The Better Meat Co. is a Sacramento-based sustainable food tech start-up that has been gaining attention for its efforts to create animal-free protein through fermentation. The company’s flagship product, Rhiza, offers food companies an alternative protein source that is sustainable and delivers high-quality meat alternatives. Using fermentation, The Better Meat Co. claims to produce a protein with a lower environmental impact than conventional meat production. With partnerships with industry giants such as Hormel Foods, Perdue Farms, and Maple Leaf Foods, The Better Meat Co. has positioned itself as a significant player in the alternative protein market.
Companies like The Better Meat Co. seek ways to create a more sustainable food system as environmental concerns grow. The Better Meat Co.’s innovative approach to protein production offers a possible solution to this problem, additionally, with the help of Invest. Green, a third-party forum for companies to showcase their green initiatives to investors, The Better Meat Co. can attract investment to scale its operations and create more sustainable alternatives to conventional meat. Invest.Green, which has founding members like Toyota and econnext, is recognized as one of the world’s leading green investment research platforms, making it an ideal partner for companies like The Better Meat Co.
Paul Shapiro, CEO of The Better Meat Co., emphasized the need to reduce our reliance on animals for food, much like the need to shift away from fossil fuels for powering our civilization. “We are privileged to be included in the Invest.Green platform and are eager to collaborate with other members to construct a more sustainable future for everyone,” he stated.
The Market For Fermented Proteins
The Fermentation Association defines alternative proteins as a category that includes plant-based and fermented proteins, which are produced using microbes or cultivated directly from animal cells. These proteins are produced through three production types: traditional fermentation, biomass fermentation, and precision fermentation. Although fermentation has been used in ancient food processing traditions, using it to create alternative proteins is a relatively new activity. Around 80% of the new companies in the fermented alternative protein space were formed after 2015. This demonstrates the rapid growth of this industry in recent years. In 2020 alone, there were over 260 investors in the category, indicating significant interest and investment in the alternative protein industry.
Regarding investment growth, alternative protein has grown substantially in recent years, with 2021 being a standout year. According to AENU, investment growth in alternative protein in 2021 was almost as high as in the last ten years combined. Plant-based proteins have been leading the way in fundraising, with 30% of the capital invested in plant-based in 2021 alone, which amounted to $1.9 billion. However, fermentation and cultivated technologies have also seen significant investment growth, with 60% of the capital invested in fermentation and 73% invested in cultivated proteins over the past decade. Investors are focusing on improving alternative proteins’ taste, texture, and nutritional value to drive higher consumer adoption. As a result, fermentation and cultivated technologies are expected to continue to see strong investment growth in the years to come.