1st generation: plant based
This is about solutions based on plants or fungi that either imitate the taste characteristics of conventional meat, poultry or seafood products or focus on the plang or fungi material itself.2nd generation: fermentation tech
The development focus here is mainly on ingredients produced by genetic engineering or with the aid of fermentation, such as milk proteins, animal fats, egg whites, etc., which are also used as ingredients for other alt-protein products.3rd generation: cell-cultured
Genuine animal product (meat/poultry/fish/seafood) produced by cultivating animal cells. Cells are arranged in the same or similar structure as animal tissue, replicating the sensory and nutritional profiles of conventional meat.
The potential of these disruptive products is enormous
, underlined Cooperhouse, whose company BlueNalu is researching cell-based proteins with the aim of offering cell-cultured tuna to the top gastronomic segment in the near future. According to market forecasts by management consulting firm Kearny, by 2040 only 40 percent of global meat consumption will come from conventional production
, while 25 percent will be plant-based and 35 percent cultured proteins. This would represent an average annual growth rate of 41 percent for cell-based meat
The shift from plant-based to the previously less established production areas of fermentation and cell-cultured is already underway, Cooperhouse said. According to analysis by the Good Food Institute, investment volumes for cell-culture and fermentation technologies have exceeded those for plant-based solutions since 2021
. (2021 investment volume total: $5 billion, of which: $1.93 billion plant-based; $1.7 billion fermentation; $1.38 billion cell-cultured).
The CEO used BlueNalu as an example to explain why this type of protein generation is not only animal-friendly and protects the environment, but at the same time brings greater security for foodservice operations and consumers
. A vertically integrated seafood ecosystem, for example, promises foodservice operators reliable product availability
, as well as securely calculable prices
. Numerous external influencing factors can be decimated. Consumers benefit from clear indications of origin
and safe food
, e.g. seafood that is not only free of mercury, microplastics
or other contaminants, but that they can also enjoy with a clear conscience
(e.g. no overfishing, no bycatch).
So, the course for the right path has been set. Already today, as Cooperhouse showed with numerous examples from the 4P segments, the food tech landscape is extremely diverse. The willingness to invest is high. So is the interest of the foodservice industry: of 91 survey participants (Mentimeter) at the European Foodservice Summit 2022, 67 percent said they would offer cell-based meat in their restaurants
if it were readily available.