Why future of proteins is plant-based
We at Zippy Edibles believe that plant-based proteins will overtake animal protein in both developing and developed countries, although for different reasons. In developing countries the reason would be protein sufficiency at reasonable prices. In developed countries it will be ethical and environmental concerns.
Protein deficiency is a key challenge faced by developing countries including India. Based on historical trends, every country's protein needs rises with prosperity, especially as a country moves from developing to developed status. Traditionally this protein increase is fulfilled by animal sources, and is highly prized across culture due to unique texture and high nutrition. In developing countries we believe animal sources of protein will not keep up with the protein demand primarily for economic reasons, mainly driven by limits of resources such as land and water, and low protein conversion efficiencies of animal feed to meat. Environmental and ethical concerns will be secondary, not primary drivers in our opinion, and of more concern to a small section of population.
For developed countries where protein deficiency is not a challenge, the secular trend is to move to plant-sources for protein primarily driven by the need to reduce negative externalities such as ethical issues and negative environmental impact of animal protein producers. These countries could also sustain a higher percentage of animal protein due to their ample land resources, which could supply feed for large animal populations.
Both developing & developed countries are hence shifting more towards plant-based protein sources. The pace of this transition is not very apparent due to current high costs, low taste, incomplete nutrition profiles and cultural barriers and habits in accepting new diets. We think costs, taste and nutrition are solvable challenges, and we are seeing huge improvement with our upcoming High Moisture extrusion facility in March 2023. Cultural barriers and habits will be the major issue to solve, but it is being approached by many NGOs and industry in several ways including public awareness and government incentives.
There's data that shows that texturized proteins are highly accepted in India, for example when looking at growth of products like Soya Chaap. Industry would be better served in not only mimicking animal proteins, but producing a superior texturized protein product that stands on its own merit and has its own unique appeal to the majority of the population. Eventually with the technological advancements these texturized protein products will inherently have higher appeal compared to animal products in terms of nutrition, taste and cost, let alone environmental or ethical reasons.
As time goes on, it is highly likely that vegan texturized protein products accept higher acceptance than their animal counterparts. This is why Zippy Edibles is entering the manufacturing of plant-based vegan meat and texturized protein segments with a facility including high moisture extruder and various capabilities to make Ready-to-eat products. We are open to working with various food brands and innovators in this space.