In recent years, the plant-based protein industry has witnessed large investments and expansions to capitalize on the veganism trend and the surging demand for sustainable foods. Well-established animal protein manufacturers and meat & dairy players are also increasingly under attack alongside the growing risk profile of livestock production. This protein diversification has the potential to transform a food company’s core business and value proposition due to its growth, profitability, risk exposure, and ability to compete and innovate.
The growing trend of millennials adopting flexitarian and meat-free diets signals a change in purchasing habits that significantly shift from earlier generations. Companies across the food value chain, from producers to retailers, are already investing in these opportunities. Some companies hedge against or prepare for the declining demand for animal-derived products by investing in other companies that produce alternatives. The market has received investment or funding from several high-profile individuals, financial investors, and companies in the past few years. Additionally, government bodies of various countries have also been increasing their investments in plant proteins. Some of these investments and expansion plans are as follows:
- In March 2022, Australia invested USD 277.6 million to transform South Australia into a plant-protein manufacturing powerhouse.
- In April 2021, ADM (U.S.) opened a new cutting-edge, plant-based innovation lab in the company’s Biopolis research hub in Singapore. This lab was designed to develop next-level, on-trend, and nutritious products to meet Asia-Pacific's growing food and beverage demand.
- In June 2020, Canada invested CAD USD 100 million (USD 74 million) into Merit Functional Foods (Canada), which creates ingredients for plant-based foods. This investment is expected to support Canadian farmers growing crops, such as yellow peas.
- In February 2020, ADM (U.S.) expanded the production of its non-GMO soy protein concentrate at its facility in Europoort (Netherlands). This expansion was aimed at meeting the growing demand for high-quality plant-based protein in the European market.
- In August 2019, Cargill (U.S.) invested USD 75 million in expanding its PURIS pea protein production in the U.S. to meet the surging demand.
- In June 2019, Kerry Group (Ireland) opened its EUR 20 million production facility in Tumkur, India. This production facility serves Kerry Taste & Nutrition’s global and regional customers in Southwest Asia.
- As of December 2018, Ingredion (U.S.) invested USD 140 million to accelerate growth in the plant-based protein space. This strategic investment accelerated the company’s production and expanded its portfolio of plant-based protein, including pulse flours, concentrates, and isolates, to cater to the increased global demand.
Thus, the growing investments and expansion plans by key players, which support the growth of plant-based protein companies, are expected to drive the growth of the plant-based protein processing equipment market.
Meticulous Research® in its latest publication on ‘Plant-Based Protein Processing Equipment Market’ states that the global plant-based protein processing equipment market is projected to reach $1.68 billion by 2029, at a CAGR of 4.2% during the forecast period 2022–2029.
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