Big Idea Ventures Explores Top Trends in Plant-Based Foods at Latest Grand Hyatt Tasting Showcase

SINGAPORE –  Big Idea Ventures  and  Grand Hyatt Singapore  held its first in-person and virtual tasting from the latest plant-based companies at the end of last month –  Tasting Big Ideas 2021. This was the third Big Idea Ventures tasting event showcasing alternative protein innovations, but the first time offering both in-person and virtual tasting experiences. The event showcased the World’s next generation of alternative protein companies.

“Changes in global consumer demand, sustainability and food security is driving significant growth in alternative protein food innovation. Startups are fast developing alternatives to meat, dairy and seafood. We are now able to deliver a high culinary experience while delivering on these global and personal health benefits,”  said  Andrew D. Ive, Founder and Managing General Partner of  Big Idea Ventures. Big Idea ventures is a venture capital fund with startup accelerators in key locations, investing in and accelerating top performers in the new food space. Its first fund, the New Protein Fund, has raised over USD$50 million to invest in the best companies in the alternative protein ecosystem.

“With the New Protein Fund, we will support some of the best companies globally developing meat, seafood and dairy alternatives to support the ecosystem driving big changes in the food industry,”  added Christian Cadeo, Managing Partner of Big Idea Ventures in Asia.

Chefs at Grand Hyatt created the culinary tasting experience for attendees of the event. Chef Lucas of Grand Hyatt said: “Working with these plant-based products, it is a great opportunity to share with like-minded guests who care deeply for our food – where the ingredients come from and how it is being produced.”

“It was like a black box competition, you receive the products, it all comes in boxes, you open and see – wow these are the products, then we think what we can create with that”,  said Chef Gottfried.

Top trends to come out of the Tasting Event:

  1. Fermentation drives more options for alternative protein

Fermentation can develop everything from seafood and sustainable oils, and innovations will rise in these areas in 2021.

The development of new alternative solutions that are entering the market will go some way to replacing their traditional products. Examples of such companies developing products are  Aquacultured Foods, the first whole muscle seafood alternative created through microbial fermentation and  Farmsow, with its patent-pending microbial fermentation process delivers sustainable alternatives to tropical oils and animal fats for diverse applications..

  1. Alternative protein dine-in and take-out options growing

Plant-based options have thrived despite the pandemic, and many products have launched throughout the world.  Angie’s Tempeh, founded  during the pandemic, is now available at Vios by  Blu Kouzina  and  Little Farms  Groceries.

To celebrate the diversity of plant-based foods and to deliver to multicultural tastes,  Plant Ranch Foods, from the US produces the only full line of plant-based Mexican flavored proteins based on generations-old family recipes and  Haofood’s  from China developed the first peanut protein based chicken, available at various restaurants in Shanghai and Shenzhen, with many applications from Asian to Western food. Also, in light of the pandemic, Tasting Big Ideas 2021  and 2020 offered a virtual tasting option where guests could opt to have a tasting kit delivered to enjoy in the comfort of their homes or offices.

  1. Improving Taste and Texture for Alternative Protein

As more consumers adopt a plant-based diet, we need plant-based foods to have not only the right taste, smell and price but also the right texture and mouthfeel. Increasingly we will see technologies and companies such as  Meat. The End  which will allow plant-based foods to be indistinguishable from the traditional meats they can and will replace.

  1. Cell-based products futuristic concept overseas but a growing trend in Singapore

Singapore was the first country in the world to give approval to the commercialisation of cell-based meat. In late 2020 the Singapore Food Agency gave approval to  Eat Just  to sell cultured chicken to customers.

Companies from Big Idea Ventures’ portfolio company,  Animal Alternative Technologies  and  Innocent Meat  foresee this trend and provide end-to-end solutions to scale production of cell-based meat in a cost efficient manner.

  1. Big Idea Ventures is a major supporter of female-founded companies and women founders of colour

According to  Vegan Women Summit, less than 3% of all investment dollars go to female-founded companies, and yet companies with a female founder  performed 63% better  than investments in all-male founding teams. Over 50% of startups in Big Idea Ventures’ accelerator portfolio are founded by women, and for our latest cohort, 100% of our Singapore cohort companies have a female founder or co-founder.

Original Source