Written by: Unovis

Food from Thought: June 2021

On taste vs. sustainability, portfolio news and more.

“Consumers are more likely to choose a plant-based meat substitute when the restaurant’s advertising highlights the social benefits of doing so rather than its taste, according to recently published research I conducted with a colleague. We also found that showcasing the social costs of meat consumption also leads to a preference for plant-based meats.” — Prof. Prof. Anna Mattila, Penn State

Another month, another study showing that appealing to consumers’ social conscience might be the most important part of successful plant-based marketing. Taste absolutely matters but it doesn’t have to be better than or the same as the animal counterpart.

What can we learn from this? We already know that industrial meat production is an environmental disaster, with beef in particular generating 60 kg of greenhouse gas emissions per kg of meat produced, not to mention the water, energy and land that go into the process. The industry know this, we all talk about it, now we know that consumers are listening. They care too, and are making informed decisions about alternative proteins based on what they’re hearing from a sustainability standpoint. That’s a message worth sharing.

Beyond Meat

Gathered Foods



Miyoko’s Creamery


The Protein Brewery

Upside Foods (formerly Memphis Meats)

Wicked Foods

Food Navigator: Can the cultured meat sector get conventional farmers on board?

LiveKindly: Drake Just Invested in Vegan Chicken Brand Daring Foods

Progressive Grocer: It’s Not Just Shoppers Who are Hungry for Plant-Based Products

The New Yorker: Mexican Cafes Without Meat

The Beet: Target Just Launched a Line of Plant-Based Products for Under $5 Each

The New York Times: The Big Money is Going Vegan

Wall Street Journal: Plant-Tech Firm Benson Hill Going Public in $2 Billion SPAC Merger

Minderoo Foundation: Plastic Waste Makers Index: Plastic is everywhere. Most plastic, we use once, and then we throw it away. We’ve produced 6.3 billion tons of fossil fuel-based plastics — only 9% of it has ever been recycled. That’s why the Minderoo Foundation has launched its Plastic Waste Makers Index, to uncover the source of the single-use plastic crisis so it can be solved. Watch the Video

Future Food-Tech Alternative Proteins Summit: June 22-23. A new event dedicated to alternative proteins, the virtual Future Food-Tech will bring together food brand executives, investors and entrepreneurs from all over the world to map out the future of protein. Senior Associate Kristen Rocca will be moderating a panel on Venture Capital and the Future of Protein.