Flexitarians Driving Food Manufacturers to Double-Down on Plant-Based Proteins January 11, 2022 - Baystreet.ca VANCOUVER – USA News Group – When targeting the US market and heading into 2022, Swiss food giant Nestlé S.A. (OTC:NSRGY) (OTC:NSRGF) has signaled it will “double down” on plant-based meat alternatives, creamers, coffee, and new snacking opportunities, according to a recent interview with Nestlé USA’s CMO Alicia Enciso. According to agribusiness and food company Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE:ADM), makers of plant-based proteins will continue to explore new sources of alternative protein over the coming year. Behind many of the new consumer products set to hit the market in the near future, are producers of plant-based proteins from developers including Nepra Foods (CSE:NPRA) (OTC:NPRFF), Conagra Foods, Inc. (NYSE:CAG), and Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE:HRL). Adding to its already-launched line of hemp-protein fueled pastas, Nepra Foods (CSE:NPRA) (OTC:NPRFF), creators of nutritious plant-based and allergen-free foods, has announced the launch of their Extra Virgin Hemp Oil, available for shipping on the company’s e-commerce platform. The new product’s launch compliments Nepra’s proprietary THPTM (textured hemp protein), which the company has worked to produce from its Colorado facility, as a basis for their PROPASTATM line of ready-to-eat frozen meals and meat analogues. Nepra's hemp oils are created in the production of its hemp flours and meat analogues, with direct sales of the product representing the first of a number of potential revenue streams for this valuable by-product. "Hemp is an incredible nut, which is why we use it as the foundation for so many of our products, including our Extra Virgin Hemp Oil," says Nepra CEO David Wood. "The great care we take in processing preserves the oil's natural health benefits, making our Extra Virgin Hemp Oil superior in taste, nutrition, and overall quality." The new versatile food-grade oil presents numerous health benefits and can be used for sauteing, dipping, drizzling, or blending into vinaigrettes and marinades Nepra is currently engaged in discussions with several potential customers to create other, value-added product offerings utilizing these newly launched high-quality hemp oils. Nepra's Extra Virgin Hemp Oil is cold pressed to preserve the healthy omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 ratio that naturally occurs in hemp seeds. This "golden ratio" of essential fatty acids is the exact proportion our bodies need for optimum nutrition. With 40% less saturated fat and approximately 75-times more Vitamin E than olive oil, hemp oil is increasingly attractive to health-conscious consumers. Among these new ingredients, including Nepra’s allergen-free high protein N-50 hemp flour also saw its production output increase over 400% in 2021. Despite posting record sales of their SPAM canned meat products, Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE:HRL) is investing in a venture capital enterprise dedicated to alternative proteins and plant-based foods, called 199 Ventures—an anchor investor in the new venture capital division of Green Circle Capital Partners. “We are excited to be investing in the fund and all that it will do to help jump start this growing category,” said Bryan Kreske, leader of 199 Ventures. “Since committing to invest in the Fund, we are looking forward to the many areas of investment including alternative protein and plant-based foods.” Back in October, Hormel also announced it would partner with California-based Better Meat Co. to come up with something that looks like meat, tastes like meat, but isn’t. "We're excited about all the options," said Bryan Kreske, Manager of Cultivated Foods at Hormel Foods. "I know we've got our R&D thinking of a lot of great ideas, of how we can use this new technology to develop the next generation of these alternative protein products and plant-based products." American multi-national fast food franchise giant Subway just launched another meatless menu selection in Singapore, with a new plant-based chicken schnitzel from Harvest Gourmet a brand owned by Nestlé S.A. (OTC:NSRGY) (OTC:NSRGF). Nestlé has been quite active in the plant-based protein scene over the past year, and looking into 2022 it’s going to ramp up more—with a heightened focus on chicken. “Consumers are just delighted that we are able to bring them amazing quality in the plant-based chicken area,” said Alicia Enciso, CMO of Nestlé USA. Recently Nestlé also backed Sundial Foods, a plant-based meats company working to mimic chicken wings. Sundial’s products involve fully plant-based skin, meat and bone chicken wings pegged as going “beyond meat”. Multinational food processors Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE:ADM) currently runs an innovation lab in Singapore, creating tailor-made plant-based meat alternatives, which includes a food and flavor analytics lab, a meat and savory lab, and sensory evaluation facilities. By the end of November 2021, ADM added to its alternative protein portfolio, by acquiring Sojaprotein, a leading European provider of non-GMO soy ingredients, opening a soy protein complex in Brazil, a pea protein plant in North Dakota, started a joint venture with PlantPlus Foods, and new partnerships including with startup Air Protein. Based on a recent research report on Global Consumer Trends and Shares in 2022, ADM includes meat alternatives and “unexpected protein sources” as a skyrocketing trend to come. “According to our research, half of flexitarian consumers agree that plant-based alternatives need taste improvements, and more than 20% say that texture needs to be improved,” said Petra van Egmond, ADM Product Marketing Manager – Protein, EMEA. “Our full pantry of ingredients helps to deliver a quality sensorial experience for a wide variety of applications by integrating great taste, texture and color through our deep knowledge of protein functionality.” Leveraging soaring meat prices, Conagra Foods, Inc. (NYSE:CAG) promoted its faux turkeys ahead of Thanksgiving in 2021, with its popular plant-based Gardein Holiday Roast. According to Bob Nolan, Senior VP of Insights and Analytics at Conagra Brands, flexitarian households drove 85% of Gardein’s revenue growth in 2021—and these types of consumers won’t just settle for a typical vegan burger patty. Conagra received accolades in October from the FAIRR Initiative, an investor network that defines material ESG issues in the animal agriculture sector to help inform investment decisions. In a report dubbed Appetite for Disruption: A Final Serving, Conagra was named a “pioneer” and the top-ranked US company on sustainable protein research and innovation. "We recognize the importance that plant-based proteins play in building climate-smart future food systems," said Katya Hantel, senior director of sustainability at Conagra Brands. "As an industry leader in plant-based protein innovation, we are well positioned to meet the needs of investors, customers, and consumers who are calling for more sustainable foods." 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