In this file:


·         Investors' appetites whetted by alternative proteins

·         SXSW Panel Recap: Alt. Proteins: Not Just Another Tech Revolution

·         Why Kellogg's MorningStar Farms is going 100% plant based

·         Meat alternatives part of a changing market



Investors' appetites whetted by alternative proteins


by Laurent Banguet, MedicalXpress

March 13, 2019


Cell-cultured meat, plant-based foie gras, algae milk and seaweed caviar are just some of the increasingly sophisticated alternative protein options flooding the market—and whetting investors' appetites.


Last year alone, dozens of companies were launched, and many are attracting big investors, according to the burgeoning industry's pioneers.


"For every company that's looking for money, there are two or three investors. I've never seen that in Silicon Valley," said Olivia Fox Cabane, founder of the Kind Earth startup and chair of the International Alliance for Alternative Protein.


Fox Cabane says she needs to update her list every other week, and likens the dynamism of the alternative protein market to the buzz around social networks when they began to monopolize attention.


Beyond California, the early innovators are in the Netherlands, the birthplace of meat and other animal product alternatives, and in Israel.


Consumer demand is driving market interest in meat alternatives, according to participants in this week's South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, which sees itself at the forefront of new trends.


New technology has refined alternative protein products for a broader public, according to Dan Altschuler Malek, a venture partner in the investing group New Crop Capital.


"Vegan food has been around for decades, since the late 60s, early 70s. At first, it was for ethical consumers who were willing to sacrifice," said Altschuler Malek.


"We had to wait for the 90s for it to become more palatable. But now it's a third generation with new technologies and the consumer does not have to sacrifice taste any more: people are just enjoying it because it's good, not because it's plant based."


For investors, taste has been the biggest factor in deciding whether to support a product. Price, says Altschuler Malek, comes second.


Mainstream in five years? ...


more, including infographic



SXSW Panel Recap: Alt. Proteins: Not Just Another Tech Revolution

Reducing our traditional protein consumption is no longer a luxury


By Jessi Devenyns, The Austin Chronicle (TX) 

Mar. 13, 2019


We see it everywhere: plant-based milk, plant-based burgers, plant-based eggs, to name a few. Who’s to say this migration to plant-based meal options is not just a passing fad?


According to venture capitalist panelists Lisa Feria of Stray Dog Capital, Dan Altschuler Malek of New Crop Capital, and Andrew Ive of Big Idea Ventures, consumers might be the biggest indicator that this trend is here to stay. “We see the conventional agricultural system as broken,” explained Feria. With 9 billion people predicted to call planet Earth home by 2050, the growth of the middle class in Asia is pushing protein consumption to new heights, and considering the fact that 80% of antibiotics are used in animal facilities, change is no longer a luxury. It is a must.


However, thanks to social media, globalization, and an increase in alternative diets like reducetarians, flexitarians, vegans, and vegetarians, panelists expressed their hope that society is headed in the right direction. This gut feeling was backed up by statistics: Millennials are 12 times more likely than baby boomers to eat plant-based products, and last year, one-third of Americans said they want to reduce their meat consumption and increase consumption of plant protein.


There is also quite a bit more money being dumped into this space. Moderator Olivia Fox Cabane presented a chart that depicted companies investing in the plant-based food space, and from January to December 2018, the numbers have exploded. She said that her current list of companies interested in the space is already out of date because she needs to update it every two weeks. Interests run the gamut from plant-based meats to cellular agriculture, and now there is even algae-based caviar and lab-grown foie gras.


One notable exception to the space is insects, which the panelists agreed did not fit into the plant-based category and was similarly too niche for them to be confident that they would earn their investment back. The one thing missing? Everyday items at a great price...





Why Kellogg's MorningStar Farms is going 100% plant based


Lillianna Byington, FoodDive  

March 13, 2019


As the plant-based trend spreads, Kellogg is using its MorningStar Farms business to move forward as a leader in the space.


At Natural Products Expo West last week, the legacy veggie protein brand launched a new vegan "Cheezeburger" and announced its commitment for its portfolio to be 100% vegan by 2021.


The new promise will allow Kellogg to expand the accessibility of its plant-based products and reduce its use of more than 300 million egg whites a year. MorningStar Farms' full product line includes Falafel, Meat Lovers, Veggie Lovers and Tex-Mex burgers as well as Chik'n nuggets and patties. But they aren’t stopping there.


Melissa Cash, head of global marketing, strategy and innovation for plant-based protein and natural brands at Kellogg, talked to Food Dive at Expo West about how the brand plans to launch more plant-based products in the coming years, why they chose this new vegan burger and how more consumers are shifting their tastes to plant-based products.


This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.


FOOD DIVE: Can you start by telling me about the new burger?


MELISSA CASH: It is a vegan cheeseburger. It's a quarter pound. I always tell people it's like imagining a Juicy Lucy [burger], but all vegan. So there's cheese incorporated in it. It's got 23 grams of protein, and for us it's really exciting because it's 100% vegan. And ... that is part of our bigger announcement that we're going to be moving to 100% plant based by 2021. And I think for us it's just the next step in that journey.


Why did you decide to launch this burger ...  


Who are you trying to reach with this burger? ...  


A lot of talk at Expo West has been about making plant-based and organic food accessible to more people. How are you doing that with MorningStar Farms? ...  


Are you planning any other innovations? ...  


MorningStar Farms has been owned by Kellogg for 20 years. How do you think the brand has grown under Kellogg? ...  


How do you think that the plant-based sector has changed in recent years? ...  


A lot of companies are thinking that way now and more of Big Food is getting into plant-based products. How do you think that increase in competition has affected your business? ...  


MorningStar Farms also made the goal to be 100% plant based by 2021. Why did you decide to make that big commitment? ...   


How do you think the plant-based sector is going to grow in the coming years? ...  


What are your goals and growth expectations for Kellogg this year? ...  





Meat alternatives part of a changing market


Jenne Brammer, Countryman

via The West Australian - 12 March 2019


Demand for alternatives to meat will grow worldwide but will remain a small portion of overall consumption, ING global head of food and agribusiness Deborah Perkins will tell farmers at a conference in Perth this week.


She will share her insights with farmers at the WAFarmers annual conference “Trending Ag” on Friday, about the food and agriculture supply chain, from production and cultivation of food to processing, distribution/retail models and changing customer preferences.


Ms Perkins grew up on a farm at Bruce Rock in the eastern Wheatbelt, has worked with global leaders in the agriculture industry and is now based in the US city of Dallas.


She said a big consumer trend was the move towards alternative proteins.


In Europe there was a strong trend away from meat and in the US there was the Meatless Monday movement, aiming to cut out meat one day a week, Ms Perkins said.


She said it was not just demand from vegans for alternative proteins. Some people chose to reduce meat consumption for other reasons, such as for health.


“Alternatives like (laboratory) grown meat are still a very small portion of the market but they will continue to grow. New products are coming to the market and quality is improving.”


Ms Perkins said as a result of this growth, big meat companies were investing in alternatives to get a better understanding of the trend.


For example, US-based meat giant Tyson Foods, had invested in up and coming alternative protein companies, partly because it wanted to understand what is happening in that space.


On the flipside, Ms Perkins said in many areas there was still strong demand for meat, for example, in China and South-East Asia, where consumption was increasing as incomes grew...