Growing Demand for Plant-Based Proteins: A Look at the Chefs' Perspective

A recent survey of 1,000 chefs from eleven countries conducted by GEA has revealed that the majority of professional cooks have confidence in alternative proteins.

By Milo Runkle

An impressive 43% of chefs surveyed believe that alternative proteins will make up between 26-50% of meals prepared by 2040, and 23% believe that alternative proteins will be used more than traditional ones by that same year.

As Stefan Klebert, CEO of GEA, states, “Alternative proteins hold the promise of helping feed a growing population using fewer resources. As such, they can play an essential role in making our food system more sustainable and reliable.”

The survey, conducted in August of last year, found that 90%of chefs already use meat and dairy alternatives, with one in three using them“to a significant extent.” Additionally, nine out of ten chefs have observed a growing interest in alternatives to conventional proteins, with 40% reporting a high degree of increased demand. Nearly 95% of chefs surveyed feel that their restaurant patrons will demand more plant-based proteins in the next ten years.

This trend towards alternative proteins is driven by a variety of factors, with environmental concerns (74%), health reasons (74%),and ethical considerations (50%) being at the forefront.

It's not just chefs who are on board with this shift, companies and start-ups alike are investing in the plant-based protein industry. Berlin-based Project Eaden is planning on expanding its“ultra-realistic” plant-based meat technology via an extension to its seed investment round to US$10.8 million. Friesland Campina Ingredients is harnessing Triplebar Bio’s specialized biotechnology capabilities to develop and scale up the production of cell-based proteins via precision fermentation.

As Michael Lindberg, CEO of Lindberg International, the pollster company that carried out the research for GEA, states, “Our survey findings show that chefs across the globe are very open to alternative proteins. Many are also conscious of the fact that these novel products and ingredients could have a pivotal impact on our future nutrition and want to promote this shift actively.”

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