Alternative proteins will constitute a quarter of all foods by 2040, says chef survey
13 Jan 2023 --- A GEA-commissioned survey of 1,000 chefs in eleven countries has revealed the confidence of professional cooks in alternative proteins. Forty-three percent believe that the proportion of meals prepared with alternative proteins will reach between 26% and 50% by 2040 and 23% believe alternative proteins could be used more by 2040 than traditional ones.
“Alternative proteins hold the promise of helping feed a growing population using fewer resources. As such, they can play an essential role in making our food system more sustainable and reliable,” says Stefan Klebert, CEO of GEA.
Klebert underscores how working in alternative proteins puts GEA at the center in a “defining moment that will very likely shape the future of nutrition.”
Transition to new foods
The survey, conducted last August, found that 90% of chefs already use meat and dairy alternatives, with one in three using them “to a significant extent,” according to GEA.
Nine out of ten have observed a growing interest in alternatives to conventional proteins. Forty percent of chefs report a high degree of increased demand, as nearly 95% of those surveyed feel that their restaurant patrons will demand more plant-based proteins in the next ten years.
“For cultivated and cell-based proteins, 45% of chefs predict strong growth in demand. In addition, no less than 36% of chefs expect to see a considerable rise in customer demand for insect-based proteins and foods,” according to GEA.
According to GEA, the surveyed chefs confirmed that plant-based products are a “compelling alternative” in quality and price-wise to conventional ones. However, 70% of polled chefs consider quality improvements are “crucial” for the success of novel alternatives.
The reasons to transition to new proteins are environmental concerns (74%), health reasons (74%) and ethical ones (50%).
GEA conducted the survey through 1,002 online interviews with chefs from Brazil, China, Denmark, Germany, India, Israel, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea, the UK and the USA.
“Our survey findings show that chefs across the globe are very open to alternative proteins. Many are also conscious of the fact that these novel products and ingredients could have a pivotal impact on our future nutrition and want to promote this shift actively,” says Michael Lindberg, CEO of Lindberg International, the pollster company that carried the research for GEA.
Sector in motion
Companies are constantly on the move to improve their alternative proteins and to find new partnerships in the competitive plant-based industry, while start-ups try to secure financing to carry forward their promising innovation.
Just this week, Berlin-based Project Eaden is planning on expanding its “ultra-realistic” plant-based meat technology via an extension to its seed investment round to US$10.8 million. The cash injection will go to boosting research and development of the start-up’s proprietary technology, which produces protein fibers for use in creating meat analogs.
FrieslandCampina Ingredients is harnessing Triplebar Bio’s specialized biotechnology capabilities to develop and scale up the production of cell-based proteins via precision fermentation. The alliance aims to develop innovative alternative protein solutions that improve human health, target infant nutrition and reduce reliance on traditional protein sources.
Earlier this month, Vgarden, a food-tech start-up based in Israel, unveiled vegan tinned tuna made using pea protein.
In other moves, following a successful round of funding, Singapore-based start-up Protenga will receive additional investment in its insect protein technology platform.
By Marc Cervera
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