40Research opportunities
44Commercial whitespaces
39Ecosystem support needs
Key: Icon cultivated Cultivated Icon fermentation Fermentation Icon plant based Plant-Based
Opportunity Production platform Solution category Value chain segment Technology sector Maturity level
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.

Icon plant based 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…

Icon cultivated Cultivated Icon fermentation Fermentation Icon plant based Plant-Based Commercial Ecosystem Investment 2 – Early adoption
“Rainbow roll 2.0” as a showcase product for cultivated seafood

Thin sheets of cultivated fish for layering on the outside of maki rolls and other sushi products could be an attractive market-entry commercial product. Producing thin sheets of tissue is…

Icon cultivated Cultivated Commercial End Products End product formulation & manufacturing 0 – Complete whitespace
Microbial strain-development contract research organizations for alternative protein applications

While emerging fermentation-derived ingredient companies often optimize their strain’s productivity in-house, it may be more efficacious for startups to engage contract research organizations with both deep microbial strain development expertise…

Icon fermentation Fermentation Commercial Ecosystem Research R&D Host strain development
Guaranteed offtake contracts for products and ingredients

Guaranteed offtake agreements, where buyers commit to purchase a volume of product, can help secure loans for infrastructure and other high-cost projects.

Icon cultivated Cultivated Icon fermentation Fermentation Icon plant based Plant-Based Commercial Ecosystem End Products Investment Production End product formulation & manufacturing 1 – Inception
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…

Icon fermentation Fermentation Icon plant based 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.

Icon fermentation Fermentation Icon plant based Plant-Based Commercial Research Production R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Crop development Ingredient optimization 2 – Early adoption
Dedicated broker or exchange for plant-based B2B sales

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.

Icon plant based Plant-Based Commercial Business Services Distribution Channels 1 – Inception
Next-generation plant-based turkey products

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…

Icon plant based Plant-Based Commercial End Products End product formulation & manufacturing 1 – Inception
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…

Icon plant based Plant-Based Commercial Demand Generation End Products Production End product formulation & manufacturing 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!

Swinging lit lightbulb graphic representing gfi's innovation priorities

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

Advancing solutions for alternative proteins executive summary icon

Executive summary

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

Advancing solutions for alternative proteins full report icon

Full report

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

Advancing solutions for alternative proteins future wheels analysis icon

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.

Advancing solutions for alternative proteins future-proofing report icon

Future-proofing

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.