GFI is proud to be supported by some of the biggest players in science, technology, global food and ingredient manufacturing, and impact investing for this year’s Good Food Conference. From America’s fastest-growing plant-based egg brand to the world’s largest flavor and fragrance company, to Singapore’s leading public sector R&D agency, this year’s lineup of Founding Sponsors is an eclectic and highly impactful group working to accelerate the alternative protein sector.
We asked our 17 Founding Sponsors what their 2022 predictions are for alternative proteins, and what trends they’re anticipating for the coming year. Read on to learn more about this impressive group and what exciting advancements they expect to see in the industry in 2022!
You have until Wednesday, September 15 to register for our virtual Good Food Conference, taking place on September 22-24, 2021. Sign up now to experience the deepest dive yet into alternative proteins!
Science and technology
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is Singapore’s lead public sector R&D agency, bridging the gap between academia and industry. A*STAR plays a key role in nurturing scientific talent and leaders for the wider research community and industry. Its research creates economic growth and jobs for Singapore, and enhances lives by improving societal outcomes in healthcare, urban living, and sustainability. A*STAR works closely with other research partners to support Singapore’s food innovation ecosystem as well as its goal to be a leading agri-food and nutrition hub.
“Next year, whole cut meats from alternative proteins may become more mainstream. More companies will transition from lab-to-pilot, to pilot-to-contract manufacture. 2022 may also see continued optimization of alt pro production along the major axes of sustainability (GHG impact) and economics (yield, throughput, costs).”Min Hao Wong, Group Leader, Corporate Strategy and Business Development AT A*STAR
CIBO is a breakthrough technology platform focused on accelerating the transition to regenerative agriculture, and is the first, direct-from-the-farmer carbon marketplace. A “2021 Fast Company World Changing Ideas Awards” finalist, CIBO delivers solutions that support the needs of both growers and enterprises on their journey to regenerative agriculture. The result for the environment is a reduction in greenhouse gases, a food system that is more resilient to climate change, and the prevention of nitrogen and phosphorus leaching into our water systems.
“The alternative protein and plant-based spaces will pioneer the transformation of agriculture supply chains to become more sustainable and transparent. As consumers become more aware of the consequences of traditional agricultural practices on the environment, they will require food companies to take action. This creates new opportunities for these players to become market leaders by promoting regenerative farming practices and providing more information about their environmental impact.”Nitzan Haklai, VP of Business Development AT CIBO
Laurus Bio is an integrated research-driven biomanufacturing organization with deep expertise in precision fermentation and recombinant technology. By harnessing the power of precision fermentation and synthetic biology, Laurus Bio is paving the way for a global shift away from animal-derived products and making medicines and food safer and more sustainable.
“With increased innovation in reducing cost of production through enhanced economies of scale, improved yields and raw material optimization, 2022 will be an exciting year for alternative proteins, especially precision fermentation derived proteins and functional food ingredients.”Rajesh Krishnamurthy, Chief Business Officer and Executive Director AT Laurus Bio
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is a vibrant science and technology company that believes in science as a force for good. Merck operates across healthcare, life science, and electronics, and their interdisciplinary cultured meat team is focused on developing products and services that will enable a safe and scaled production of cultivated meat. The company’s current cultured meat cell culture media offerings include customer formulation manufacturing at scale to support protypes and go-to-market launch, new formulation development, and standard basal media manufacturing at scale.
“With anticipated market approvals, organizations will be transitioning to their first commercial scale processes. Cultured-meat start-ups have been focusing innovation efforts on developing nutritious target products. Now that commercialization is in sight, start-ups will bring more emphasis on supply chain and manufacturing excellence to meet cost and quality needs.”Aletta Schnitzler, Ph.D., Head of Cultured Meat R&D AT Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
Global food companies
Beyond Meat is one of the fastest-growing food companies in the U.S., combining expert innovation with simple, non-GMO plant-based ingredients to deliver the meaty experience customers crave without compromise. Beyond Meat’s products — which span from the iconic Beyond Burger to breakfast sausage, chicken tenders, meatballs and more — are designed to have the same taste and texture as animal-based meat while being better for people, the planet and animals. As of June 2021, Beyond Meat had products available at approximately 119,000 retail and foodservice outlets in over 80 countries worldwide.
Cargill is a global food company combining 155 years of experience with new technologies and insights to serve as a trusted partner for food, agriculture, financial and industrial customers in more than 125 countries. Cargill is committed to championing all forms of protein, investing in both cultivated and plant-based meat companies, and offering their own line of plant protein solutions.
“Alternative protein is projected to grow across all day parts—breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack time—and categories. To keep up, I see even more rapid improvement in technologies and an acceleration to scale them. Looking further ahead, with global demand for protein expected to increase by more than 70% over the next 30 years, alternative protein as a complement to animal protein, will remain critical to our ability to meet the growing demand for a range of protein products—as well as consumers’ desire for options.”Elizabeth Gutschenritter, Managing Director, Alternative Protein AT CARGILL
From functionalizing plant proteins to culturing animal cells, Eat Just is on a mission to build a healthier, safer, and more sustainable food system. Recognized as one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies,” Eat Just created America’s fastest-growing egg brand, which is made entirely of plants, and the world’s first-to-market meat made from animal cells instead of slaughtered livestock.
“In 2022, we see others following Singapore’s regulatory leadership, with approvals of sales of cultivated meat happening in multiple regions around the world—and, for the first time, hundreds of millions of dollars being invested in the production infrastructure required to make real meat made without slaughter available to millions of consumers.”Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO AT Eat Just, Inc.
Griffith Foods is a family-owned global developer and manufacturer of high-quality food ingredients, guided by their purpose of “We Blend Care and Creativity to Nourish the World.” Griffith Foods is helping pioneer the next wave of plant-based innovation by calling on its over 100 years of product development expertise to develop new flavors and technologies specifically for plant-based alternatives.
“The alternative protein market will build on the success of burgers to expand into other “meat” categories such as chicken, whole muscle and processed meats such as sausages, hot dogs and deli meats, as well as seafood. The opportunity and challenge to alternative protein innovators is to ensure these product solutions are as delicious, nutritious and sustainable as possible.”Jim Thorne, President at Nourish Ventures and SVP of Partnerships and Strategy AT Griffith Foods
Kerry is a global taste and nutrition company working to build a world of sustainable nutrition. Powered by an extensive technology portfolio and enabled by world class science, Kerry delivers inspiring ways to nourish consumers at pace and at scale. Kerry’s holistic approach tackles plant protein challenges from field to fork, creating a portfolio of plant-based food solutions designed to address common meat alternative challenges and deliver winning plant-based protein products.
“Consumers are going to ask for more from plant-based, beyond craveability and convenience. They will be looking more closely at product nutrition and environmental impact. Brands can stand out in this rapidly evolving marketplace through reducing sodium, and having fewer, more natural ingredients. We’re seeing a large shift to the refrigerated space for plant-based, so product quality maintenance and shelf life extension are also key to reducing food waste and providing a consistent eating experience.”Emma Cahill, Global Marketing Director at Kerry
CP Kelco is a nature-based ingredient solutions company with approximately 90 years of experience working with food, beverage, and consumer products manufacturers worldwide. CP Kelco produces an extensive range of high-quality, plant-based, and fermentation-derived ingredients to help companies create innovative plant-based products. With their portfolio of sustainably sourced and produced texture solutions, CP Kelco helps companies overcome unique plant-based challenges and meet their clean label goals.
“As the category of alternative proteins continues to grow, its future is now in the consumer’s hands. Consumers want—and deserve—affordable, abundant options with no compromise on taste and texture.”Steve Matzke, Senior Manager, Pioneering Innovation AT CP Kelco
Givaudan is the world’s largest flavor and fragrance company and creates game-changing innovations in food and beverage. With a heritage stretching back over 250 years, Givaudan provides a unique collaborative approach to co-create plant-based food experiences that meet consumer needs. From fundamental scientific understanding to holistic product design, Givaudan delivers delightful recipes that address the taste, sense, and nutrition challenges of plant-based applications.
“Next year, we anticipate that whole muscle meat analogs will get a foothold in the market while the flavor and texture authenticity of formed products that imitate chicken, pork, and seafood will continue getting closer to their meat counterparts. QSR’s and Fast Casual will be challenged to offer more and varied menu items to stay relevant and meet the growing demand of alternative proteins.”Matt McGuffey, Ph.D, Product Manager, Savory Taste & Wellbeing AT GIVAUDAN
Firmenich is the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and taste company, founded in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1895 and has been family-owned for 125 years. Firmenich is a leading business-to-business company specialized in the research, creation, manufacture and sale of perfumes, flavors and ingredients with a wide portfolio of integrated flavor solutions for alternative protein products. Renowned for its world-class research and creativity, as well as its leadership in sustainability, Firmenich offers its customers superior innovation in formulation, a broad and high-quality palette of ingredients, and proprietary technologies including biotechnology, encapsulation, olfactory science and taste modulation. Harnessing world-class research and creativity, Firmenich creates food and beverage experiences to delight and enhance wellbeing, naturally for people and planet.
“The Plant-Based protein space will continue to evolve quickly and we expect to see 3 trends emerge in 2022. First, as the plant-based protein trend continues to reach more consumers, we believe consumers will push the clean label mega trend more and more into plant-based innovation. Secondly, we expect new pulses to emerge & support sourcing opportunities creating a perfect balance between high volume demand, quality and price value. Thirdly, we expect that the plant-based proteins will continue to expand into many ubiquitous consumer categories and touch all dayparts and disrupt many more food and beverages types than what we see today in the market.”MENEXIA TSOUBELI, PH.D., Vice President, Savory NA Firmenich-Taste & Beyond AT FIRMENICH
IFF’s global team uses its in-depth portfolio of tools and technologies to create pioneering product designs that support alternative and sustainable food sources without compromising great taste, texture, and functionality. Using plant bases like pea, wheat, soy and new emerging proteins, IFF offers plant-based full recipe product designs to create plant-based products that consumers crave, with the know-how and expertise in the plant protein space. IFF’s portfolio includes flavors, colors, maskers, plant proteins, antioxidants, food protection ingredients, cultures, enzymes, texturants, stabilizers, and any other ingredients which could apply to the segment.
“2022 will be an important year for alternative protein, where current products will crystalize, and mimicking will continue. However, it is not only about being on shelves, it is about staying on shelves. And for that, the consumers demand more variety and healthy options to have choices for every eating occasion throughout the day! We need to overcome some challenges regarding how we create novel experiences from plant-based food. It will require us to rethink the way we create, to go beyond mimicking, and offer flexitarians the novel experience they are looking for without compromising on taste and nutrition!”Sonia Huppert, Innovation Marketing Lead Re-Imagine Protein AT IFF
Big Idea Ventures is a venture firm that invests in leading companies in plant-based, cell-based, and fermentation-enabled foods, ingredients, and technologies. Combining capital and partnerships with global corporates, thought leaders, and family offices, Big Idea Ventures supports the world’s most compelling entrepreneurs, scientists, and engineers. As a leader in the global food ecosystem, Big Idea Ventures is committed to supporting people and the planet in a sustainable way.
“In the Consumer space, 2022 will deliver a veritable cornucopia of delicious plant-based, fermentation enabled, and even cell-based seafood products. The amazing alternative seafood products will look like an ocean’s bounty but will be delivered in a far more sustainable way helping to stop the overfishing of our world’s oceans. In terms of the alternative protein global landscape, many countries and their governments will recognize that alternative protein is their best solution for sustainable food security. Many more countries, especially those in Asia and the Middle East, will take Singapore’s lead and look to build their own alternative protein ecosystem for long term sustainable food security for their people and for generations to come.”Andrew D. Ive, Founder AT Big Idea Ventures
Bright Green Partners helps corporations and governments around the world to win in alternative meat and dairy. Bright Green Partners achieves this by combining top-tier innovation and strategy consulting expertise, deep in-house industry knowledge, and a large global expert network.
“To be able to keep up with the high consumer demand and to ensure food security, we foresee that corporations and governments will co-invest more in alt protein production infrastructure and facilities. These large-scale synergies across the value chain will enable companies to produce food in scale and with much less waste in a circular system.”Gerrit Suhlmann, Founding Partner AT Bright Green Partners
PowerPlant Partners is a growth equity firm investing in emerging consumer food, beverage, foodservice, food-tech, and personal wellness brands. PowerPlant Partners provides capital, strategic guidance, and operating expertise to visionary teams building extraordinary companies that create a healthy, sustainable future for all. With portfolio investments that include Beyond Meat, Veggie Grill, Thrive Market, Zico, and Miyoko’s, PowerPlant Partners is a growth partner for purpose-led companies building tomorrow’s iconic brands by solving today’s greatest challenges.
“In 2022, plant-based products will continue gaining market share. We see growth coming from grocery stores and restaurants selling a greater variety of plant-based products outside of the Beyond Burger and Impossible Burger. Consumers are increasingly seeking options for plant-based cheeses, bacon, chicken, etc. We also see plant-based products diversifying away from just pea and soy protein to a broader assortment of less processed, high-value plant-based or fermented ingredients. Also in 2022, while traditional plant-based meats have not been able to replicate full cuts well yet, we believe we will begin to see full cuts of “meat” made via mycelium fermentation coming to restaurant menus. Lastly, we expect to see cell-ag continue to reduce the cost curve as entrepreneurs continue to solve various challenges in production.”PowerPlant Partners
Synthesis Capital is an investment manager transforming the food system through food technology. Founded by a prominent and experienced team in food technology, Synthesis Capital invests in food tech and alternative proteins and specializes in investments in start-up, growth capital, and product asset acquisitions.
“As parts of the world gain back some normality after the COVID pandemic, now is the time to crisis-proof our food system to cope with both future pandemics and climate change. Alternative proteins play a critical role here, but in 2022 we expect innovation and investment to go beyond just proteins. Fats, flavours, and high-value functional ingredients will be just some important areas of focus for us at Synthesis Capital over the next year, as we work to help redefine the food system to cope with the challenges of the next decade.”Costa Yiannoulis, Co-Founder and Managing Partner AT Synthesis Capital
Join us for the Good Food Conference
September 22nd – 24th
The world’s most in-depth, cross-sector gathering focused on the power and potential of alternative proteins to fundamentally change food and agriculture for the better.