Consumers around the world are ready for a turnaround in the food industry, as shown in the new study The Untapped Climate Opportunity in Alternative Proteins by the strategy consulting firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the impact investor Blue Horizon (BH). The survey involved 3,700 people from seven countries.
Alternative proteins and substitutes are already a permanent part of the diet
At present, almost three-quarters of consumers are aware of replacement products for animal protein, and almost two-thirds have already tried alternative proteins themselves. Reasons for the growing demand include a growing global awareness of the environment and health, as well as price increases for animal products. The currently available alternative protein substitutes still have room for improvement. Thus, 15 percent of respondents would almost exclusively rely on alternative proteins – provided that the products tasted better and were healthier.
Capital-efficient method for reducing greenhouse gas emissions
The study shows that alternative proteins offer a significant lever for climate protection, as they save the most emissions per dollar invested. This makes alternative proteins at least twice as effective as investments in decarbonizing iron, steel, cement, chemicals, or the transportation sector. This is attracting more and more investors: investments in alternative proteins have grown from one billion dollars in 2019 to five billion dollars in 2021. That corresponds to an annual growth rate of 124 percent. These results confirm the previous BCG and BH study’s findings that protein conversion is the most capital-efficient way to avoid emissions and achieve a positive return.