Plant-based and other alternative proteins hit the mainstream media in a big way in 2016. There was a lot of press given to startups entering the space creating high quality animal product alternatives.
From Impossible Foods creating a plant-based burger that looks and bleeds like meat, to Ripple who’ve created a non-dairy milk that is very difficult to distinguish from its animal counterpart, and the rise of algae and seaweed as protein sources.
It’s no surprise then that algae and plant-based proteins are high on the agenda at food tech events this year. In San Francisco from March 29-30, Future Food-Tech will be focusing on transforming investment and innovation in food: from cultivated proteins to personalised nutrition and the microbiome.
According to Minh Tsai the founder of Hodo Soy Beanery, manufacturers need to harness their efforts towards some key priorities in order for plant-based proteins to be successful: “Focusing on education, transparency and taste will be paramount. Impact on the environment is an area where many plant-based food companies must focus too.”
It’s not just population growth that has triggered a movement towards alternative proteins. A “good for you” food movement where tech meets food is on the rise, says Vishal Vasishth, Co-Founder of Obvious Ventures.
“Millennials are becoming the biggest consumers. I’m a huge believer that they will shape and help build brands. Technology has seeped into the mainstream and generated personalization and transparency, providing a differentiator compared to 50 years ago,” he says.
Further discussion will be given to the question ‘Will plant and algae-based protein consumption overtake animal-based foods?’ at this year’s Future Food-Tech event. Minh and Vishal are just two of the speakers from a large delegacy of 40 who will attend the event in San Francisco, rethinking the Future of Food.
The Food Rush has been invited to attend and report on the event, so stay tuned for further details of what was discussed and what the experts think the Future of Food will look like.