With the world's population to reach nearly 10 billion by 2050, there is a growing interest in sustainable protein sources.
Companies like Beyond Meat and Meatless Farm have attracted a lot of attention in the press recently, but many plant-based meat substitutes are still more expensive than animal protein. Pea protein processing capacity has also not caught up with demand (many plant-based meat substitute companies are heavily reliant on pea protein), which will is putting a strain on the industry, as new processing facilities are built.
Against this backdrop, it is interesting to see the recent uptick in investment activity in the algae protein sector. Could algae could become the alternative protein for the future? Algae products require only a fraction of the resources as compared to animal and other plant-based proteins and some species have a higher protein content than plants. Although, algae protein production is still a few years off before it can challenge animal and other plant-based proteins from a cost perspective, its biggest challenge (like insect protein) will likely be convincing consumers.
Proponents say algae products require a fraction of the land, water and other resources needed to produce the same amount of beef and other animal protein. This means algae can satisfy the world’s quest for a sustainable protein source, at a time when global warming is accelerating and water resources are getting scarce. The rearing of animals, such as cattle, for food is a major contributor of greenhouse gases