In this file:

 

·         Going meatless: Prairies shoot for 'total world domination' in growing field of plant-based proteins

Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba could collectively corner the global market

 

·         Growing flexitarian movement has Canada's food industry adapting to new reality

New report says 1 in 5 Canadians either restricting or eliminating meat from diets

 

 

Going meatless: Prairies shoot for 'total world domination' in growing field of plant-based proteins

Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba could collectively corner the global market

 

Geoffrey Morgan, Financial Post (Canada) 

November 28, 2018

 

The centrepiece of Canada’s innovation strategy is the $950-million “supercluster” initiative. The goal, according to the federal government, is for companies of all sizes, academia and the non-profit sector to collaborate on new technologies, to spur economic growth and create jobs. As part of the Innovation Nation series, the Financial Post is taking an in-depth look at each of the five regional projects, and provide continuing coverage of their progress

 

CALGARY – It looks like beef. It tastes like beef. It even bleeds like beef, thanks to the beet juice extract.

 

If not for the distinctive aroma – fast-food chain A&W’s Beyond Meat burger gives off a scent more like a casserole than a burger patty – the plant-based protein puck would fool even the most red-blooded carnivores.

 

It’s a tasty concoction made from protein isolated from peas, rice and mung beans as well as canola and coconut oils. Importantly, it’s a product that plant-based protein companies across the Prairies, believe consumers around the world will buy in increasing quantities.

 

Entrepreneurs and the federal government don’t just want Canada’s three Prairie provinces to sell more proteins derived from plants — they want to see total world domination.

 

“That presents enormous potential for us,” said Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, whose ministry established the Proteins Industry Canada supercluster in Regina this year and is seeding it with $153 million.

 

To access the funding, companies would need to match the contributions from the federal government on new facilities, said Bains in an interview, adding that funding announcements are coming “in as little as a matter of weeks.”

 

James Szarko, the president and CEO of Calgary-based Botaneco, which is among a growing number of companies in the West expanding facilities and uses a proprietary method to extract valuable oils, proteins and fibres from canola, safflower, sunflower and hemp.

 

“We could truly dominate,” said Szarko, adding that there is an abundance of farm land in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba as well as plentiful water and suitable crops.

 

But the industry has a classic Canadian problem. We are once again playing the role of drawers of water and hewers of wood, exporting raw produce to other countries who add value and ship it back to us at higher costs. The missing ingredient is innovative processing methods and facilities to turn the crops and seeds from the Prairies into value-added protein products like hemp-based protein powder or canola-based supplements that are set to grow at an impressive rate globally.

 

The protein supercluster aims to create 4,500 new jobs and contribute $4.5 billion to the country’s GDP in 10 years time.

 

The cluster’s interim board of directors includes executives from companies across the three provinces, including AGT Food and Ingredients Inc., Emerging Ag Inc., Enns Borthers Ltd., Ag-West Bio Inc. and others.

 

“It’s bigger than one company and bigger than one province,” Bains said...

 

more

https://business.financialpost.com/technology/going-meatless-prairies-shoot-for-total-world-domination-in-growing-field-of-plant-based-proteins

 

 

Growing flexitarian movement has Canada's food industry adapting to new reality

New report says 1 in 5 Canadians either restricting or eliminating meat from diets

 

By Brandon Barrett, PIQUE

Nov 29, 2018

 

With nearly one in five Canadians either restricting meat or eliminating it altogether, the nation's food-service industry has been slowly adapting to shifting dietary preferences. According to a new report out of Dalhousie University, that means an increasing emphasis on flexitarians, not, as you might suspect, vegetarians or vegans.

 

"It's because of two reasons," explained Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, professor in food distribution and policy at the Halifax school. "One, flexitarians are a significant market. And secondly, I would say it's an easy target. (Flexitarians are) a bit of a bridge between the conventional market and a market that has always been considered marginal.

 

"You can actually make links between different types of dietary preferences."

 

More than 3.5 million Canadians consider themselves flexitarians, also known as "conscious carnivores," who have decided to limit their meat consumption for a variety of reasons. For some, it's an ethical choice made for environmental and/or animal-welfare reasons. For others, it might be a way to improved their diet or save a few bucks.

 

The report says that Baby Boomers make up the most significant portion of the flexitarian population, likely influenced by the dietary choices of their younger family members, who are more likely to be vegetarian or vegan.

 

"Many flexitarians likely have children who are vegans or vegetarians, or may have friends who are not eating meat," a summary of the report reads. "Regardless, a greater number of consumers are accepting the reality that food diversity is the new normal, especially when it comes to protein sources."

 

The fast-food sector is probably the slowest to adapt to this new reality, although, according to Charlebois, it is an industry that has made significant strides recently. The report highlights A&W's Beyond Burger as a prime example. Made from pea protein, the sandwich sold out just a month after its release, reportedly selling better at many of the chain's locations than A&W's signature Teen Burger. Its creator, the California-based high-tech food company Beyond Meat, has taken North American consumers by storm, and with some serious money behind it—Bill Gates, Leonardo DiCaprio and two of Twitter's founders are investors—it looks to penetrate the market even deeper in the future.

 

Part of the Beyond Burger's success, the report noted, is due to A&W "normalizing the offer." The 'Beyond Burger' was treated as part of the regular menu, and, at least according to consumers, tastes similar to other sandwiches on the menu...

 

more

https://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler/growing-flexitarian-movement-has-canadas-food-industry-adapting-to-new-reality/Content?oid=12259548