The best “green” investment is plant-based meats, says new report

Over the last several years, corporate social responsibility and environmental social governance have come strongly into focus for companies large and small. Efforts run the gamut—from reducing waste headed to landfills to offsetting carbon emissions. But a new report suggests that a very specific investment may have an even greater “green” impact: According to a new report from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), investment in alternative meat and dairy production yielded a substantially higher reduction in greenhouse gases, dollar-for-dollar, as compared to investments in green buildings and zero-emission cars (among others).

According to the consulting group, “Investing in (alternative protein production) has one of the biggest impacts on decarbonization when assessed in terms of the market value of avoided CO2e emissions per dollar invested in mitigation efforts. We call this impact of capital employed (IoCE).” The report summary goes on to assert that investments in alternative proteins yield higher IoCE than “corresponding decarbonization investments in other high-emitting sectors of the economy, such as transportation or buildings.”

Taste matters

The report is good news for companies and investors hoping to improve both their bottom line and the planet, but there is a catch: Taste is non-negotiable. As the report summary points out, “Alternative proteins have made substantial strides with consumers, who are broadly aware of this emerging food category.” However, it notes, “improvements in three key areas—health, taste, and price—are key to boosting demand.” While 75% of survey respondents said that health is a key motivation to consider the alternative meats and dairy category, taste is the main driver of specific product purchase decisions.

While formulators are making great strides in this area, the hard work is far from over.

Capitalizing on sustainability

Knowing that investment in alternative proteins delivers the most bang for each ESG buck, how can companies and investors ensure their profits follow suit? Here are a few key considerations:

  1. Make a plan to minimize risk. The meat-alternative segment, as it stands today, is relatively new—with more volatility and uncertainty than other established food categories. But there are several ways to minimize your risk and ensure success. More on that here.

  2. Focus on the fat. When it comes to making meat and dairy alternatives that are on par with animal-derived products, fat is the key component. The problem is, plant-based fats can’t come close to delivering the taste, texture and mouthfeel of animal fats. But science is getting us closer—and smart formulators are staying on top of the latest innovations.

  3. Consider the majority. To truly succeed in this increasingly competitive segment, plant-based brands win over the nearly half of America that identifies as flexitarian (those who have a more heavily vegetarian diet or are “occasional” meat-eaters).

A new secret weapon 

Alternative fat technology EPG is one way several leading brands are capitalizing on the plant-based movement. Over 30 years in the making, EPG is a proven way to improve the taste, texture and nutritional profile of plant-based meat products without any tradeoffs. EPG scientists have already done the legwork and due diligence, investing decades in research, safety and regulatory action.

Talk to an Epogee plant-based meat expert today about ways to bring your brand to the next level.