Opportunity exists for a broker, marketplace, directory, or other exchange platform to facilitate B2B sales of plant-based foods as ingredients to manufacturers of frozen and prepared foods.
There has been little in the way of publicly-announced R&D or commercial efforts to develop the next generation of tasty and affordable plant-based turkey products. There is room for innovation toward different formats and more complex products with higher fidelity to conventional turkey.
Plant-based meat snacks could tap into underlying trends in snacks replacing meals and increased consumer interest in high-protein, low-sugar foods. Product innovation is needed to match the taste, price, and availability of animal options.
Opportunities exist to coordinate product development partnerships between ingredient suppliers, strategic partners, and product manufacturers to directly engage more holistically on product formulation.
Coordinated efforts to develop standardized, comprehensive research toolkits of meat-relevant species would exponentially accelerate cultivated meat research.
Open-access blueprints would provide a head start on facility design and allow equipment manufacturers and engineering companies to address standard industry needs.
Companies entering the alt protein space often struggle to secure line time at demonstration-scale and mid-scale commercial production facilities. Greater availability of mid-scale contract capacity would reduce capital outlays and facilitate scaling, allowing alt protein companies to maintain greater control over their equity and exercise more influence within the supply chain. Contracting production allows for a more modular supply chain, with participants achieving gains from specialization, allowing for better financial and organizational structuring around core competencies.
The success of early-days products has demonstrated strong consumer interest, but investment is needed to enable alternative protein supply chain companies to build out the infrastructure needed to capitalize on this opportunity. In particular, there is a need for debt-based financing that can be structured to support large infrastructure projects.
Infrastructure leasing for production and processing facilities as well as capital equipment would enable alternative protein companies to rapidly expand capacity without large upfront capital investments. Having leasing funds and leasing companies with an alternative protein focus could entice corporate players who otherwise would not have considered alternative proteins to enter the space. They could also spare many smaller alternative protein startups from undertaking relatively expensive, equity-backed capital raises early in their expansion.
The alternative protein industry has a significant need for workers and innovators with specialized knowledge spanning multiple traditional disciplines. However, since few universities offer alternative protein majors or dedicated subject matter, most alternative protein knowledge has to be learned on the job. The alternative protein industry needs educational programming that can cover the depth and complexity of knowledge, experience, and skills required within the context of traditional academic institutions as well as post-graduate professional development and training opportunities.