Growing Plant-Based Protein Wholesalers Seizing Upon Market’s Appetite for Vegan Options

Growing Plant-Based Protein Wholesalers Seizing Upon Market’s Appetite for Vegan Options

USA News Group – The market for plant-based protein supplies is set to grow at a near-double-digit pace over the next 6-7 years, according to a new report from Meticulous Research. Accelerated by a CAGR of 9.7%, the plant-based protein market is expected to hit $23.4 billion by 2028. Another report from Market Research Future goes even further, predicting the market will grow by 10.2% CAGR through to close to $38 billion by 2027. While much of the media attention has focused on product launches, such as new vegan-friendly menu items from popular chains such as McDonald’sKFC, and Chipotle, the biggest upcoming food trends predicted for 2022 and beyond is that of ‘mindfulness’, which means more stellar sales to come for wholesale companies producing the ingredients used in a lot of these products, including Nepra Foods (CSE:NPRA) (OTC:NPRFF), Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (NYSE:ADM), Conagra Brands, Inc. (NYSE:CAG), Ingredion Incorporated (NYSE:INGR) and DuPont de Nemours, Inc. (NYSE:DD).

Led by a team of many of the same people who grew the popular gluten-free Udi’s line of products, Nepra Foods (CSE:NPRA) (OTC:NPRFF) exited 2021 on a few high-notes, including through an oversubscribed IPO, and 150% year-on-year growth going into 2022.

Now the plant-based, allergen-free food manufacturers have had a chance to reflect on Nepra’s latest successful year, and its 5th year in a row marking revenue growth.

“Our underlying wholesale ingredient business continues to show aggressive year-over-year growth in 2022,” wrote Nepra CEO David Wood. “While the industry, in general, has been plagued by logistical challenges and heightened costs, Nepra Foods' supply chains have proven to be resilient and largely unimpacted.”

Key to Nepra’s strategy is differentiating itself with its proprietary Textured Hemp Protein (or THPTM). Marketed as a game changer for the plant-based food industry, THP deviates from most other textured vegetable proteins that are derived from peas, soybeans, wheat, and other plant sources. According to the company, it’s been noted that many of these can trigger food allergies, or have an “off” flavor and texture.

To keep up with demand, Nepra invested in specialized equipment for the commercial production of THP, which will be housed in their new 31,000 square foot manufacturing facility and test kitchen in Centennial, Colorado. 

“Building from last year's success, we will be adding two new revenue streams which are synergistic with our underlying wholesale ingredient business,” added Wood. “The first of which will be our consumer-packaged plant-based high-protein frozen meals into both traditional and natural retail channels with our PROPASTATM line. The second will be to market our semi-finished meal components such as textured plant proteins, plant-based cheeses, high protein pastas, and blended dry mixes into the institutional foodservice market including restaurant chains, schools, and hospitals.”

Not shying away from soy, Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (NYSE:ADM) chose to invest more heavily into plant-based protein production in late November 2021, by acquiring European non-GMO soybean ingredients producer, Sojaprotein—which achieved more than $100 million in sales in 2020.

Based out of Serbia, Sojaprotein exports into 65 countries, and offers a range of non-GMO vegetable protein ingredients for European and global customers in the meat alternative, confectionary, protein bar, pharmaceutical, pet food, and animal feed segments.

“Thirty years ago, ADM invented the soy vegetable burger, giving rise to the plant-based protein segment,” said Leticia Gonçalves, ADM’s president of Global Foods. “The addition of Sojaprotein – the largest producer of plant-based protein in southern Europe – adds production capacity in addition to an impressive network of customers who are leading the way in meeting consumer needs for nutritious and responsible plant-based foods and beverages.”

The acquisition continued to build upon ADM’s other recent investments in alternative proteins, including a soy protein complex in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil; a new pea protein plant in Enderlin, North Dakota; a PlantPlus Foods joint venture; and partnerships with innovative startups like Air Protein.

Through its Gardein product lineConagra Brands, Inc. (NYSE:CAG) has seen success through producing products made from a blend of ancient grains, veggies, and non-GMO soy, wheat, and canola. The company boasts that Gardein delivers real-meat taste, texture, and nutrition with no cholesterol, less saturated fat, and fewer calories than traditional proteins.

As Gardein largely supports the Food Service sector, Conagra notably benefitted from the sector’s recovery towards the end of 2021 and into this year. According to Zack’s research, in Q1 2022, Foodservice segment sales moved up 20.9% year on year to $239.8 million, owing to a rise in organic sales. 

Conagra’s acquired the Gardein brand (along with the previously mentioned Udi’s) when it bought Pinnacle Foods in 2018 for nearly $11 billion. Since then, Conagra management has boosted some of Pinnacle Foods’ business banners, especially the Gardein brand, which holds a solid position in the plant-based meat-alternatives food space.

Global ingredients solutions company Ingredion Incorporated (NYSE:INGR) has been steadily assisting in the creation and production of several new plant-based protein products on the market. In 2022, the company’s expected fiscal year revenue to be $7.32 billion, representing a 6.8% year-over-year growth.

Ingredion has been quite busy with its involvement in the animal-free protein space, including its partnership in a quinoa flour with NorQuinanimal-free egg proteins with EVERY Companymicroalgae-based dairy-free cheese with Sophie’s BioNutrients.

Back in 2019, DuPont de Nemours, Inc. (NYSE:DD) launched six new plant protein nuggets from its SUPRO® and TRUPRO® product range, under its DuPont Nutrition and Biosciences segment.

Since then, DuPont has grown its meatless protein offerings to include its RESPONSE® Textured Soy Protein Concentrates for ground-style applications such as burgers, nuggets, sausages, and patties; SUPRO® MAX Structured Vegetable Proteins for whole muscle-style applications such as meat-like chunks, shreds, and strips; SUPRO® Isolated Soy Proteins for high-protein powdered products that improve the eating experience of meat-free applications; and ALPHA® Functional Soy Protein Concentrates, which are emulsified, for applications such as deli meats and slices.

Article Source: https://usanewsgroup.com/2021/09/05/the-plant-based-food-revolution-is-here/

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