VEGAN CONNECT _ JAN 30, 2023
Roberto Guerra, Vegan & Alt-Protein Business Developer of Singular Foods.
There has been lots of talk these days of the “hype” around plantbased foods. A recent Bloomberg article discusses how “fake meat is just another fad,” narrowly focusing on the two most popular vegan meat brands, Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, and how both have experienced some difficulties in the United States, as if this represented the entire industry throughout the globe.
According to a 2022 report, the majority of those in the US who consume plantbased alternatives to meat are younger and do not identify as vegans or vegetarians, while the same appears to be true in Europe. This suggests the plantbased foods industry is much more than just a fad or centered on a niche group.
While it is true that plantbased growth has slowed in some parts of the world, and some alt-protein companies may have been overvalued, this does not suggest an overall decline. With the inevitability of more innovation, investment, increasing consumer demand, and more competition within the sector, taste will only improve, prices will continue to fall, variety will increase, and the outdated notion that this was «only a fad» may be regarded with intrigue and even stimulate some chuckles among younger generations in the years to come.
Plantbased investment is about more than just profit
But beyond the potential for long term financial gain, a key motivator for investing in the plantbased sector can be existential more than monetary.
Animal agriculture is the leading driver of Amazon rainforest deforestation, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists and Our World in Data. It also represents between 14.5% and 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization and University of Oxford, respectively.
At a time of increasing heatwaves and droughts in many parts of the world, leading to the drying up of important rivers and the melting of mountain glaciers that entire civilizations rely on for water, it takes about 5,000 gallons of water to produce just one pound of beef, according to Harvard Environmental Law Review.
Despite the facts stated above, and even though a UN report has urged citizens around the globe to reduce their intake of animal products to mitigate our overall environmental impact and contribution to increasing temperatures, meat consumption continues to increase around the world.
Convincing a significant percentage of the global population to replace meat with whole plantbased foods has proven to be an ineffective strategy, while promoting delicious plantbased substitutes to the most popular animal products appears to be a more realistic way to create change.
That’s where every penny put into the plantbased alternatives sector really makes a difference, an investment that may indeed fatten our wallets, but most importantly, fatten our chances of a liveable future on this planet.
Investing in Food Innovation for the Future
Singular Foods is invested in changing the way we think about food. Either by bringing attention to the burgeoning food innovation sector by way of our business events, our Tast-In and Mycelium food design labs, or our food consulting services, we are actively working to help the food sector adapt to the need for food system change and evolving consumer demands.
If you are a plantbased startup or are seeking ways for your food company to enter the plantbased market, contact us at email@example.com.