The pea protein market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 15.04 % to reach US$840.048 million by 2025, from US$362.375 million in 2019. The Health and wellness aspiration of consumers across the world is increasingly influencing the food and beverage consumption. Further, the growing trend of a perceived need to reduce meat consumption and increase the inclusion of alternatives to meat in the regular diet is another aspect that is contributing to the purchasing proclivities of an informed consumer in present times. Moreover, the current state of indisposition which the world has succumbed to, also known as CoVid19, is further enthusing consumers to lead a flexitarian way of living as well as make an effort to do away with animal protein sources, thus ultimately embracing the vegan lifestyle. The other aspect is that of the growing population which is putting a lot of stress on the environment and can infringe on food security in the near future. Nevertheless, the meat substitutes offered in the form of plant-based meat or vegan egg, for example, don’t carry the quantum of protein that meets the dietary requirement to maintain a healthy life. Thus, arises the need for sourcing protein from plants, out of which pea protein has gained currency in recent times among the processed food makers. A recent example of this trend can be instanced by the launch of new stone-baked Meatless Mediterranean pizza by Goodfella’s Pizza in the UK which features pea protein mince among other ingredients. This also suggests that the trend towards the plant-based protein is upwards indeed that despite the global pandemic and its negative impacts on the global economy, there is a palpable endeavor towards foraying into the inclusion of plant-based protein ingredients, namely that of pea protein.
The plant protein savvy consumers are not only limited to the fitness-centric millennials but also comprise a myriad of consumers which is one of the prime factors that is expected to drive the growth of the global pea protein market during the forecast period. Moreover, the propensity to purchase food with plant-based protein ingredient is not only limited to the affluent only, it includes households who have just started a family, nuclear as well as joint families as well as independent singles, established couples, young adolescents who wish to transition into plant-based meat, and senior couples. The rationale behind such a consumption ranges from the need for compensating for not eating animal products, losing weight, embracing healthier diet (Viz. organically sourced plant protein), achieving fitness goals as well as due to health reasons (especially considering possible health complication that may arise among the geriatric population). Therefore, in cognizance of this consumer trend that is surging upward, one of the world’s leading taste & nutrition company Kerry Group plc (LON: KYGA) has recently (in February 2020) acquired Pevesa Biotech SAU to strengthen their position in its non-allergenic and organic plant protein business. The acquisition further strengthens Kerry’s position in the hydrolyzed plant protein space for specialized nutrition and expands the company’s capacity to serve the rapidly growing organic plant protein market. Based in Seville,Pevesa specializes in sustainable, non-GMO, plant-based proteins. The firm's products include organic and conventional pea protein isolate, among others. While this again sheds light on the enthusiasm and the urgency with which the pea protein ingredient space is being looked at by various market players despite the ongoing global health emergency, the interest in pea protein ingredient is not a new one. To this end it is best to note that construction of the Roquette pea protein processing facility at Portage la Prairie in Manitoba will take longer than originally planned, pushing the expected date the plant is to be operational by into 2020, the US $303 million investment toward the same was announced by France based Roquette Frères, as early as 2017. Thereafter, in August 2019, Cargill has invested an additional $75 million in PURIS, the largest North American producer of pea protein. The investment was made to enable PURIS to increase its pea protein production more than double its capacity using an existing 200,000 square-foot facility in Dawson, Minnesota, the USA. This investment will capacitate PURIS to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for its category-leading pea proteins, starches and fibers all grown and produced through its unique vertically integrated and transparent supply chain.
Besides the inclination form the supply side of the pea protein ingredients, the proactive participation of various governments around the world in multi-stakeholder research and innovation too is projected to drive the pea protein market to a new echelon. With the recognition that the global demand for food is growing, with a specific need for more protein as well as the need for stimulating the national economy, the Government of Canadabrought together small, medium-sized and large companies, academic institutions, and not-for-profit organizations under the Innovation Superclusters Initiative. To this end, 2018, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development announced the signing of an agreement to invest up to nearly $153 million in the Prairie-based Protein Industries Canada Supercluster, which is ais a group of businesses, post-secondary institutions, and non-profits working together to make Canada a world leader in the growing market for plant-based proteins [Source:Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, Government of Canada]. Thus, under the ambit of the aforesaid an industry-led partnership that is set to launch a novel processing project in January 2020, was announced. The new project has been set in motion in cognizance of the shift in consumer trends, which has led to a growing demand for more options and will provide Canadians with better tasting plant-based alternatives. Further, its objective is also to commercialize new highly soluble, highly functional pea protein isolates, among others, that can eliminate the will eliminate the grittiness experienced with less soluble proteins and will improve the flavor profiles of plant-based products, including in plant-protein beverages and meat alternative. The collaboration between Merit Functional Foods, Pitura Seeds, Winning Combination and the Manitoba Food Centre will be using patented technology from Burcon NutraScience Corporation (TSX: BU) to produce the new protein isolates with more than 90% purity. Another objective is to further aid the increasing demand for and value of Canadian pea enabling the farmers to sell more of the products.
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