Alternative proteins could be a quarter of all food by 2040

At least a quarter of all food could be produced from alternative proteins by 2040. This was one of the findings of a GEA-commissioned survey of 1,000 chefs in eleven countries, which the machinery and plant manufacturer presented recently in Frankfurt. Of the chefs surveyed, 43 percent believe that the proportion of all meals prepared with alternative proteins will reach between 26 and 50 percent by 2040.

Posted on Jan 17 ,04:38

Alternative proteins could be a quarter of all food by 2040

Nearly one in four of the respondents expects alternative proteins to constitute more than 50 percent of all food by 2040. These more sustainable alternatives to meat, dairy, seafood and eggs are derived from plants or produced through microbes or cell cultivation.

Conducted by Danish market research agency Lindberg International in August 2022, the survey also shows that chefs have already begun the transition to new foods. Roughly 90 percent said they are already using meat and dairy alternatives, with a good one in three even using them to a significant extent.

"Alternative proteins hold the promise of helping feed a growing population using fewer resources. As such, they can play an essential role in making our food system more sustainable and reliable," explains GEA CEO Stefan Klebert. "GEA enables the technological development and commercial production of alternative proteins. This puts us at the center of a defining moment that will very likely shape the future of nutrition."

"This survey of chefs was very appealing to us as market researchers and we are delighted to have been able to connect with this exciting target group on three continents,” adds Michael Lindberg, CEO of Lindberg International. “Our survey findings show that chefs across the globe are very open to alternative proteins. Many are also conscious of the fact that these novel products and ingredients could have a pivotal impact on our future nutrition and want to actively promote this shift."

Around 90 percent of chefs have observed growing interest in alternatives to conventional products, with over 40 percent reporting a high degree of increased demand. According to the survey respondents, environmental (79 percent), health (74 percent) and ethical reasons (50 percent), such as the desire for higher animal welfare, are driving this trend.

Nearly 95 percent of those surveyed feel that their restaurant patrons will demand more plant-based proteins over the next decade, with one in two chefs expecting a high level of interest. For cultivated and cell-based proteins, 45 percent of chefs predict strong growth in demand. In addition, no less than 36 percent of chefs expect to see a considerable rise in customer demand for insect-based proteins and foods.

The chefs confirmed that, in many cases, plant-based products are now also a compelling alternative from a quality and price perspective. However, around 70 percent of chefs consider quality improvements crucial to the further success of novel alternatives going forward.

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