March 23, 2021
Industry Leaders Prioritize Health, Environment in Alt-protein Discussions
Bill Gates’ book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster” inspired heavy discussion about the environmental benefits of plant-based proteins. In the book, Gates paired environmental concerns with the importance of investment to enact change. On the investment front, Danone’s Feb. 18 acquisition of dairy-free cheese brand Earth Island overshadowed all other transactions in the space, positioning the company to “strengthen its plant-based business.” Other notable investments included capital rounds for startups Mosa Meat and Redefine Meat.
Thanks to a Good Morning America segment that shared an American Heart Association study touting the health benefits of a plant-based diet, the health conversation got an uptick for both consumers and industry leaders. Dean Ornish, MD, president of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute, commented: “The TYPE of protein you consume is important, not just fats vs. carbs.”
The topic of innovation fell from the top spot in January as discussion about new products gave way to raising funds. Attention to safety also fell in February compared with January’s headlines about pending lawsuits against FDA approval of Impossible Foods’ coloring ingredient.
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