40% of leading food companies now have dedicated teams for plant-based products

The FAIRR Initiative has found that 40% of leading food companies like Nestlé, Tesco, and Kroger now have specific teams to develop and sell plant-based products.

A four-year investor engagement, led by collaborative investor network FAIRR Initiative Moreover, it has found that two in five global food companies now have teams dedicated to developing and distributing plant-based dairy and meat alternatives.

The company engaged with 25 giant food retailers and manufacturers, including Tesco and Unilever. Both these companies have the highest ranking for their commitment to shifting their food portfolios to more sustainable protein sources.

Investors have praised both chains for showing support by moving away from animal proteins to “climate-aligned” proteins made from plant-based ingredients and completing a climate “scenario analysis” on its commodity supply chains.

FAIRR also noted that a total of seven out of 15 retailers are now selling, or plan to sell, plant-based meat in the meat aisle.

Kroger, Coles, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s all have dedicated human resources on developing plant-based products and manufacturers. Conagra Brands, Kerry Group, and Saputo also have a similar initiative. And 10% of Nestlé’s R&D employees are dedicated to the cause. 

The companies to fall behind are Costco and Kraft Heinz, with Amazon staying silent on distributing said proteins.

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 put in place.”

Coller also mentions that the post-COVID landscape has helped the sustainable protein market. Moreover, it has attracted double the investment of last year in just six months.

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