egg, and dairy companies since 2009, including US$13bn in 2017 and 2018 alone.

It also found that 11 new cell-based meat companies were founded in 2018, bringing the total number of publicly announced companies to 27.

Executive director Bruce Friedrich said this growth was just the beginning. “Shifting consumer values have created a favorable market for alternatives to animal-based foods, and we have already seen fast-paced growth in this space across retail and foodservice markets.

“But we’re just at the beginning of tremendous growth period for both the plant-based and cell-based industries. Global meat demand is projected to double by 2050 and that capturing even a fraction of this burgeoning market would represent a massive opportunity for both plant-based and cell-based meat companies.”

In the report, Friedrich added that the real tipping point for the sector only came in the past decade.

“Although the US plant-based meat industry dates back to the 19th century, and several of today’s leading plant-based meat companies were established in the 1970s-90s, the market for plant-based meat has remained small and relatively stagnant until the past decade, with even more dramatic growth in the past few years.”

He cited innovation by Beyond Meats and Impossible Foods as the catalyst for the growth as well as investors recognising the viability of the sector.

“Investors [in plant-based businesses] include visionary tech entrepreneurs, VCs, accelerators, and multinational food conglomerates like Nestle, General Mills, and Danone. Several leaders in the conventional meat industry have also begun to invest in, acquire, and develop new plant-based meat products in-house, all while rebranding themselves as protein companies that aim to provide the most options to consumers.”

In June, GlobalMeatNews​ will host The Future of Plant-based Proteins Conference in Amsterdam. Featuring presentations from the European Plant-based Food Association, The Good Food Institute and Finnebrogue, it will discuss all elements of the plant-based sector. To book your place, click here​.

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