40% of ‘leading’ food firms including Nestlé, Unilever and Kroger, now have dedicated teams for the development of plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy products, according to new research from investor network the FAIRR Initiative.
The figures were published following a four-year investor engagement programme between the FAIRR Initiative and 25 food retailers and manufacturers.
FAIRR’s Sustainable Proteins Engagement network includes a coalition of 88 investors, which work with 15 retailers and 10 food manufacturers including Nestlé, M&S, Sainsbury’s, Carrefour, Costco, Amazon and Walmart. The network aims to encourage major food firms to diversify their protein sources to drive growth following the surge in demand for plant-based products.
According to FAIRR, Tesco and Unilever were praised for their commitment to shifting food portfolios to more sustainable protein sources, while 7 of these 15 retailers now sell, or plan to sell plant-based meat alternatives ‘on the meat aisle’. However, Kraft Heinz and Costco were found to be “falling behind” their rivals, according to the research.
While the report states that approximately 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by agriculture, forestry and other land-use, the report welcomed a 57% increase in Scope 3 emissions targets from 2019-2020, as companies committed to reducing the emissions footprints of animal agriculture and supply chains.
Jeremy Coller, founder of FAIRR and chief investment officer at Coller Capital said: “The company data published today is hard evidence that big food brands are vying for their slice of the plant-based pie. They are drastically scaling-up and skilling-up their capacity to research and develop plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy. Tangible goals for a protein transition are being put in place.
“The post-Covid landscape has made 2020 a watershed year for the sustainable protein market: the sector has attracted double the investment of last year in just six months. This engagement shows which food companies are putting in place the infrastructure and innovation to benefit from this seismic shift in the ways we shop and eat; and those that will lose out. Investors are watching closely.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2021
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