China Food

Summarizing the new trend of alternative protein in 2022, what opportunities are there to pay attention to?

plant-based boom continues to heat up. What new trends will the alternative protein Market usher in in in 2022?
In the nearly three years of COVID-19’s seesaw battle, great changes have taken place both in the social environment and in every individual’s conscious habits and lifestyle.
In the post epidemic era, the health awareness of global consumers has reached an unprecedented new height, and began to expand health concerns from human beings to the whole ecology, exploring how to build a sustainable dynamic balance between man and the earth.
According to the innova Market Research Report, “one earth” ranks first among the top ten consumption trends in the global food and beverage industry in 2021. Many brands and consumers have said that they have begun to take actions to protect the environment and achieve sustainability.
On the other hand, in recent years, it has been found that the carbon emissions brought by the development of animal husbandry have a great impact on the environment. According to the prediction of the United Nations, with the continuous growth of population, the global population will increase from about 8 billion today to 10 billion in 2050, of which the vast majority of population growth will come from developing countries. This means that there is still a huge food supply challenge for the global population of 2 billion to 6 billion people, especially for the current food supply, which means that there is still a huge demand for food in 2050.
In order to better solve the problems of environment and resources and strive to maintain the balance between man and nature, it is necessary to have a new way of protein supply to reshape the existing global protein supply system and become an important part of the new protein supply system. As a result, alternative protein made a grand debut under this background and quickly became the optimal solution unanimously recognized by capital, brand and market.
The so-called alternative protein is a general term, which can be divided into microbial protein, cell protein, insect protein and plant protein according to different raw materials. Among them, the consumer education level of plant protein is the highest and the market share is the largest. In recent years, the alternative protein industry has continued to benefit, the relevant technologies have developed rapidly, and the consumer market has continued to expand. According to Euromonitor data, the global meat substitute market will be valued at US $19.5 billion in 2021, and the annual compound growth rate is expected to be 6.8% ~ 9.4% by 2025.
So, what are the new trends of alternative protein track in 2022? What growth opportunities can many players inside and outside the field seize?
For this reason, ADM, green queen, good food institute, business insider, Forbes and proveng incubator have given unique trend prediction based on rich industry experience and keen insight into the consumer market.
FDL digital food advocates to analyze, sort out and summarize the seven trends of alternative protein in 2022 based on the opinions given by the above authorities, and looks forward to helping readers and food practitioners in the industry better understand the new development trend of the track.
Picture production: FDL digital food proposition
Trend 1: new generation protein
At present, in addition to the more active raw materials in the formula of common alternative protein products such as peas, oats, seeds, nuts and grains, more and more brands are exploring and developing new sources of protein, trying to bring more efficient, more yuan and better solutions to the market.
Up to now, there have been cases of protein production from volcanic microorganisms, algae / microalgae, insects and even air. These new generation proteins have either achieved laboratory success or have been commercialized and officially put on the consumer table.
In addition, the research of fair Initiative (farm animal investment risk and return) shows that although the current discussion on protein transformation mainly focuses on the selection of plant proteins, with the rise of other protein technologies, more new proteins are expected to change the current market pattern in the next few years. At the same time, an analysis by at Kearney (Kearney management consulting) also mentioned that by 2040, traditional meat will account for only 40% of the global meat supply, while plant meat will account for 25%, and the remaining 35% will be occupied by other artificial meat.
L volcanic microorganisms:
Nature’s fynd from the United States is a biotechnology and product developer, focusing on the research and development of innovative protein fermentation technology, which aims to artificially “feed” advanced protein microorganisms in common food ingredients (such as starch or glycerol) to enable them to reproduce rapidly.
Source: foodnavigator
At present, nature’s fynd is developing a protein “FY protein” made from fungi collected in the hot spring of Yellowstone National Park ™”, It has been successfully used in breakfast pie and cream cheese to realize the commercialization of the product. The so-called “FY protein” ™” It is a kind of fungal protein rich in nutrition and a high-quality protein with complete amino acid composition. It contains 9 kinds of essential amino acids, and the protein content is 50% higher than that of tofu.
At the same time, the advantages of the protein are also reflected in the major breakthrough and progress in fermentation technology. It is reported that the production of this protein has reduced 99% of land use, 94% of greenhouse gas emissions and 99% of water use compared with traditional protein. Therefore, the product can be called a truly environmentally friendly, healthy and nutritious plant-based protein.
L algae / microalgae:
Yemoja, Ltd. from Israel is a start-up company of marine raw materials. It has developed a “blood” vegetarian hamburger using the formula of red microalgae. The formula imitates the red plasma and texture of real meat, provides real and realistic juicy taste for vegetarian meat, and emits meat aroma after cooking.
Its raw material comes from marine red microalgae, which is harmless to animals and the environment, and does not need to add artificial additives. Its protein content is 20% – 30%, and contains complete essential amino acids. It not only has clean ingredients, but also provides additional nutrition. The raw material “crimson algae” used in the formula grows in an indoor high-precision photobioreactor, has a natural and clean label, and 100% comes from plants. As a substitute for heme, it can be used in the cultivation of meat and plant substitute meat industry.
Source: meatoultry
L air:
Finnish start-up solar foods has developed a protein extracted from the air. It is understood that this new air protein called “solein” is inspired by NASA, which is based on the culture of gas fermentation (the reaction between enzyme and carbon dioxide in the air). Solar foods said that solein uses carbon capture technology to extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, combines it with a small amount of water and nutrients, and uses 100% solar energy to obtain a new raw material free from the constraints of cultivated land and climate through natural fermentation, with a protein content of nearly 50%.
At present, solein, which has the same amino acid characteristics as animal protein, is sold in powder form and can be used to make a variety of products from hamburgers to pasta to cereals.
Source: dezeen
Trend 2: alternative dairy products continue to expand
With the increase of global consumers’ demand for high-quality diet such as environmental protection and health, and the continuous expansion of people with milk allergy and lactose intolerance, the rapid development of alternative dairy products market is further promoted. According to the data of Grandview research, in 2020, the global dairy substitute market was US $20.5 billion. It is expected that the market will continue to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.5% from 2021 to 2028.
On the other hand, the application of precision fermentation in the substitute protein industry has gradually matured, which has also become a strong driving force for the growth of substitute dairy products. In 2021, when brave robot ice cream made of whey protein fermented by perfect day was launched in retailers across the United States, consumers ATE products made by precision fermentation technology for the first time.
With the great success of the “first intimate contact” between consumers and precision fermented dairy products, this alternative dairy product has blossomed everywhere in the market in the past year and jumped to the popular category in a short time. On the market, many brands including naturli ‘, turtle tree and Starbucks have launched relevant alternative dairy products.
Biomilq, headquartered in North Carolina, is working hard to develop human breast milk substitutes from stem cells, hoping to provide a healthier, efficient and novel solution for families who can’t get enough breast milk for their babies.  
No dairy products on the capital side also ushered in the spring and was promoted to “Xiangmo” in the eyes of capital. Recently, remilk, an animal free dairy company, completed a round B financing of US $120 million, led by HANACO ventures and followed by CPT capital, intercap, ourcrown and other institutions. It is reported that this round of funds will be used to expand the production scale of animal protein-free products. Previously, in September 2021, forMo announced that it had completed a round of financing of US $50 million, led by EQT ventures and followed by elevat3 capital and lowercarbon capital. ForMo said it would use the new funds to establish pilot plants to accelerate the commercial production of precision fermented cheese and expand its scientific research team.
From rice, almonds and marijuana to soybeans and cashew nuts, the market is now full of alternative dairy products with various raw materials. In 2022, a brand-new product – potato milk came into the sight of consumers.
The potato based dairy beverage comes from the Swedish brand Dug, which claims that the product can perfectly duplicate the foam and consistency of real butter. In addition, the sustainability and environmental protection effect of potato milk is more impressive than its pure competitors. This is because the land occupied by planting rhizome vegetables is half that of planting oats, and the water consumption is 56 times less than that of planting almonds.
In addition, potato milk contains the nutrients required by the human body, which does not contain 17 allergen raw materials, so it has more health benefits than other alternative dairy products and is more friendly to people with food allergies.
Source: foodingredientsfirst
Trend 3: artificial meat moves towards parity
In recent years, alternative protein start-ups striving for a share of the meat market have quickly entered the public eye with their efforts in many aspects, such as good taste, concept and health function. Now, as these enterprises begin to penetrate the market gradually, they begin to focus on the mainstream track and try to harvest more consumers through lower price advantage.
Zak Weston, an analyst at the good food institute, said that at present, sales of meat substitutes account for about 1% of the total meat market, and price, taste and health efficacy are now key factors in these companies’ efforts to expand their consumer base. Among them, the price factor is particularly important. Lower prices allow these products to be compared and have more opportunities to stand in front of consumers. If products cannot reach a certain price point, it means that these products cannot even enter most stores and consumers cannot buy them.
Donald Mackley, an analyst at belenberg in New York, predicted that the retail price of artificial meat would fall to the same level as that of real meat within two to three years. In addition, investors in the alternative protein industry also expect that the production cost of artificial meat will decline sharply in the next few years. People will be surprised to find that while the cost of artificial meat is compressed so fast, the efficiency is significantly improving.
Source: greenqueen
In this regard, the well-known artificial meat brand beyond meat announced in 2021 that its brand goal is to have at least one product category at the same price as real meat by 2024. CEO Ethan Brown said that in order to achieve this goal, the company developed fully integrated production facilities to reduce labor and logistics costs.
In the same year, the American plant burger company imposible Foods announced that it would reduce its burger Patty by 20% based on the recommended retail price in the United States. Coincidentally, future meat technologies, an Israeli start-up, also announced that it had successfully cultured chicken breast meat made from real chicken cells from a bioreactor for $7.50.
Trend 4: diversification of plant-based products
Entering 2022, we found that plant-based products began to show a trend of gradual diversification, and quickly gained a firm foothold in major sub circuits.
In terms of varieties, it is not only the original common plant minced meat, but now more high-end plant-based products such as full cut steak and meat pieces can be seen on the shelves. At the same time, in addition to vegetable beef and pork, new products such as Shanghai fresh food, chicken and eggs are also emerging one after another, and products with the word “seafood” are increasing rapidly.
According to the relevant data of the good food institute, the total investment in alternative seafood reached a record US $116 million in the first half of 2021, exceeding the total investment in 2020. At present, more than 87 companies use plants, microorganisms and animal cells to produce seafood substitutes, and the world’s leading plant-based manufacturers are expanding their seafood SKUs.
It is worth mentioning that the survey of proveng incubator shows that in the plant-based track, alternative eggs have become one of the fastest-growing products, and brands are beginning to be optimistic about the potential of plant-based and fermentation derived egg ingredients in improving the taste of artificial meat products.
At the same time, according to Forbes’ observation, some brands began to devote themselves to cultivating expensive and high-grade food substitute products in the traditional food market, designing substitute meat that is more ethical or endangered and other rare animals, such as goose liver, flower glue, zebra, etc., and expect to meet the appetite of gourmets in the form of these substitute meat while contributing to the environment and ecology.
In addition to the diversification of varieties and categories, many plant-based brands have even stepped into more subdivided product tracks based on the needs of people recently. For example, plant-based foods designed for people in different countries based on their own cultural traditions; Another example is to launch products based on children and office workers that meet their physical and sensory needs. These products either attract children through interesting tastes, lovely colors and shapes, or meet the busy people through high convenience.
L seafood:
Tyson’s brand new wave Foods announced in March 2021 that it would launch its plant-based alternative shrimp new wave raw shrimp in catering companies and restaurants across the United States. It is reported that this product is made of mung beans, seaweed and other plant ingredients. It can be roasted, roasted, fried, fried and roasted like ordinary shrimp. In addition to being pure, gluten free and non genetically modified, this product is also very suitable for people with shrimp and shellfish allergies.
Source: foodnavigator
L eggs:
Yo egg, a start-up company from Israel, created a 100% plant-based egg replacement product using its own unique ingredients. Like traditional eggs, yo egg’s products are composed of “protein” and “egg yolk”. They contain the same beneficial nutrients as eggs, and do not contain cholesterol and risk of Salmonella contamination.
According to yo egg, in the production process, the product uses molecular technology to combine proprietary ingredients to form “egg yolk” and “protein”. At present, the formula is applying for a patent.
Source: Galilee Culinary Institute
L convenience food:
This is a plant-based Ramen that looks and tastes like classic instant noodles. Adhering to the belief of “creating healthy and delicious instant ramen”, Isabel Khoo from Harvard Business School launched noodie, an instant noodle product developed with the latest cooking technology, rich in flavor and containing only vegetables.
It is reported that each package of noodie is equipped with a large number of kale, cabbage and broccoli. Each package contains up to 10-16 grams of plant protein, and the sodium content can be reduced by up to 75% compared with other brands. At the same time, the product pastry is made of Spirulina and wheat, and uses the latest non frying technology. You can enjoy convenient and healthy fast food by adding hot water and waiting for four minutes.
Source: foodbeast
Trend 5: technological innovation and integration
In 2022, with the continuous innovation of artificial meat technology and the continuous integration and deepening with other industry technologies, more and more new proteins from different sources will be mixed and matched, and the boundaries of various types of artificial meat will become more and more blurred. Today, we can see the introduction of cultured meat products mixed with plant protein ingredients to reduce costs and attract consumers seeking nutrients such as fiber. We can also see that plant meat products add artificial fat to improve sensory properties. For example, an imposible burger is a plant-based burger made from fermentation derived heme.
At the same time, we will also see the emergence of many innovative processes. The gradual maturity of precision fermentation technology makes the alternative dairy industry usher in explosive growth; Plant molecular agriculture (PMF) uses plants as the host of recombinant protein production to produce components that traditionally exist only in animal products; Advances in machine learning and data science also strongly support the development of new processes to produce products that mimic the taste and texture of animal products.
Source: foodinstitute
For example, climax foods develops machine intelligence tools to support product development; Culture Biosciences has developed a cloud based bioreactor that can generate simplified analysis results, enabling companies to more effectively test and expand their biological processes; Notco uses artificial intelligence to find new combinations of plant ingredients to replicate the taste of animal food.
Perfect day, founded by biological engineers Ryan Pandya and perumal Gandhi in 2014, relies on its expertise in bioengineering, food innovation and consumer products to develop next-generation products and realize commercialization or market expansion, so as to meet the increasing new needs of consumers and strongly support the road to a sustainable future.
At present, the company’s flagship product, the world’s first precision fermented protein, made its debut in 2020. It is a proprietary animal milk protein-free product that does not rely on cows but uses microbiota. It is reported that the product meets the ISO standard. Compared with the traditional production mode, it can save 99% of the use of water resources, reduce 97% of greenhouse gas emissions and 60% of the use of non renewable energy.
Source: greenqueen
Trend 6: investment in tuyere industry
With the gradual maturity of the alternative protein industry, more and more companies will enter the growth stage, which will also attract more capital into relevant tracks.
In the past 2021, 9 of the 10 largest financing in the global food and beverage field came from the field of alternative protein, with a total amount of more than US $2.6 billion. According to incomplete statistics, the global investment in alternative protein reached US $5 billion in 2021, with a year-on-year increase of nearly 60%.
Source: GFI APAC
Among them, future eat technologies from Israel received a record round B financing of US $347 million. A number of innovative enterprises, including impossible foods, eat just, motif foods, Aleph farms, nature’s fynd, perfect day, the every company, v2food and notco, also received capital investment of more than US $100 million in a single round of financing (most of which exceeded US $200 million).  
2022 is expected to usher in more IPOs and acquisitions in addition to institutional investors, as well as more and more investment in alternative protein related products in the name of individuals and celebrities.
Focusing on the Asia Pacific region, the year-on-year growth of alternative proteins was also strong, soaring from US $162 million in 2020 to US $312 million in 2021 (an increase of 92%). Among them, Singapore start-up next gen foods has attracted world attention with a record $30 million seed round financing.  
Source: GFI APAC
From another perspective, the investment data on alternative proteins over the past decade show another obvious trend: the share of North America in the total global investment is shrinking rapidly, while the influence of start-ups from the Asia Pacific region and other regions is increasing. In the past, North American companies once accounted for nearly 100% of global alternative protein investment, and now their share has fallen to two-thirds.
However, it is noteworthy that in recent years, the Chinese market has formed a sharp contrast with overseas markets, holding a more conservative and wait-and-see attitude towards alternative protein and plant meat capital, the overall activity structure is missing, and the main track is cold.
Trend 7: government and regulatory intervention
With the increasingly serious problems of resources and environment, more and more governments and social institutions began to pay attention to alternative protein as an important strategy for national development.
At present, governments around the world, including the European Union, Israel and Canada, have allocated more than $66 million for alternative protein research projects. These public funds for research are crucial to the rapid expansion of the industry. Entering 2022, it is expected that more public funds will be dedicated to solving high priority alternative protein infrastructure and research needs, which will benefit the whole industry.
At the same time, with the alternative protein track station on the tuyere, the relevant supervision institutions have also carried out deeper intervention one after another. Although many alternative protein startups are not ready to bring their innovative products to market, regulators around the world have begun to lay out relevant standard measures. Especially in the United States, USDA and the cell culture meat industry are communicating and negotiating on what terminology they will use, labeling requirements and other market rules.
It is worth noting that although the government seems to have a positive attitude towards alternative proteins, the current policy is still uncertain, so the incoming players need to be more cautious in assessing the risks and do not be overly optimistic.
Source: creatingabilities
General Secretary Xi once pointed out: “people’s food needs are more diversified, which requires us to change our ideas, establish the concept of big agriculture and big food, ask for heat and protein from cultivated land, grassland, forest and ocean, plants, animals and microorganisms, and develop food resources in an all-round and multi-way.”
The proposal of “big food concept” has created a favorable political environment for the development of the Chinese market of alternative protein and brought new vitality and dawn to this arduous track. At the same time, judging the market from the perspective of sustainability, alternative protein will eventually become the general trend of changes in the food market.
However, due to the multiple constraints of technology, culture, eating habits and social environment, it is difficult to replace protein at home. The core reason is that the alternative protein has always been unable to find the particularity or irreplaceable that really takes root in the market and moves consumers.
How can the vast blue ocean market of alternative protein take the lead in gaining a firm foothold while taking advantage of the favorable prospect? Solving the kernel problem may be the key to breaking the game.
reference material:
1、Good Food Institute,The top 7 alternative protein trends to watch for in 2022
2、green queen,12 Alt Protein Trends To Watch: Green Queen’s 2022 Industry Predictions
3、Archer Daniels Midland,New Report Highlights Top 7 Emerging Trends in Alternative Protein
4、businessinside,8 vegan and alt-meat food trends you won’t be able to escape this year
5、forbes,Trends In Cell-Cultured And Fermentation-Grown Animal Products To Watch In 2022
8. Foodplushub, in-depth research: under the heat of synthetic biology track, the certainty, uncertainty and major challenges of trillion alternative protein Market
Source: good food institute



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