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Investing in sustainable food. Plant-based or cell-based?

Updated: Apr 1

TREND


Over one third of consumers in the US have bought plant-based meats, many of them are Flexitarians, which means they still eat meat.


With Burger King’s introduction of the Impossible Whopper, McDonalds’ PLT (Plant Lettuce Tomato) and a Beyond Sausage Breakfast Sandwich at Dunkin’, plant-based meat has become mainstream and according to Burger King’s earnings release, also, well accepted.


Therefore, it now has the potential to make an impact on our planet. It could end factory farming, decrease the amount of land used to grow livestock fodder and address global warming.


While plant-based meat companies have been making their way into grocery stores and restaurants, cell-based meat companies are not far behind.


According to the GFI report, 2018 was a record year for investment in the cell-based meat industry, with 12 cell-based meat companies raising capital worth $50 million.

In 2018, 11 new cell-based meat companies were founded, bringing the total number of companies to publicly announce themselves to 27.

The top three funded cell-based meat companies, Memphis Meats ($22 MM), CUBIQ Foods ($14 MM), and Mosa Meat ($9 MM), have all announced that they expect to start selling products in 2021.



Pictures: Matthew Kenney Cuisine, Mosa Meat



INVESTORS


The following is a sample of investment firms that created a portfolio around sustainable food issues, ranging from plant-based meat, to the reduction of palm oil usage in restaurants and the fight against food waste.


Trillium Asset Management

Trillium works with individual investors to combine investment performance with environmental and social impact. A public project in 2020 is their agreement with Starbucks to cut the coffee-brand’s global packaging waste 50 percent by 2030.


Powerplant Ventures

The portfolio consists of next generation, plant-centric leaders impacting the way food is produced, distributed and consumed.

Known brands: Beyond Meat, Thrive Market


Stray Dog Capital

A mission-driven Venture Capital firm that drives alternatives to the use of animals in the supply chain.

Known Brands: Supermeat, Mosameat, Good Seed Burgers


Blue Horizon

Invests in game changers that are disrupting the largest market in the world: food.

Known Brands: Matthew Kenney Cuisine, Mosa Meat, Beyond Meat


New Crop Capital

Invests in companies developing meat, dairy, eggs and seafood with plant-based ingredients or through cellular agriculture, as well as companies that promote and distribute these products.

Known Brands: Miyoko's Kitchen, Good Catch, Beyond Meat


InvestEco Sustainable Food Fund

goal is to generate strong financial returns for investors by investing in companies that promote health and sustainability in the food and agricultural sector.

Known Brands: Chefs Plate, Maple Hill Creamery


MARKET


The global plant-based protein market is projected to reach $5 billion by 2020, according to Markets and Markets.


According to the GFI report, U.S. retailers booked a 11% rise in plant-based food sales over the past year, while total U.S. retail food sales grew only 2%. And investors are increasingly following the consumer trend.


Plant-based meat, egg, and dairy investments hit $16 billion in 2018 and are accompanied by record investments in cell-based meat.


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