A happy new year to all of our readers. The problems of the last year are still lingering ‑ and look to be Be going nowhere soon. In this issue, however, we look optimistically to the future as we highlight the growing world of alternative proteins. Could they be part of the solution to feeding a growing global population, sustainably?
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Plant-based has somewhat firmly taken on the mantle of the new ‘meat-free marketing phrase’ recently. Marketers are embracing the term in lieu of, the now somewhat socially-abrasive, ‘vegan’ category, but where the terms vegan and vegetarian traditionally hold an inherent ‘healthy focus’ for many, can the same be said for the new host of plant-based products entering the market? We look at the hurdles that the new wave of plant-based products hold for a health-conscious consumer.
Much has been made over recent months of fermentation in food production, which has been dubbed ‘the third pillar of alternative proteins’. We look into how food manufacturers are using fermentation, and if a new generation of meat-alternative products made using cutting-edge fermentation processes start to simmer as investment dollars enter the nascent area.
Those who have opted to avoid dairy longer-term will be fully aware of the struggle to find good, dairy-free cheese products. “I wish I could be vegan, but I just love cheese” is a phrase many abstainers have heard multiple times when the matter arises in conversation, and to be honest: quality and taste have held back the market for plant-based cheese. We look at the improvements being made, asking if that can change in the future.
Elsewhere, Asia – a huge existing market for seafood – appears a potentially lucrative opportunity for companies manufacturing plant-based alternatives. Challenges face the companies looking to reel in consumers, and though the market remains in its early stages there is confidence the region won’t be a plant-based minnow for long. We learn more from the startups across the region looking to navigate these new waters.
Away from the plant-based field, it’s impossible to think of the alternative protein space without acknowledging cell-based (lab-grown) meat. Since its inception, there has been much hype around the concept. The Singapore Food Agency recently approved the sale of cell-based chicken, further throwing the concept into the limelight. But as many who have been keeping tabs on the sector will tell you, the core problem is lowering the cost. We find out if cell-based meat can become an affordable product, and move beyond a novelty that’s found on the menu of private clubs.
In this issue
US food must be proactive as Biden eyes climate and health agenda
As President Biden takes office, US columnist Victor Martino looks at what the new administration could mean for the country’s food sector.
Food waste reduction: the time for talking is over
Laura Gilbank, business development manager at Columbus UK, explains that food waste has been a global problem long before the pandemic – and why food companies need to digitally transform their processes to help address the issue.
“We want to be a global brand for vegan food”: The Good Spoon Interview
The Good Spoon co-founder and chairman Jordan Lellouche tells Andy Coyne about his plans to grow the vegan mayonnaise brand internationally and about his product development strategy.
Plant-based meat’s health challenges
Meat-alternative companies are facing increasing scrutiny over the health credentials of their products. Simon Harvey looks at the questions being asked of manufacturers and how they are reacting.
Can plant-based cheese come of age?
Concerns about quality and taste have held back the market for plant-based cheese. Lucy Britner looks at how manufacturers are trying to improve their product development, while at the same time offering a viable alternative to what can be one of the most commoditised and price-driven areas of dairy.
The Fermentation flurry in plant-based food
With plants and cells grabbing the headlines as the market for meat alternatives takes hold, could a new generation of meat-alternative products made using cutting-edge fermentation processes start to simmer as investment dollars enter the nascent area? Simon Creasey investigates.
Can cell-based meat not cost the earth?
Andy Coyne looks at recent developments surrounding cell-based meat, where attempts to reduce production costs will be critical in any efforts to launch commercially-viable products.
A bigger fish: alternative seafood in Asia
A huge market for seafood, Asia appears a potentially lucrative opportunity for companies manufacturing plant-based alternatives. Challenges face the companies looking to reel in consumers and the market remains in its early stages, but as Dean Best reports, there is confidence the region won’t be a plant-based minnow for long.
Next issue preview
If there’s one thing we’ve seen over recent years, it’s that consumers increasingly want companies to be more sustainable. In the next issue, we look into the latest developments in the drive towards a more sustainable and environmentally food sector.
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