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Plant-based innovation is more than a fad. Here's why it's a long-term trend

March 21, 2023

On a December 2022 Plant-based Business Hour Podcast, host Elysabeth Alfano, also CEO of VegTech Invest, discussed the Synthesis Capital paper, 'S-Curve' Adoption: Our House View of Alternative Proteins Market Growth with the Director of Research and the paper's author, Catherine Tubb.  A co-author of a 2019 Rethink X paper on disruption in food and agriculture, Tubb discussed the prediction for the timeline for the adoption of plant-based innovation and alternative proteins.

She explained that the current weaknesses of our global food supply system based on animal proteins, such as an inability to produce enough food for a global population and being a leading cause of deforestation and methane emissions, leave it ripe for disruption. The innovation that solves these issues will experience rapid adoption.

Responding to Tubb about her research on the podcast, Alfano summarized, "When the plant-based innovations make food cheaper and better by solving some of the world's most pressing issues including rising human health concerns, they will be adopted."

The paper crowdsources many analyst reports about the future of plant-based innovation and alternative proteins and surmises that the tipping point of 10% adoption will occur around 2032-2035 in which a transformation away from animal proteins is deemed inevitable. In the podcast, Tubb noted that this is dependent upon more sector investment in innovation and infrastructure build-out.

For adoption to transpire, the production cost price parity will be a key factor. Tubb noted that this will be around 2025-2027. When prices come down, adoption goes up. Ultimately, at scale, plant-based innovation and alternative proteins will be less expensive, and are currently considered less resource intensive and environmentally damaging.

VegTech Invest focuses on the public investment opportunity at all points in the supply chain of plant-based innovation, including the tech driving the food systems transformation and 'S-curve' adoption.  The meat market alone is valued at US$1.4 trillion and replacing such a large sector, even in part, could result in tremendous upside potential in this long-term secular trend.

According to the former Co-CEO of Whole Foods, Walter Robb, the adoption of plant-based innovation during Covid was the largest shift in consumption that he had seen in his 40 years in grocery. He said the interest and adoption was 'akin to digitization.'

You can listen to the full podcast here

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with us, please email info@futureofproteinproduction.com

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