40Research opportunities
44Commercial whitespaces
39Ecosystem support needs
Key: Cultivated Fermentation Plant-Based
Opportunity Production platform Solution category Value chain segment Technology sector Maturity level
Build alternative protein sessions into scientific conferences

Elevating the visibility and credibility of the field at scientific conferences will expand the technical talent pipeline and amplify collaboration and funding efforts.

Cultivated Fermentation Plant-Based Ecosystem R&D 2 – Early adoption
Building interdisciplinary university research centers of excellence

Interdisciplinary research is essential for tackling many of the complex problems facing today’s world. Though the number of research projects advancing alternative protein science has increased in recent years, this…

Cultivated Fermentation Plant-Based Ecosystem R&D Workforce 2 – Early adoption
Production process innovations for fiber formation and improved plant protein texturization

Fibers from techniques like electrospinning, jet spinning, or blow spinning may be able to impart a desirable texture to a given product.

Plant-Based Commercial Research End Products Production R&D End product formulation & manufacturing 2 – Early adoption
Coordination among investors with alternative protein industry-specific expertise

Investors specializing in alternative proteins should be leveraged to educate the broader investment community through coalitions, syndicated deals, and co-investments with industry-agnostic investors, and spearhead efforts to facilitate later-stage funding…

Cultivated Fermentation Plant-Based Commercial Ecosystem Investment 2 – Early adoption
Open-access product formulation specification sheets

Open-access product formulation specifications could provide clear metrics and objectives for product developers on attributes like taste, price, nutrition, and ingredient ratios.

Fermentation Plant-Based Ecosystem End Products R&D End product formulation & manufacturing Ingredient optimization 2 – Early adoption
Expanding private label plant-based offerings

Brands, dedicated private labelers, and co-manufacturers can take advantage of the private labeling opportunity, and would benefit from developing a wide range of products to fit every category and access…

Fermentation Plant-Based Commercial Business Services Distribution Channels End Products Production End product formulation & manufacturing 2 – Early adoption
Plants as a recombinant protein expression platform for functional food ingredients

Crop plants used as recombinant protein production hosts could offer benefits of minimal processing, cheaper equipment, and fewer downstream purification costs.

Fermentation Plant-Based Commercial Research Production R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Crop development Ingredient optimization 2 – Early adoption
Expanded product development in plant-based meat snacks

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…

Plant-Based Commercial Demand Generation End Products Production End product formulation & manufacturing 2 – Early adoption
Landscape/directory of major players in foodservice, retail, and distribution

Resources and services that make it easier to locate, filter, and prioritize sales and partnership efforts would ease transactional burdens for startups and add value to existing companies looking for…

Fermentation Plant-Based Ecosystem Distribution Channels 2 – Early adoption
Infrastructure loan fund

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…

Cultivated Fermentation Plant-Based Commercial Investment Production 2 – Early adoption

Get involved

If you’d like to fund a research project, work on any of these solutions, share information about related efforts that are already underway, or elevate new ideas for advancing the alternative protein industry, we’d love to hear from you!

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Explore key innovation priorities

Review commercial whitespaces, research gaps, technological needs, and investment priorities at each stage of the alternative protein value chain.

How we built this

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Executive summary

Get an overview of GFI’s Solutions initiative and a summary of key resources.

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Full report

Delve into the full report on the motivation, methodology, rationale, and key findings and recommendations of the Solutions initiative.

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Futures wheels analysis

Explore our framework for uncovering second-order or third-order consequences and implications of hypothetical future scenarios to support better decision-making in the present.

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Discover key findings from GFI’s premortem analysis of potential threats to the widespread adoption of alternative proteins, including strategies to avoid or mitigate the most pressing risks.