A record $930 million was invested in companies which produce plant-based meat and dairy alternatives or cell-cultured meat during the first quarter of 2020, according to two studies released by the Good Food Institute.
According to the research, this $930 million figure was higher than the total amount invested in alternative protein firms throughout the whole of last year, exceeding the $824 million figure raised by alternative protein producers in 2019 by 11%.
More specifically, producers of plant-based meat, egg and dairy alternatives received $737 million in funding at the start of 2020, around 80% of the total, while cell-based meat companies received $189 million in funding to make up the remaining 20%.
Investments at the start of 2020 included the $500 million raised by Impossible Foods – the producer of the Impossible Burger – the $200 million raised by plant-based food collective LiveKindly, and the Series B funding round in cultivated meat firm Memphis Meats.
According to SPINS data supplied by the Good Food Institute, plant-based meat retail sales grew by 18% in 2019 to $939 million, and plant-based meat now accounts for 2% of total meat retail sales in the US.
The research also claimed that several new technological innovations pioneered by firms in the alternative protein sector such as biofabrication, shear cell technology, and 3D bioprinting will help to propel the growth of the sector in the years to come.
The Good Food Institute is a non-profit organisation which promotes plant-based alternatives to meat, dairy and eggs, as well as cultivated meats in order to promote a ‘more sustainable’ global food system.
A statement released by the Good Food Institute said: “The future of food is plant-based and cultivated, but the alternative protein industry is still in its early days.
“Despite great growth so far, the field needs more capital and resources in order to meaningfully transform our food system to one that is secure, stable, and sustainable.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020