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A staggering $741 million has been invested in alternative protein already in 2020, according to a new report released today by nonprofit The Good Food Institute (GFI).

GFI’s state of the industry reports analyze investment activity in companies creating alternatives to conventional animal-based foods.

One of its reports includes U.S. plant-based meat, egg, and dairy companies, and the other focuses on global cultivated meat companies.

Investment

The reports show that 2019 was a record-breaking year for U.S. plant-based meat, egg, and dairy companies, who received more than $747 million in investments. Global cultivated meat companies raised more than $77 million in capital in 2019, for a total of $824 million in alternative proteins.

Investment in U.S. plant-based meat, egg, and dairy companies in just the first quarter of 2020 was a staggering $741 million – even as Covid-19 has disrupted global markets – almost as much as for the entirety of 2019.

In the first quarter of 2020, cultivated meat companies raised $189 million, more than the amount invested in the cultivated meat industry’s prior history, taking investments in alternative protein up to $930 million.

Investment in cultivated meat has surged (Photo: Adobe. Do not use without permission)

‘Surge in investor confidence’

“There’s been a surge in investor confidence fueled by durable and increasing consumer interest in alternative proteins,” GFI associate director of corporate engagement Caroline Bushnell, said in a statement sent to Plant Based News.

“Investors have seen the market opportunity and are moving to capitalize on a global shift in the way meat is produced.

“This record-level investment will bolster the industry and support continued growth and innovation for the long term, ensuring that alternative protein companies have the resources to grow and thrive, particularly during times of short-term market volatility.

“The Covid-19 crisis has made bolstering our global protein supply more critical than ever, given the inherent – and now very apparent – vulnerability of supply chains dependent on industrial animal agriculture.”

‘More sustainable’

“Plant-based and cultivated meats give consumers everything they like about meat but produced more sustainably,” added GFI executive director Bruce Friedrich.

“Most of the conventional meat companies have reconstituted as protein companies, and nine of the 10 biggest have either launched or invested in plant-based meat, cultivated meat, or both.

“With historic pressures on conventional meat production, we expect to see the large meat conglomerates double down on their alternative protein investments.”