- A record-setting $3.1 billion was invested in various proteins in 2020, in keeping with an evaluation by The Good Meals Institute. That is greater than half of the full $5.9 billion invested on this sector over the last decade — and thrice greater than in 2019.
- Plant-based meat, egg and dairy firms acquired $2.1 billion of this funding complete, which was greater than thrice the quantity the plant-based section raised in 2019. Firms utilizing fermentation to make various proteins acquired $590 million final yr, which was greater than twice what it acquired the yr earlier than. And cell-based meat firms acquired greater than $360 million in 2020 — 72% of the entire funding the section has ever acquired.
- The expansion of options comes as traders put more cash towards serving to safe innovative meals tech firms, in addition to helped fund firms targeted on extra sustainable meals. Final yr additionally noticed the world’s first regulatory approval granted for cell-based meat.
Whereas the greenback quantities and progress in various protein funding on this report are massive, they aren’t stunning.
A number of reviews all through 2020 hinted at the truth that it was turning out to be an enormous yr for funding. In simply the primary quarter of 2020, funding for various protein had already exceeded the full quantity invested within the section in 2019, in keeping with a GFI research launched final summer time.
The primary 9 months of the yr noticed $8.37 billion invested within the broader meals tech house, in keeping with a research from Finistere Ventures. And in all of 2020, the agrifood sector — which additionally consists of meals manufacturing, provide chain and restaurant tech — acquired at the least $26.1 billion, in keeping with a research from AgFunder.
Many firms within the sector acquired their largest ever investments in 2020. A number of have already paid off when it comes to expansions, amenities, merchandise and new developments. Main the pack was Unattainable Meals, which had two monumental funding rounds shut final yr: $500 million that closed in March and $200 million that closed in August. That cash helped Unattainable Meals make a big retail enlargement, going from having its merchandise offered in a small handful of grocery shops in 2019 to about 17,000 nationwide in February, plus a direct-to-consumer web site. Unattainable Meals has additionally lower costs to each foodservice and grocery clients, and plans to double its R&D division this yr to launch extra disruptive plant-based merchandise.
On the fermentation aspect, Good Day introduced in probably the most money, topping off a $300 million Collection C funding spherical with $160 million in July. Its fermented animal-free dairy proteins are being utilized in a number of manufacturers of ice cream, together with Smitten, Graeter’s and Nick’s, in addition to in Courageous Robotic, a launch from affiliated CPG The Pressing Firm.
And for cell-based meat, Memphis Meats acquired the most important funding haul with a $161 million funding , which elevated its complete funding eight-fold. Cargill and Tyson participated within the spherical, which the corporate will use to construct a plant to provide beef, rooster and duck that needs to be operational this yr. Whereas no cell-based meat has acquired regulatory approval in america but, trade watchers say it may occur later this yr, and Memphis Meats has been working with regulators to be one of many first to promote it right here.
Whereas analysts have stated the well being halo of plant-based merchandise has helped the section develop through the pandemic, customers’ growing consciousness of sustainability points has additionally pushed each gross sales and investments. Excessive profile reviews projecting the eventual collapse of standard meat and dairy, in addition to assessments displaying superior sustainability scores for cell-based meat and plant-based choices are giving each customers and traders a lot to consider.
“That is one more sign of the numerous potential the personal sector sees on this quickly rising world trade,” GFI Director of Company Engagement Caroline Bushnell stated in a weblog publish. “Whereas the quantity is record-breaking, extra funding is required — from each the general public and the personal sectors — to fulfill the urgency of this second. A big-scale shift towards various proteins might be essential to mitigating the environmental affect of meals manufacturing, assembly the Paris Local weather Settlement, and sustainably feeding a rising world inhabitants.”