As I’ve mentioned before we’re seeing the breakup of the plantbased value chain into supply blocks. We’re seeing everything from specialised fats to flavours and now the basic building block of the plants themselves.
A criticism of some plantbased products is that they’re “ultra-processed”. Some of this “ultra-processing” comes from the manufacturing of plant protein ingredients into isolates and concentrates. Well now Benson Hill has developed and plans to release an “Ultra-High Protein” soy variety specifically designed for plantbased meat products. Apparently the product has “50% more protein than current varieties” and needs “only to go through a regular crush to get the protein concentration equivalent to soy protein concentrate.” For those concerned about such things it’s also non-GMO.
As the plantbased industry matures it’s never been easier to get into the market and barriers to entry are reducing almost exponentially. And the possible combinations are endless with pure plantbased, hybrid with animal meat, hybrid with non-animal derived animal fat etc. Get your ultra-high protein soy, add some cultivated chicken fat with some synthetic biology heme and flavour and you’ve got yourself a product! Obviously not quite that easy, but not nearly as difficult as it was even 12 months ago.
With the barriers to entry falling and the exploding availability of ingredient options the cycle of innovative new products is virtually self perpetuating.
Expect to see increasing diversification of product types in the next 5 years as more and more cultivated and synthetic biology ingredients become available. Some will survive, others will not, but the supermarket shelves will never be the same again!