What is next for alternative proteins? Strategies for engaging with consumers, enhancing nutrition and moving beyond nuggets, patties and sausage

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

Source: Getty/Thai Liang Lim
Source: Getty/Thai Liang Lim

Related tags alternative protein

The FoodNavigator-USA team is heading to Chicago next month to Future Food-Tech’s Alternative Proteins summit, where we will help lead discussions around overcoming obstacles facing plant-based and cultivated meat and seafood and help identify areas of whitespace for innovation.

Joining the FoodNavigator-USA team at Future Food-Tech Alternative ProteinsJune 17-18 in Chicago​ will be more than 700 founders, investors and food brands from 42 countries who are pioneering the alternative protein segment and who together will explore how protein diversification can help transform the future of food.

What do consumers want from alternative proteins?

Consumer Deep Dive (1) (2)

As part of a packed agenda, Senior Editor Elizabeth Crawford​ will moderate on June 18 the session – Consumer Deep Dive: Championing Strategies for Increased Acceptance and Adoption, during which a panel of experts will share strategies to increase awareness and education of the benefits of alternative proteins and explore how to improve transparent storytelling, marketing and consistent nomenclature to effectively influence dietary and behavior change.

Joining her will be Jo Lepore​, global director, foresight & capabilities exploration at McDonald’s; Suzi Gerber​, principal investigator, consumer behavior and ESG Investing at Tufts University; Thomas Brennan​, partner at McKinsey & Company; and Rob Morasco​, vice president, innovation, at Sodexo Campus.

Together they also will discuss:

  • What alternative protein products do consumers want to see on the shelves? How can the sector create trustworthy products that can compete with established incumbent food brands?
  • In what ways can the widespread adoption of alt proteins be positioned as an instrumental factor in achieving Net Zero commitments?
  • How can the sector leverage consumer segmentation, predictive analytics and big data to anticipate consumer preferences and needs to optimize pricing strategies and personalized recommendations?

A deep dive into the future of seafood

Transforming Seafood (1) (1)

FoodNavigator-USA Deputy Editor Deniz Ataman​ also will moderate on the main stage on June 17 the panel discussion Transforming Seafood: Overcoming Global Challenges to Mitigate a Fragile Supply Chain Through Tech and Innovation. The conversation will build on her ongoing coverage of the diversification of the seafood segment, including a merger between Umami Bioworks and Shiok Meats​ to scale cultivated seafood production and recent investments in plant-based seafood, including AQUA Cultured Foods and Oshi as well as innovations by Bettafish​, such as a tuna alternative made with seaweed and fava bean protein.

Joining her will be Lou Cooperhouse​, founder, president and CEO of BlueNalu; and Mihir Pershad​, CEO of Umami Bioworks.

They will explore:

  • What is the role of plant based and cultivated seafood in boosting the Blue Economy and building resilient seafood supply chains?
  • How can alternative seafood manufacturers ensure the consistent delivery of high-nutrient products to meet the growing demand for sustainable and nutritious protein sources?
  • What are some of the advances in nutritional feeding strategies that can result in healthier products in the future?
  • Considering the current and future challenges to our global seafood ecosystem, how can food technologies such as cultivated seafood provide a superior value proposition to both consumers and customers? How can the alt seafood sector utilize market feedback to further strengthen their product offering?

Where is there room for innovation?

Ryan Daily, FoodNavigator-USA

On June 18, FoodNavigator-USA Senior Correspondent Ryan Daily​ will explore what is next for alternative protein in her breakout: Moving Beyond Taste, Texture Mimicry: Why Alt Protein Needs To Innovate Outside the Analogues.

Many alternative protein products on the market currently mimic their animal-based counterparts, but as the market for patties, nuggets and grounds become saturated, industry players need to look beyond taste and texture parity and embrace one-of-a-kind flavor experiences that animal-based protein cannot deliver.

In Daily’s breakout, she will ask:

  • How alternative protein companies can find areas of whitespace innovation and create products that are not simply animal-based copycats?
  • What type of education will be needed for consumers to try and adopt a new product that they have never seen before?
  • What are the market risk and opportunities of creating a product that has never been seen before?
  • How alternative protein companies can build a business case for going beyond animal-based analogues to attract investors?

To provide answers and insights will be Miri Eliyahu​, senior research analyst – food & beverages at Euromonitor, Jamie Valenti-Jordan​, CEO at Catapult Commercialization Services, Fazeela Abdul Rashid​, partner at Revolution; and Elysabeth Alfano​, CEO at Vegtech Invest.

Learn more about the event and register at https://www.futurefoodtechprotein.com/​. 

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