The consumer industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by health and wellness, and environmental sustainability, as well as the growing importance of food safety and transparency, and technologies such as 3D food printers, alternative proteins, and digital food management. In the last three years alone, there have been over 450,000 patents filed and granted in the consumer industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Health & Wellness in Consumer: Plant-based proteins

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 110,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the consumer industry, there are 40+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry. 

Plant-based proteins is a key emerging innovation area in Health & Wellness 

Plant-based proteins are increasingly gaining popularity as an alternative to traditional meat as a source of protein. Recent research has focused on developing protein compositions derived from plants with high bioavailability, which are otherwise non-functional when cooked.    

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each plant-based proteins and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies.  According to GlobalData, there are 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established consumer companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of plant-based proteins. 

Key players in plant-based proteins – a disruptive innovation in the consumer industry  

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators. 

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to plant-based proteins

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Impossible Foods 57 Unlock company profile
Cargill 45 Unlock company profile
Symrise 32 Unlock company profile
Parabel Nutrition 23 Unlock company profile
Ynsect 22 Unlock company profile
Roquette Freres 20 Unlock company profile
MycoTechnology 19 Unlock company profile
Parabel 19 Unlock company profile
Protix Biosystems 17 Unlock company profile
Burcon NutraScience 15 Unlock company profile
INGREDIA 12 Unlock company profile
Ripple Foods PBC 11 Unlock company profile
Nestle 11 Unlock company profile
OTC 10 Unlock company profile
J. R. Simplot 8 Unlock company profile
Napiferyn Biotech Sp Z OO 7 Unlock company profile
BRF 7 Unlock company profile
L’Institut National Recherche Agronomique 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Impossible Foods is one of the leading patent filers in plant-based proteins. Some other key patent filers in the space include Cargill, Symrise, Parabel Nutrition, and Ynsect. Recently, Impossible Foods launched Impossible Sausage Links Made From Plants. They are available in Italian, Bratwurst, and Spicy flavours and offer the savoury taste and unique “snap” of conventional pork sausages. 

In terms of application diversity, Protix Biosystems leads the pack, with J. R. Simplot and Ripple Foods in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, INGREDIA held the top position, followed by Impossible Foods and Burcon NutraScience

Plant-based proteins will become popular in the coming years as health-seekers and environmentally conscious consumers switch to ethical consumption. Companies will also innovate and launch new products to cater to the rising demand for plant-based meat alternatives.  

To further understand the key Health & Wellness and technologies disrupting the consumer industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Consumer


GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.