What Is Your Perspective on the Growth of the Alternative Protein Market, and How Do You See It Evolving in the Future?

I believe that complementary ingredients or enhancers to alternative protein are often overlooked but have huge potential. Innovative fats and sweeteners can improve the taste and texture of alternative protein, bringing it closer to the animal version. Companies such as Lypid use microencapsulation to modify the melting point and saturation of plant-based fats to recreate coconut and olive oil, giving them similar properties to butter and animal fats. Meanwhile, Melibio recreates actual honey through an in vitro enzymatic process using the same inputs that bees consume and digest to make honey, while controlling the floral notes.

I think there is an urgent need for complementary ingredients in both savory and sweet applications, particularly in the underrepresented alternative protein dessert segment, which is steadily growing alongside the strong market performance of plant-based dairy.

According to Innova Market Insights, nearly half of consumers worldwide consumed plant-based dairy in 2022. I believe there are numerous opportunities not only for meat or dairy analogues, but also for eggs analogues to create indulgent animal-free foods.

Dr. Dalal AIGhawas is a Director at Big Idea Ventures, a fund focused on investing in and accelerating the growth of innovative companies in the alternative protein space. With a PhD in Food Science Technology from the University of Hong Kong, Dr. Dalal has extensive experience in biotechnology and food science and is dedicated to promoting a more environmentally-friendly food system. As a director at Big Idea Ventures, she plays a key role in identifying and supporting promising startups in the alternative protein sector.