Written by: Unovis

Food From Thought: May 2021

Plant-based innovation in China, portfolio news and more.

The push for alternative protein adoption is happening on a global scale, and we’re increasingly watching developments in China take the lead. With a growing health-conscious middle class and a history of cultural access to meat alternatives, China is becoming a formidable test market for startups looking to revolutionize alternative protein for the masses. And the potential is massive. To paraphrase one Chinese soy protein startup investor: “If alternative protein replaces 0.01% of China’s meat consumption, it could be a market worth tens of billions of dollars.” 

This is happening alongside a growing innovation movement in the country, where the Millennial generation is achieving a new level of global competitiveness thanks to its hyper-adaptive population. With all of this in mind, we’ve partnered with Dao Foods, an impact investment firm that aims to help entrepreneurs develop new plant-based meat products, to support the growth of alternative proteins in China. There are 400 million Millennials in China, a macro environment that’s supportive of alternative proteins and health conscious consumers who are willing to revert back to traditional Chinese diets that are more plant-based. Stay tuned, there’s a lot to come on this front.

Atlast Food Co.

Gathered Foods



Miyoko’s Creamery


The New York Times: Let’s Launch a Moonshot for Meatless Meat

Techcrunch: Chinese Startups Rush to Bring Alternative Proteins to People’s Plates

The Washington Post: Top restaurant Eleven Madison Park goes meat-free, dropping animal products from its menu

The New York Times: Vegan Cheese, But Make it Delicious

The Spoon: Mapping a Path Forward for Farmers in an Alt-Protein Landscape

Natural Foods Merchandiser: Move flexitarians to the (plant-based) meat of the matter

Food Ingredients First: Animal-based diets in US and Europe may drop after “peak meat” point in 2025, report forecasts

Impact Podcast: Foods For Tomorrow with Bernat Añaños: The Heura Foods founder and vegan protein thought leader spoke with John Shegerian about the future of alternative proteins and what Heura has coming next.

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.

Rising Tide Collective: Kristin is now part of this community of European entrepreneurs and investors who are working to make positive change in the world. Look for more from them in the months ahead.