Have you ever wondered what your plate of food in the future will look like? Whether you’re a fish eater or chicken eater, have you ever thought about the impacts of overpopulation and limited resources? Meat and milk without the cows?! Well the food industry and science have and are taking the animal out of protein.
At a panel discussion organized by the Good Food Institute at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, attendees discussed the future of food and the outdated methods used to produce animal products and how these will soon be regulated and become history as a new form of production will be born. Instead of relying on animals for protein products, we will be able to create the same products more efficiently and sustainably through plant sources or by growing animal proteins without the actual animal.
There are a three main reasons for the rapid growth of plant-based alternatives. Firstly, there is a growing consumer awareness surrounding the health benefits of plant proteins. Second, plant-based product formulation is expanding from a molecular level to more closely replicate the taste and texture of conventional animal products and exploring novel plant proteins, fats and so on. Lastly, ballooning global population and changing climate are also major market evolution drivers. The current production process has assumed an unchanging world and is contributing to resource depletion, environmental degradation, and climate change. All three of which must be changed immediately.
Alternative proteins represent a foundational shift in the food system as well as a tremendous business opportunity. The production of animal products for use in the food supply is a trillion-dollar market that is on the verge of a transformation. Celebrities such as Richard Branson and Bill Gates are putting their money and Richard Branson believes “that in 30 years or so we will no longer need to kill any animals and that all meat will either be clean or plant-based, taste the same and also be much healthier for everyone.”
From billionaires to fast food chains, everyone is recognizing the value of alternative proteins. Alternative proteins are being introduced not just at your local grocery store, but they are also being introduced at fast food chain Burger King. This means that alternative proteins are being made affordable and creating a culture of being healthy not just amongst upper class but amongst lower income households as well.
Alternative proteins are not just helping save our planets resources, making humans healthier, and making healthy affordable but it is the future of food for everyone, and before we know it, it will soon be our only source of protein. Businesses only focused on animal product distribution and services must shift and expand their focus to alternative proteins. If successful fast food chains like Burger King and successful entrepreneurs like Bill Gates and Richard Branson are putting this innovation on a pedestal then so should your business.