Two major conferences on alternative proteins were held in Russia in May
And, according to our Russian correspondent Alexey Ivanov from eatery.ru, it’s absolutely new.
“The Alt Food Conference was the first event of the month, organized by Greenwise and Vatel Marketing in Sochi. It started with representatives from the Good Food Institute (GFI) and ProVeg Incubator, sharing the state of the European and US market for alternative proteins.
Greenwise then took a look at the Russian market, which was only around $ 30 million in 2020. However, growing interest from large Russian companies suggests that number will grow every year.
Additionally, Greenwise intends to help small startups grow under the new Association of Alternative Food Producers (AAFPP).
In 2018/2019, only 17 investments were made in the FoodTech sector in Russia. According to Andrei Zuzin, managing partner of the venture capital fund Fuel for Growth and the EFKO group, “It is reasonable to expect an active involvement of the State in the development of FoodTech since more than half of the Russian economy is controlled by the government ”
For example, BCG and Blue Horizon report that by 2035, the alternative protein market could grow to 22%, which would require around $ 130 billion in investment. In this case, Russia’s investment share is expected to be $ 2.5 billion – if it is to keep pace with innovation.
It should be noted that the organizers managed to bring together representatives of start-ups as well as the largest producers of alternative foods in the country.
The conference ended with a hamburger battle, where the winner was burgers made with Greenwise patties!
A week later, the Deep Food Tech Conference took place in Moscow. This time the event was organized by the EFKO Group and one of the largest media for entrepreneurs in Russia – Rusbase. There were Russian FoodTech experts as well as representatives of foreign companies: for example Bruce Friedrich from GFI and Amir Zaidman from The Kitchen Hub, who presented online. There were even two Russian deputy ministers among the speakers!
3D Bioprinting Solutions, which is one of the few Russian companies working on cultured meat R&D, presented its 3D bio-printer to the conference guests. It is already possible to try their 3D printed squid in one of the restaurants in Moscow.
The main topics of discussion at the conference were: cultured meat, fermentation, sweet proteins, personalized nutrition and investments in FoodTech. The show also touched on the subject of insect breeding, the production of which is more efficient than many types of meat, but still less than the production of meat of plant origin.
The fact that such events have taken place indicates that interest in alternative proteins in Russia has gone far beyond a small niche. And the challenges expressed at both conferences, such as the lack of regulation of alternatives, funding for FoodTech, and government support for innovations, have shown the direction in which the industry will work in the years to come.