$3.1 billion was invested in alternative proteins in 2020, according to the Good Food Institute. This represents more than half of the total $5.9 billion invested in this sector during the last decade. Among the recipients were plant-based meat, egg and dairy companies, businesses that are using fermentation to make alternative proteins, and cell-based meat companies. The $2.1 billion invested in plant-based proteins was three times the amount raised in 2019.
Will these investments bolster the commercial success of existing products and drive innovation in more alternative proteins? Does the sharp uptake in investment compared with 2019 herald the beginning of a new era in food? Or will this be a bet that leaves investors empty-handed?