A new approach to alternative protein innovation

Maarten Geraets from seafood-based food producer Thai Union Group shares insight into the alternative protein market and product innovation.

The global trend towards alternative proteins, and specifically plant-based alternatives, has recently seen a slowing in its growth trajectory. Widely debated within the media and global industry, especially in North America where the trend was most stark, the causes of this pace-change have been discussed at length. In some European markets, however, plant‑based offerings are often still front and centre on supermarket shelves. As part of a young category, these growing pains are not unusual, as markets develop along the familiar ‘s-curve’. We should not forget that the fundamentals for this trend remain unchanged, with environmental and health concerns topping the list.

As such, players in both the animal protein and alternative protein space should consider embracing the plant-based option through collaboration, providing consumers the varied options they’re seeking and capturing this new growth opportunity. As new technologies develop, the alternative protein space will expand from plant-based today, to insect‑based, fermentation‑based and cultured (cell‑based) tomorrow.