The alternative protein industry is on the rise, and it is not just a trend. The meat and dairy industry accounts for over 14% of global emissions. Avoiding eating these products and switching to alternative proteins would mean not only saving animals’ lives but helping the planet.
The alternative protein market is expected to grow in the next years and reach at least 290 billion by 2035. Several startups are working in this sector taking very different approaches. In this article, we have a look at those that we consider the most interesting. They also all raised capital in the last few months.
Five Alternative Protein Startups To Watch
Eggs are a very popular ingredient when cooking. Unfortunately, hens’ batteries are not only making animals suffer, but they account for at least 1% of global emissions. What if we could replace the “regular” egg with a vegan one? This is exactly what Neggst is working on. The german startup has just raised five million in its seed round to develop a vegan egg that features the shell, the yolk, and the egg white just like the “regular” egg. Obviously, Neggst vegan eggs can also be cooked in the same ways as “regular” eggs.
Cocuus is a Spanish startup that has developed several solutions for alternative proteins. By using 3D and 2D print and robotics technology the company is able to produce plant and cell-based food. Cocuus has raised 2.5 million in its pre-seed round and it was backed by several investors including Cargill Venture which is the VC of Cargill, one of the largest global players in the meat industry. Will we eat bacon or ribs freshly printed from a 3D printer soon?
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One of the most common questions that vegetarians get asked is “do you eat fish?” Obviously not, since they are vegetarians, otherwise they would be called pescatarians. But this shows there is some sort of “indulgence” towards eating fish meat and this attitude has been carried out in the alternative protein sector. There are a few startups working on alternatives to fish meat. One of those is Icelandic startup Loki Foods.
Loki Foods has raised over $650k this year. The startup is on a mission to launch a plant-based white fish that could be cooked in similar ways to normal fish. According to the founders, plant-based fish is the best solution to protect the oceans from massive fishing and pollution. It is also a great solution considering all the microplastics in the oceans that could get into our food chain.
Swiss startup Planted just raised $ 72 million in their Series B round. This was one of the largest alternative protein rounds in Europe and it was led by private equity firm L. Catterton. Planted uses bio structuring and fermentation to prepare its vegan meat. The startup is looking to expand its product range and production capability. Planted is already established and successful in the DACH region. Unfortunately, to compete with the meat industry it needs more than tasty alternative protein products. It needs to reach a price that makes it competitive with “regular” meat products.
Finally, we have to talk about dairy products. Is it possible to produce dairy without animals? According to US startup Change Foods, it is. The startup harness the power of microbes to create real dairy proteins, fats, and flavors through a process called precision fermentation. It then uses traditional cheesemaking techniques to turn them into cheese that looks and tastes like the “regular” one. Orkla Alternative Proteins, part of the Orkla group invested in Change Foods in April.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com columnists are their own, not those of Impakter.com –In the Featured Photo: A vegan meat dish by Planted. Photo credit: Planted.