The alternative proteins industry got quite a boost last year.
According to new data released by the Good Food Institute (GFI)—a nonprofit organization that promotes the advancement of plant-based food and cellular agriculture—the alternative protein sector landed a record $3.1 billion in investments in 2020.
Investments in 2020 were three times more than the previous year. Last year’s investments were also 4.5 times more than in 2018.
From 2010 to 2020, nearly $6 billion was raised by alternative protein companies. More than half of this figure was garnered solely last year.
“Over the past year, the alternative protein industry has demonstrated not only resilience but acceleration, raising significantly more investment capital in 2020 than in prior years,” GFI’s director of corporate engagement, Caroline Bushnell, said in a statement.
The Alternative Protein Industry Gets a Boost
So, which alternative protein companies raised the most in funding? According to the GFI, fermentation, cultivated meat, and the plant-based meat, dairy, and egg industries.
In 2020, the latter raised $2.1 billion in investments. The organization notes that this was the highest capital raised in any single year in the plant-based meat, dairy, and egg industry’s history. To put this into perspective, the sector raised more than three times what it received in 2019—$667 million.
The cultivated meat industry ranked second in terms of most investments. It raised more than $360 million, which is six times more than what it earned the previous year. The GFI notes that cultured meat companies Mosa Meat and Memphis Meats led the investment pack. They landed $75 million and $186 million in series B funding, respectively.
And, last year, the fermentation category garnered $590 million in investments.
“These capital infusions and the funding still to come will facilitate much-needed R&D and capacity building to enable these companies to scale and reach more consumers with delicious, affordable, and accessible alternative protein products,” Bushnell added.
The organization credits the increase in investments to a growing awareness of the impacts of food production. “The investor community is waking up to the massive social and economic potential of food technology to radically remake our food system,” GFI’s senior investor engagement specialist, Sharyn Murray, explained.