Louis Dreyfus Co plans to enter plant protein market later this year with initial focus on North America

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Louis Dreyfus Company plant protein

Louis Dreyfus Company – a leading global agricultural commodity trader with interests in grains and oilseeds, coffee, cotton, juice, rice, sugar, and freight - plans to enter the plant-based protein market later this year.

Unveiling an R&D center and pilot plant in the San Francisco Bay area dedicated to plant proteins with a dedicated team composed of business developers, researchers and engineers, chief strategy officer Thomas Couteaudier said the plan is to launch a “range of non-GMO plant protein isolates by the end of 2022, with an initial focus on North America.”

CEO Michael Gelchie added: “As part of our strategic growth plans to move further downstream and diversify revenue through more value-added products, we see an opportunity to participate in the rapidly-growing plant-based foods market through plant protein extraction and food and beverage application formulation, leveraging our existing origination and industrial capabilities.”

The firm, an investor in foodtech startup Motif FoodWorks - which has a focus on the alternative meat and dairy space - said the new Plant Proteins business will be managed by Dr. Manoj Kumar, LDC’s VP for Plant Proteins, supervising a team of experts based in California.

The facility inaugurated today is a critical foundation for the new business, supporting its R&D and commercial program. It will serve as a laboratory and pilot plant to develop products, validate their technical and commercial value, and build know-how for future applications​,” said Dr. Kumar.

Asked what plant proteins would launch first, and where they would be processed, a spokesperson told FoodNavigator-USA: "LDC’s short-term goal is to enter the plant protein ingredients market – with an initial focus on North America – with a couple of non-GMO protein isolates products that we will announce in due course."

The spokesperson added: "Leveraging our existing origination and industrial capabilities is a key component in our objective to deliver first class products to our customers. We are exploring different avenues in this sense, notably with regard to geographic presence, sourcing and supply chain expertise and networks, industrial capabilities and resources, as well as commercial relations."

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