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The Alt Meat Boom: News in New and Emerging Protein Alternatives

Theresa "Sam" Houghton
July 27, 2020

Happy Monday, fellow nerds! I hope you’re ready for a trek through the weird and wild today — because this week’s news roundup is all about the bizarrely fascinating world of alternative meat. 🤯

More People Want to Eat All of the Plants

Citing "significant investments in plant-based product companies" and "increasing incidences of intolerance for animal protein," a new report predicts the plant-based food market could reach a value of $74.2 billion (yes, billion 💲💲) by 2027. COVID-19 has certainly had an effect, leading to a 280% jump in sales for vegan meat in the U.S. alone — and the interest in alt meat and plant-based milk doesn't seem to show signs of waning any time soon.

Israeli Company Redefine Meat is...Redefining Meat

What happens when you take legume- and grain-based proteins and plant fats, add some natural flavors and colors, and run it all through a 3D printer? If you're Eshchar Ben-Shitrit, founder of Redefine Meat, you get vegan steak. 🌿🥩Redefine Meat's unique production process has the potential to move beyond beef to create plant-based versions of other whole meat cuts (think pork, chicken, tuna…) — and honestly, you have to read about it in detail to really appreciate the innovation.

KFC Takes a Crack at Hybrid Nuggets

Fried chicken without the cluck may be coming to a KFC near you — if you live in Russia. In partnership with 3D Bioprinting Solutions, KFC is developing a nugget recipe featuring 80% plant-based and 20% cell-based ingredients. The final product will have to clear government regulations before it winds up in a red-and-white bucket anywhere in the world, though. Depending on how long that takes, KFC could become the first distributor of a lab-grown/plant-based meat hybrid. 🐔🌿  

Flavor Companies Could be Key Players in Making Alt Meat a Thing

"But how does it taste?" That's likely to be the question on everyone's mind, from the skeptical omnivore to the curious vegan. Though the latest innovations in alt meat range from unique to mind-blowing, tech alone does not a tasty meal make. 🍴Big-name flavor and fragrance companies around the world are stepping in to transform alt meats from simple protein alternatives to enjoyable experiences — no animal ingredients necessary.

Should We Even Eat This Stuff?

Alt meat seeks to offer the taste, texture and experience of eating animal-based foods with a much smaller carbon footprint and zero need for slaughterhouses — but is it a good alternative from a health perspective?

Dr. Michael Greger of NutritionFacts.org fame puts existing and developing plant-based meat products to the test August 26 in a new live webinar, “The Human Health Implications of Plant-Based and Cultivated Meat for Pandemic Prevention and Climate Mitigation.” 💻

That’s all for this week! Next Monday, we’ll dive into how all these changes in the food system may affect content marketing — both for the companies developing new products and the marketers who work with them. 📝✍🏻

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