New Food Invest 2022 conference “invaluable networking opportunity” for alternative protein sector
8 November 2022
About 200 participants took part in the New Food Invest conference on 27 October, bringing together international plant-based and cultured-food businesses, investors and venture capitalists to accelerate the growth of these sectors.
Focusing on the African, Middle-East and European markets, the conference covered diverse topics including how to incorporate food system transformation into sustainable investment strategies, the consumer psychology around cultivated meat and the weaknesses and opportunities in alternative protein supply chains.
The event was co-hosted by global food awareness organisation, ProVeg International, and business networking and investment platform Beyond Animal. Key Conference Supporter was Beyond Impact with its mission: “Accelerating the transition to a kinder, cleaner, healthier world.”
Claire Smith, Co-Founder of Beyond Animal, was among the speakers this year, presenting on the current funding climate for alternative protein products: “It was very exciting to have so many people focused on investing in the alternative protein sector gathered together at New Food Invest. It served as a really valuable opportunity for startups and established businesses to be informed on the state of the market and to network with each other,” Smith said. “I am really looking forward to the next event in February which will cover the Asia-Pacific Region and promises to be equally valuable,” Smith added.
Among notable trends, Smith said that climate tech funds were now entering the space and becoming more active, seeing food system transformation as a climate solution, and corporates were increasingly seeking to work with start-ups to bring new products to market.
Antje Raeuscher, Co-Head/Senior Innovation and Partnerships Manager, at ProVeg Incubator spoke about how startups in the field are being supported by ProVeg.
She said: “It was great to have the opportunity to show how startups can succeed in the alt protein sector through the provision of funding and training at ProVeg headquarters in Berlin. We envisage many more companies coming through to take advantage of the Incubator scheme to latch onto this booming market.”
Representatives from Bluu Seafood, Supermeat and Aleph Farms spoke about the scientific and techo-economic challenges facing cellular agriculture whilst a panel of speakers from ENOUGH, Bosque Foods and Food Strategy Associates spoke on the prospects for fungi and fermentation.
Heads of investment at corporates SONAE, Dohler and Upfield highlighted the importance of diverse protein sources, taste, affordability, versatility and naturality in products to entice greater consumer take-up.
Antti Savilaakso, Partner and Head of Research at Impact Cubed, told delegates that most markets don’t fully understand how quickly the average investor, Millennials and Gen-Z are seeing their investment portfolio as being an extension of their own values. “The environmental impact of animal agriculture, particularly when it comes to net zero, is completely overlooked, and especially Scope 3 emissions. We also find that better management, less tax avoidance and more diverse teams in companies that avoid the use of animals,” Savilaakso said.
Christian Patino, Executive Director, Global Technology Team, at UBS, addressed the current slowdown in sales which he said was due to the need for taste technology to improve further. “We are confident this will happen. As a result, adaptation of plant-based meats will grow and by 2035, plant-based meats will take a dominant market share of the protein market,” Patino said.
Sebastian Joy, President of ProVeg, said: “We are grateful to have had such informed panellists covering the range of topics that startups and investors need to hear about in order to venture into the alternative protein sector. It is so important to promote this sector as a response to humanity’s efforts to tackle climate change.”
Among the startups that actively pitched during the event was Hamburg footech company PLANT B, founded by Thomas Starz. PLANT B launched the first plant-based liquid egg alternative based on sweet lupin in April 2022 under the slogan “Good for you, the planet and the chicken”.
New Food Invest will shift to the Asia-Pacific region for its next online event on 15 February 2023. The details are below:
When: 15 February 2023 for Asia Pacific region, 8am to 1.30pm CEST
Where: Online – register here.
Hosts: ProVeg International and Beyond Animal (Organiser)
Fees: Attendee Ticket €199
Start-up Pitch Package: €499
Investor Ticket: €299
Key Conference Supporter: €5,900 (1 event)
Corporate Supporter: €3,900 (1 event)
Registration for the event and additional information can be found here.
Notes to Editors:
For more information and inquiries about Beyond Animal, please email: [email protected]
About ProVeg International
ProVeg is an international food awareness organisation working to transform the global food system by replacing conventional animal-based products with plant-based and cultured alternatives. ProVeg is committed to help the food industry benefit from the transformation of the global food system. ProVeg has permanent-observer status with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, is accredited for the UN Environmental Assembly, and has received the United Nations’ Momentum for Change Award. More information is available at www.proveg.com.
About Beyond Animal: a leading digital networking and investment platform
Beyond Animal is a digital platform that aims to accelerate the growth of a sustainable, humane, economy by providing networking, collaboration, resources, and investor matchmaking and dealmaking for a fast and efficient fundraising process. App freely available on the AppStore and Google Play and private dealroom open to qualified investors. More details can be found at www.beyondanimal.com.