Michael Lavin, founder and managing partner Germin8 Ventures, said over the last decade, consumers have changed their mindset about food in interesting ways.
“We used to like convenient nutrition at a low cost, over time we became more and more concerned with clean labels and wholeness, and now consumers also want functional ingredients that support health,” says Lavin.
Lavin says that consumers are increasingly aware of the role diet plays in their health.
“Globally, chronic disease accounts for more than 70% of all deaths each year, but 80% of certain chronic conditions can be prevented through a healthier diet. Diet is the second highest risk factor for premature death after smoking, and, interestingly, it is less about poor dietary intake and more about the beneficial nutrients that are lost from our diets, “Lavin said.
“Consumers see that supplements are not a silver bullet, and they need a holistic strategy to proactively manage their health,” adds Lavin.
Data and traceability
“Traceability will extend beyond food safety and production methods to include aroma, taste, texture, nutritional benefits and other aspects of food quality,” said Pougnier. “Big data has evolved, but the use of that data has not evolved and will make progress in 2021.”
Pougnier added it would be imperative for small farmers in remote parts of the world who have no table seats and no long-term equity in their crops once sold to wholesalers.
Alternative and cell-based protein creation
Looking at the alternative protein market, McKinsey 2019 report On alternative protein, it was revealed that sales of plant foods increased 17 percent in 2018. In 2019, UBS estimated the plant-based protein or alternative meat market grows 28% a year to $ 85 billion by 2030.
“The past twelve months have been a period in which new players can present proof of concept to investors and media groups, said Lavin.” The next period will be marked by success and failure in optimizing flavors and formulations for scale-up. “
Lavin said cell-based proteins can refer to cultured proteins for the human market, but are also linked to alternative proteins that are produced biologically for animals, including livestock, aquaculture and companion animal markets, and each of these markets has attracted significant investment capital.
Ÿnsect is one of these companies.
Ÿnsect wants to change the food chain with insects. Company, armed with $ 425 million in funding and $ 372 M recently series C June 2020 includes investment from the FootPrint Coalition of Robert Downey Jr., converting farm-grown insects into premium animal nutrition.
“We believe that fish fed with sustainable protein (mealworms) will become certified label and then become a requirement in future aquaculture,” said Antoine Hubert, CEO, Ÿnsect.
Lavin notes that ultimately success can be overpowered by poor consumer perceptions, unfulfilled taste, sensory experiences, and cost.
“This is a sector that still needs to be industrialized, and a big part of doing so lies in designing better inputs and tools. We’ve seen many entrants develop new growth factors, media, bioprocessing hardware and software,” Lavin said.
Lavin adds that 100% plant-based and hybrid products, mostly plant-based, will ultimately win with dominant market share and consumer preference.
Increased carbon removal through nature-based agricultural projects
There are several impact pathways for agriculture to reduce or remove carbon.
Hubert of Ÿnsect says the emergence of large-scale carbon negative proteins and vertical farming is one way. “With vertical farming, we use 98% less land while significantly reducing the carbon footprint of protein production and producing zero waste,” said Hubert.
“Food systems contribute about 26% (13.6 billion tonnes) of global greenhouse gas emissions, with livestock being the highest contributor,” Lavin said. “Of the 13.6 B tonnes of CO2 equivalent, about 31% is attributed to enteric fermentation – the release of methane – and 18% to land use for livestock – this is a very significant impact pathway for startups, new technologies, and farmers to make a difference. “
Lavin notes that the most significant barrier is not the availability of technology, but the economic factors needed to stimulate adoption and shifting practices.
“The majority of methane-inhibiting feed additives and enzymes hold promise for reducing methane, but as a consequence of animal weight gain, which means a net reduction in farmer profits, and therein lies a necessary breakthrough,” adds Lavin.
“There are also proven grazing methods to create dynamics where certain swarm emissions are more than offset by carbon reabsorbed into the soil, but this regenerative strategy is not the norm for its complexity,” Lavin said. “Alternative technologies, markets and proteins will increasingly intervene in this area and make it possible to shift livestock production to a more sustainable model. This is very important.”
Food as medicine
The global Covid-19 pandemic has affected every aspect of our industry and collective way of life. Although disruption from the pandemic is slowing down investation This movement, at the same time, has also created opportunities for real business opportunities that will advance the food-as-medicine movement.
“Germin8’s view is that food technology as medicine refers to any product or service that transfers power to food as a health tool, and they exist throughout the value chain,” Lavin said. “Downstream, this could include consumer applications serving as artificial intelligence (AI) nutrition trainers, foods featuring evidence-backed active ingredients, or personalized supplements aimed at enhancing your unique microbiome in a tailored way.”
Lavin says that food-as-medicine innovations include a computational discovery platform that uncovers new nutrients to significantly strengthen our health; bioprocessing methods for producing high value nutrients at low cost; safe and reliable new chemicals for farmers to use; and farming new crops that make our diets more diverse.
“Chronic diseases are projected to have a global impact of $ 47 T by 2030, so food as medicine is a great opportunity as it gains momentum to solve this problem, and investors will continue to invest,” Lavin added.