"Disruptive Innovation" to Change the Face of the Protein Market


11 Jan 2017 --- Increasing population, climate change, ecosystem degradation, energy- water- and land scarcity are making today's food production increasingly unsustainable. Disruptive innovation can be defined as the introduction of new technologies and products – such as generated by cellular biotechnology –  that unexpectedly displace an established technology and often disrupts the status quo.

Take a page from the Apple handbook: entrepreneurial startup food companies often tend to innovate faster than their customer's need evolve. These disruptive products, services and solutions are generally first available for sophisticated customers at the top of the market. In contrast, legacy food companies typically prefer to maintain the status quo and rely on small incremental change, also termed sustaining innovation. That is the main reason why the 25 largest US legacy food companies have seen their sales declining ever since 2012.

“The world cannot sustain the number of animals it takes to feed the burgeoning population reaching 9.4 billion by 2050. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel and soon new systems such as cellular agriculture will become available to grow abundance of meat and milk protein -without the animals involved at all,” protein specialist Henk Hoogenkamp writes in his new book ‘Plant Protein & Disruptive Diagnostics.’

The book deals with the “Transformational Food Journey for Today's Future: Profound insights for food industry and consumers,” with Hoogenkamp arguing that entrepreneurial startups such as Perfect Day Foods, Memphis Meat and Mosa Meat will disrupt traditional animal agriculture methods and create a more sustainable food infra-structure.

“The problem is that the developing world wants to eat like the developed and affluent world, and in particular drive the huge increases in consumption of animal products like meat and dairy that are so vastly inefficient. The conventional agriculture won't be able to keep up with demand with exacerbating the myriad of ecological problems, such as feed-to-meat conversion, water consumption, outgrow waste, and methane release,” Hoogenkamp argues.

“The clear answer is cellular agriculture which allows building an animal or plant protein platform by taking the actual animal out of the supply chain equation. The primary goal is to safeguard food security and decrease the environmental consequences of traditional farming,” he says.

Recently the technology and investor community – including New Harvest, Peter Thiel (PayPal), Bill Gates (Microsoft) and Sergey Brin (Google) have become involved in supporting the drive to find more efficient ways to grow food. These entrepreneurial people together with capital venture companies also disrupt the traditional financing such as Rabobank. 

Besides the rapid progress of cultured meat and cow-free milk creation, there are more technological alternatives. Foods made from plant protein now allow animal-realistic meatfree products. Startup companies such as Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat (US), and Brecks Food (UK) are often using food science and genetic sequencing technology to simulate plant protein based equivalents to animal-derived products.

“There is a growing demand for plant protein formulated foods, especially driven by the rapidly increasing number of flexitarians in affluent countries like North America, the UK and Germany. But let's not cheer too soon. Still more technology improvement and socio-marketing is necessary to truly reproduce classic organoleptic meat attributes. The way research is making progress, at some point in the future the plant meat foods will reach par (in blind testing) and may obviate the need for traditional intensive farm-raised animals,” writes Hoogenkamp.

Henk Hoogenkamp's book tackles topics from food-related disease to malnutrition to organic and GMO to dealing with a world approaching an epidemic of obesity.

For most consumers in the Western world an abundance of animal protein is nearly always part of the daily diet, while for most in the developing world not sufficient animal protein is available. Hoogenkamp argues that the key to solving this dilemma is unlocking the potential of plant proteins as well as cellular biotechnology that deliver affordable nutrition, improve health and wellbeing and reduce the environmental burden in an era of shrinking water and land resources.

But Hoogenkamp stresses that it is not just the food industry which will be disrupted. “Perhaps equally important are the many disruptions in the socio-economic and demographic settings,” he notes, citing 3 factors in no logical order:
1) People using their iPhones to monitor a heart irregularity or attack and subsequently confront their doctor specialist with the diagnosis. Obviously these and more medical "interpretations" cause great friction and an entire level of base-line care is eliminated.
2) The huge changes in behavior attitudes of the millennial generation. Just to mention a few: marriage is optional, delayed childbirth, cooking is optional, social media sub-cultures.
3) The world population is adrift. Huge disruptions in cultural settings, including food choices. Take for example airline food: pork has completely disappeared from the inflight line-up.

Click to EnlargeAlong with detailed chapters discussing plant protein varieties such as derived from soy, pea, wheat, rice, potato and hemp “Plant Protein & Disruptive Diagnostics” explains:
• Food, water & climate change
• Sports Nutrition, Wellness & Lifestyles
• Food: People, Plamnet, Profit
• Glutenfree Protein Solutions
• Societal Food
• Diabetes T2: From Bad to Worse
• Fast Good Food & Family
• Fiber: A Natural Need for More
• Lifestyle Diagnostics
• Real Plant Meat
• Sugar, Salt Phosphate: Less is More
• Natural & Organic
• Sarcopenia & Longevity


To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

Related Articles

Food Ingredients News

Rabobank report: What can the dairy sector learn from the dairy-free alternatives boom?

25 May 2018 --- A new Rabobank report examining how more consumers are going dairy-free at the same time as the sector is exploding with innovation, says that now is the time for the dairy industry to reflect on the success of alternative dairy products and to consider applying those lessons.

Food Ingredients News

Nestlé’s research shake-up promises to accelerate cutting-edge innovation

25 May 2018 --- Nestlé is strengthening its R&D operations by bringing together its two scientific discovery units, the Nestlé Research Center (NRC) and the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS), to build one “impactful organization.” Nestlé Research will be a combination of what the group describes as “world-renowned research facilities,” with highly complementary capabilities capable of taking the research work of Nestlé to a new level.

Food Ingredients News

GDPR comes into force: What does it mean for the food industry?

25 May 2018 --- As of today, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is officially in force in the European Union (EU), aimed at strengthening people’s data protection rights and stepping up the powers of authorities to target companies who break the law. Since we live in a digital era, the new regulations are tightening up how companies gather consumer data and how they share or use it. Today’s new rules are set to bring in multiple changes, which primarily includes the need for consent for anyone listed on a company mailing list.

Food Ingredients News

Weekly Digest: Calls to end wasteful EU overfishing, Russian spice blends trend in World Cup run-up

25 May 2018 --- This week, nine global ocean conservation leaders urged the European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, to use his “power, position, and responsibility” to end destructive and wasteful EU overfishing, ahead of the 2020 Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) deadline. Meanwhile, EHL Ingredients launched a new Russian herb and spice blend in the run-up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament in Russia this summer. The latest export statistics from the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) revealed that Q1 2018 exports of food and drink have grown by 5.5 percent to £5.2bn (US$6.9bn), from £5.0bn (US$6.6bn) in Q1 2017. Elsewhere, the Hochdorf Group has signed an agreement to acquire Bimbosan AG in Welschenrohr, Switzerland and Stern-Wywiol Gruppe presented the cornerstones of its success at an International Sales Network Event in Hamburg.

Food Ingredients News

Tate & Lyle takes stake in Sweet Green Fields, FY18 results reveal profits pick up

24 May 2018 --- Tate & Lyle PLC is to acquire a 15 percent equity holding in Sweet Green Fields, one of the largest privately held, fully integrated global stevia ingredient firms, in a deal which brings the two companies closer together after they have already been in a worldwide distribution deal for the last year. The acquisition will build on last April’s agreement which saw Tate & Lyle become the exclusive worldwide distributor of Sweet Green Fields’ portfolio of stevia-based ingredients and the new strengthened deal promises “breakthrough” stevia products.

More Articles