10 Top Alternative Protein Companies To Watch In 2024 And Beyond!!

In the context of a world where sustainability fights foremost, the general schematics of discussion are surrounded by questions of the environment. Alternative proteins appeared as one of the most promising solutions to meeting the high global demand for proteins and, not but least without considering this also by reducing meat company’ environmental footprint.

Novel sources of protein are emerging, which can lead to a more ethical and sustainable method of food production.

This article will focus on the proprietary of alt proteins, review products from the top ten innovative alternative protein companies in such field, and provide redoubtable insight into sourcing methods, market status, and links to their websites.

What Is Alternative Protein?

Alternative protein, popularly referred to as “alt proteins,” represents a transformative paradigm shift in food production.

As the world dawns into a distinctively sharp grapple with environmental concerns and burgeoning global population pressures, it has emerged to be an imperative necessity.

Alt proteins are rich tapestries of products carefully crafted from plants, animal cells, intricate fermentation, or cell-based meat processes.

Some of these protein alternatives taste, feel, and price like traditional animal-based products but offer incredible sustainability credentials.

Watch this video by EIT Foods to learn more:

Exploring Alternative Protein Varieties

The alternative proteins mentioned in this list represent the new generation of plant sources that signal a delicious and sustainable future.

1. Plant-Based Proteins:

These counterparts are derived from various plants such as soy, peas, and wheat cultivated, processed, and transformed into meat-like alternatives giving a sustainable protein source which are free of animal to the food industry.

2. Microbial Proteins:

Microbial proteins have a place in this more sustainable food system, and the microbial world is teeming with organisms like algae and fungi that can produce them.

3. Cultured or Lab-Grown Meat:

This invention is developed for animal cell growth in a suitably controlled environment rather than raising the whole animal for meat, which does not demand traditional animal farming.

This could reduce 96% of greenhouse gas emissions and, therefore, will be presented as the major rival in the alternative cultivated meat proteins creating giants.

An Array of Tempting Alt Protein Products by Alternative Protein Companies

The top alternative protein companies are trailblazers in developing an exciting range of sustainable and delicious protein alternatives that make up part of good food.

Let’s explore the remarkable variety of food products they bring to the market.

Plant-Based Marvels:

Companies like Impossible Foods and Next-Gen Foods are leading the way in this category.

They specialize in crafting plant-based food proteins that closely mimic traditional meat products’ taste, texture, and nutritional profile.

From burgers to sausages and meatballs, these plant-based marvels offer a delectable transition to a sustainable protein source.

Cultivated Creations:

Innovators like Shiok Meats and Avant are revolutionizing the protein industry with their cultivated creations.

Cultured meats are grown by cultivating animal cells in controlled environments, bypassing the need for traditional animal farming.

The result? Meat products that boast the same mouthwatering flavor and texture as conventionally raised meats but with a staggering 96% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Microbial Wonders:

Companies like Turtle Tree and Axiom Foods harness the power of microorganisms, including algae and fungi, to produce sustainable microbial proteins.

These tiny powerhouses offer a scalable protein source that thrives in various conditions. Algae, for instance, can produce more protein per acre than traditional livestock, making it an eco-friendly choice.

Futuristic Seafood Alternatives:

Growthwell Foods dives into the world of seafood alternatives. With their innovative approach, they create delicious plant-based seafood products that not only tantalize taste buds but also contribute to a more sustainable and ethical seafood industry.

From fish fillets to shrimp, these products offer a mouthwatering oceanic experience without the environmental drawbacks.

Leading The Protein Industry: 10 Innovative Alternative Protein Top Companies

In a quest to meet the world’s protein needs sustainably, these ten companies have emerged as game changers. Get ready to explore the visionaries and technologies powering the alternative protein revolution, and making alternative proteins is no longer a concept. It’s a reality.

1. ADM (Archer Daniels Midland Company):

ADM, a global nutrition powerhouse, is at the forefront of the alternative protein market, providing a tailored approach to developing protein-forward solutions.

The company’s expertise in crafting meat, seafood, dairy alternatives, and specialized nutrition solutions makes it a trusted partner in the industry.

ADM

Products:

ADM offers a wide range of products, including animal nutrition products, industrial solutions, and services related to transportation and logistics.

Their portfolio in alternative proteins includes pea protein, soy protein, and wheat protein, catering to the rising consumer demand for plant-based, protein-rich foods.

How ADM Sources the Protein?

ADM invests heavily in its supply chain and production capabilities to meet the demand for alternative proteins.

The company’s commitment to sourcing and innovation is evident in its recent $300 million investment to expand its alternative protein production in Decatur, Illinois.

This expansion aims to double soy protein concentrate production and enhance the company’s ability to meet global demand​.

Market Presence:

ADM’s alternative protein products are already a significant part of the market. The company’s sales in this space have been growing rapidly, outpacing industry averages.

With a projected growth rate of 14% per year for alternative meat and dairy sales, D.M. is strategically positioned to leverage this market opportunity, forecasted to achieve a value of $125 billion by 2030.

The completion of their expansion project is slated for the first quarter of 2025, which will further solidify their market presence​.

Pricing:

According to ADM, the average price of their plant-based protein products varies depending on the type, quality, quantity, and application of the product.

For example, their soy protein concentrates are priced between $1.50 and $2.00 per pound, while their pea protein isolates are priced between $3.00 and $4.00 per pound.

Based on market conditions and availability, these prices are subject to change. 

2. Cargill:

Cargill has established itself as a major player in the alternative protein sector, focusing on plant-based product development while preserving its historical interests in feed and livestock production.

Recognizing the shift in consumer preferences towards plant-based and alternative protein sources, Cargill is dedicated to meeting this evolving demand by offering a diverse range of alternative protein products.

Cargill

Products:

Cargill’s venture into the alternative protein market includes a variety of plant-based products, including ground and patty-shaped versions, aimed at various markets, including retail stores, academic institutions, restaurants, and cafeterias.

How Cargill Sources the Protein:

Cargill sources plant-based proteins from soy, peas, and canola, which are integral ingredients in various beloved products like plant-based burgers and sausages.

The company has shown interest in novel protein sources beyond traditional plant-based proteins, exploring options like algal protein and insect-based protein.

Market Presence:

Cargill has a strong market presence in the alternative protein sector, offering its products globally as private label opportunities for various institutions and businesses.

Pricing:

The average pricing of these products depends on several factors, such as the type, quantity, quality, and location of the product. However, the estimated price range of Cargill’s plant-based protein products is between $3 and $10 per kilogram.

3. Omni Foods:

OmniFoods, a global leader in plant-based food innovation and Asia’s top choice for alternative protein offers an impressive range of alternative protein products.

With a focus on delivering diverse and innovative plant-based options, OmniFoods is redefining the culinary landscape.

OmniFood

Products:

OmniFoods boasts a comprehensive product line, including plant-based potstickers, pork-style ground and strips, meat-style luncheon, spring rolls, crab-style cakes, Korean-style BBQ bao buns, and teriyaki bao buns.

These products are crafted to cater to a wide array of tastes and culinary preferences, providing an extensive range of plant-based alternatives for traditional meat products.

How OmniFoods Sources the Protein:

OmniFoods utilizes a signature mix of clean plant-based complete proteins, carefully sourced to ensure they are not only low impact on the environment but also high in taste and nutritional value.

Ingredients like non-GMO soy, mushrooms, pea protein, and rice are meticulously selected to craft their products, ensuring that they are both planet-friendly and satisfying for the palate.

Check out this video by Dr. Eric Berg DC for more:

Market Presence:

OmniFoods has a robust distribution network in over 20 countries, partnering with some of the world’s top restaurants and retail chains.

Their products are available in over 2,000 Walmart stores nationwide and can also be found in Whole Foods, Sprouts, Giant, Albertsons, and more.

This extensive presence underscores the brand’s significant impact and reach in the alternative protein market​.

Pricing:

According to Omni Foods, the average pricing of their products ranges from $4.99 to $9.99 per pack, depending on the product type and quantity.

However, the prices may vary depending on the retailer and location. You can spot their products in many grocery stores and online platforms or order directly from their website.

4. Axiom Foods:

Axiom Foods, based in California, stands as a pioneer and global leader in plant-based protein and dairy alternative ingredients.

Their commitment to quality is evident in their products, which are FDA GRAS, Non-GMO Project Verified, and gluten-free, ensuring a high concentration of proteins with neutral flavors and aromas.

Axiom Foods

Products:

Axiom Foods offers a diverse range of plant proteins, including their flagship Oryzatein® Brown Rice Protein, recognized as the first and only great tasting, patented, and clinically-tested rice protein of its kind.

They also offer VegOtein™ N, VegOtein HP80™, Vegotein™ MA, VegOtein TX™, and Cannatein® hemp heart protein, among others.

How Axiom Foods Sources the Protein:

Axiom Foods is dedicated to using only the highest quality crops, ensuring that all products are derived through minimal and chemical-free processing.

This approach guarantees dietary-inclusive ingredients, enabling brands to manufacture clean-label products that cater to a wide consumer base.

Axiom’s focus on brown rice and other plant-based sources underscores their commitment to sustainability and high nutritional value.

Market Presence:

Axiom Foods has established a significant global presence by expanding its distribution worldwide, including strategic partnerships with companies like Brenntag Food and Nutrition, Healy Group, and Univar Solutions Brazil.

Their products, particularly the U.S.-made AvenOlait® oat and OryzOlait® rice dairy alternatives and suspension-grade Oryzatein® SG-BN rice protein, are gaining attention and are distributed in multiple international markets.

Pricing:

The pricing for their protein powder products typically varies between $20 and $40 per kilogram, determined by factors such as product type, quantity, and quality.

This pricing is competitive and reflects their commitment to quality, sustainability, and innovation.

5. Tate and Lyle:

Tate & Lyle, a prominent global provider of food and beverage solutions and ingredients, is making significant strides in the alternative protein market.

Renowned primarily for its sweeteners and texturizers, the company has recently broadened its focus to include plant-based proteins, particularly in the form of chickpea protein and flour, through its strategic acquisition of Nutriati.

Tate and Lyle

Products:

Tate & Lyle’s venture into the plant-based protein market is exemplified by its partnership with Nutriati to distribute high-quality, sustainable chickpea protein and flour.

These products are developed using patented technology that ensures high functionality and sustainability.

The Artesa® Chickpea Flour and Artesa® Chickpea Protein from Nutriati are particularly notable for their unique taste and texture profiles.

How Tate & Lyle Sources the Protein:

Tate & Lyle’s acquisition of Nutriati allows it to harness patented technology to produce functional chickpea proteins and flours.

These ingredients are produced in an environmentally friendly manner, using a water-free separation method.

This approach not only ensures high-quality, functional products but also aligns with sustainability goals by minimizing environmental impact.

Market Presence:

Tate & Lyle’s partnership with Nutriati and its expansion into the plant-based protein arena signifies the company’s commitment to meeting the burgeoning market demand for sustainable and nutritious plant-based products.

By providing its global customer base with access to innovative, plant-based protein solutions, Tate & Lyle is positioned to make a substantial contribution to the expansion of this market segment.

Pricing:

Their pea protein isolate costs around $3.50 per kg, their oat protein concentrate costs around $4.00 per kg, and their lentil protein concentrate costs around $3.00 per kg.

These prices are subject to change and may not reflect the current market conditions or the specific needs of each customer.

6. Turtle Tree:

TurtleTree is pioneering the future of sustainable nutrition with a focus on creating high-value ingredients through precision fermentation and cell-based technology.

The Singapore-based biotech company is at the forefront of innovation, producing the world’s first sustainably-produced lactoferrin, LF+, using state-of-the-art techniques that minimize environmental impact and ensure scalability.

TurtleTree

Products:

TurtleTree’s flagship product, LF+, is the world’s first animal-free lactoferrin produced using precision fermentation technology.

Lactoferrin, known as “pink gold,” is a bioactive milk protein renowned for its immune-boosting, iron-binding, and digestive health benefits.

LF+ is designed to be a direct alternative to cow’s milk-derived lactoferrin, offering a sustainable and scalable solution to fulfill the rising demand for this nutrient.

How TurtleTree Sources the Protein:

TurtleTree uses precision fermentation to produce its proteins, a process that involves harnessing microbes as tiny factories embedded with lactoferrin’s unique recipe.

This method eliminates the need for high methane-emitting cows, thereby offering an abundant, affordable, and sustainable alternative to traditional lactoferrin sources.

Market Presence:

TurtleTree is gearing up for a significant market entry, with plans to launch LF+ in the United States in early 2025.

The company is strategically positioning itself to enter the sizable U.S. alternative protein market and plans to sell its products in its home base of Singapore as well.

This aligns with the country’s “30 by 30” goal, which aims to produce 30% of nutritional needs locally by 2030.

Pricing:

Well, their plant-based protein products are not yet available for sale, but they aim to launch them in the market by 2025.

They claim that their products will be more affordable, sustainable, and ethical than conventional animal products.

However, they have not disclosed the exact pricing of their products yet, so it is hard to estimate the average cost of their plant-based protein products.

7. Next-Gen Foods:

Next-Gen Foods, known for its plant-based chicken alternative TiNDLE, is making significant strides in the alternative protein market.

With a recent Series A funding of $100 million, the largest ever raised by a plant-based meat company, Next-Gen Foods is poised for rapid expansion in the United States and further development of its Singapore research and development center.

Next Gen Foods

Products:

Next-Gen Foods’ flagship product, TiNDLE, is a plant-based chicken made with a proprietary blend of plant-based ingredients, including sunflower oil.

TiNDLE has already proven its versatility and appeal in diverse cuisines across multiple cities globally.

The company’s asset-light model, which involves partnering with production facilities in each market rather than building its own, enables rapid and scalable growth.

How Next-Gen Foods Sources the Protein:

Next-Gen Foods develops components, ingredients, and recipes and then collaborates with manufacturing partners, sharing quality assurance procedures to ensure consistency across different production locations.

This strategy allows the company to maintain high standards while leveraging the capabilities of its partners to scale up production effectively.

Market Presence:

Next-Gen Foods is strategically expanding its presence in the U.S. and other significant markets like Brazil and China. The company is building brand recognition through partnerships with chefs and restaurants before moving to other distribution channels like grocery stores.

TiNDLE is currently available in restaurants across various cities in the U.S. and is also accessible to U.S. distributors through major food re-distributors.

Pricing:

The pricing of Next Gen Foods’ products may vary depending on the market and the distribution channel. However, TiNDLE is priced competitively with conventional chicken products.

For example, in Singapore, TiNDLE is sold at S$9.90 (US$7.30) per 340g pack at selected supermarkets. In the U.S., where Next Gen Foods provides its products to restaurants directly, the prices are between $8 to $15 per K.G.

8. Impossible Foods:

Impossible Foods is on a mission to save meat and the Earth by transforming the global food system. The company prioritizes crafting flavorful, nutritious, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly alternatives to meat, fish, and dairy using plant-based ingredients.

Established in 2011 by Stanford University Professor Dr. Patrick O. Brown, Impossible Foods strives to foster sustainability within the global food system by recreating meat, fish, and dairy alternatives from plants, significantly reducing the carbon footprint compared to animal-derived products.

Impossible Foods

Products:

Impossible Foods is widely recognized for its plant-based burger, engineered to replicate the taste and texture of beef by primarily incorporating a soy-based version of the protein found in meat known as “heme,” in addition to oils and other ingredients.

The company also offers plant-based pork and sausages. These products are sold in higher-end restaurants globally and have recently entered grocery stores as well.

How Impossible Foods Sources the Protein:

Impossible Foods produces its signature heme, the iron-containing molecule that gives its products a meaty flavor, through genetic engineering and fermentation.

This process allows the company to make meat from plants using a fraction of the land, water, and energy required for animal meat production, thus reducing the environmental impact significantly.

Market Presence:

Impossible Foods has experienced exponential growth and seeks to double or triple in size every year. Right now, their products are available in the U.S. market, but they will be available soon in other parts of the world.

The company’s products are agile and resilient to commodity shortages and logistical shipping backups due to their ability to use a diverse array of inputs.

Pricing:

The average pricing for Impossible Foods’ plant-based protein products varies based on factors such as product type, market dynamics, and the retailer.

They have launched their plant-based burger patties made with pea protein priced at $4.49 for two quarter-pound patties.

In 2021, Impossible Foods announced a 20% price cut for its plant-based burgers sold to U.S. grocery stores, bringing the suggested retail price down to $5.49 for two quarter-pound patties.

The company’s goal is to achieve price parity with conventional meat products by 2024. However, the price of plant-based meat is still higher than that of animal meat in most cases due to factors such as production scale, ingredient costs, and consumer demand.

9. Shiok Meats:

Shiok Meats, established in August 2018, is the first-ever cell-based meat company in Southeast Asia and specializes in cell-based crustacean meats (shrimp, crab, lobster).

The company is at the forefront of the alternative protein industry, leveraging proprietary technology to cultivate cell-based seafood and meats.

Shiok Meats

Products:

Shiok Meats stands out with its unique technology that isolates stem cells from shrimp, lobster, and crab, marking the first company to achieve this for cell-based production.

How Shiok Meaks Sources the Protein:

The company grows these crustacean meats in nutrient-rich conditions, similar to a greenhouse, resulting in products that are sustainable, clean, and nutritious.

Cell-based seafood is indistinguishable from its conventional counterparts but is grown four times faster than in conventional production.

Shiok Meats aims to launch its minced shrimp product in 2024 and plans to expand its product line to include shrimp flavoring paste and powder, fully-formed 3D shrimp, and cell-based lobster and crab products.

Market Presence:

Shiok Meats has raised substantial funding to support its growth and commercialization plans. The company aims to disrupt the global shrimp market, valued at $50 billion, by offering clean, traceable alternatives to traditional shrimp farming.

The company’s cell-based shrimp, their flagship product, presents a sustainable solution to the challenges of overfishing, misrepresentation, and contamination common in conventional shrimp production.

Pricing:

Shiok Meats has recently achieved a milestone of reducing the production cost of its cultivated shrimp to US$50 per kilogram. However, the company has not yet revealed the retail price of its products, as it may vary depending on the market demand, regulatory approval, and consumer acceptance.

10. Growthwell Foods:

Growthwell Foods, established in 1989, is a Singapore-based plant-based nutrition company on a mission to nourish 1 billion lives with accessible and affordable plant-based alternatives.

The company infuses vibrant food cultures with plant-based innovation to create a nutritious, sustainable food system.

Growthwell Foods respects the body, culinary traditions, and the planet, aiming to provide plant-based nutrition specifically tailored for Asian palates.

Growthwell Foods

Products:

Growthwell Foods offers a diverse range of plant-based products. They are known for their HAPPIEE! Range, including plant-based seafood alternatives made from konjac and other innovative ingredients.

Products like HAPPIEE! Fishiee Sticks and HAPPIEE! Plant-Based Chicken Nuggets, Chickiee Popcorn, Chickiee Patties, and Breaded Chickiee Patties are designed to cater to the growing demand for alternative protein.

Growthwell also has a new product, Plant-based Salmon Flakes, made from soy and incorporating algae-derived omega-3 oil. This range provides a healthy and sustainable alternative to traditional seafood and meat products​.

How Growthwell Foods Sources the Protein?

Growthwell Foods sources its protein primarily through innovative plant-based ingredients, focusing on creating sustainable and nutritious alternatives to traditional meat and seafood products.

One of the standout ingredients in their portfolio is the ChickP isolate, a 90% pure chickpea protein developed by the Israeli food-tech startup ChickP. This isolate is rich in protein, fiber, and minerals and is free from hormones, allergens, gluten, lactose, and GMOs.

The chickpea protein serves as a complete protein source containing all nine essential amino acids, providing a strong nutritional profile for their products.

Market Presence:

With its robust R&D and production capabilities, Growthwell Foods is well-positioned to meet the growing demand for plant-based nutrition in Asia and beyond.

The company’s products are distributed by major partners like Country Foods and Indoguna, ensuring a wide reach in the market.

Growthwell’s ambition to be one of the leading players in plant nutrition in Asia aligns with Singapore’s commitment to food security and its emergence as a food-tech hub​.

Pricing:

The average pricing of Growthwell Foods’s plant-based protein products is around $8 for two servings of plant protein. However, the exact pricing may depend on several factors like product type, quantity, market, supply chain, etc.

Conclusion:

In summary, the world of alternative proteins is a beacon of hope for a more sustainable and ethical food future or for producing meat and animal proteins without harming the animals.

As the global demand for protein surges and environmental concerns mount, these innovative protein sources have risen to the challenge.

With diverse options like plant-based proteins, microbial proteins, cell-based meat, and more, they offer solutions that mimic traditional products while significantly reducing the environmental footprint. The top 10 alternative protein companies highlighted here are at the forefront of this transformative movement.

From industry stalwarts like ADM and Cargill to emerging stars like Omni Foods and Shiok Meats, these companies are not just crafting sustainable protein alternatives but also actively collaborating with experts from biotechnology and researchers to push the boundaries of innovation and technology to improve.

Their unwavering commitment to sustainability and ethical sourcing drives meaningful change in the food industry, or, we can say, food technology.

In 2024 and beyond, these companies will continue to lead the protein revolution, offering consumers delicious, sustainable, and planet-friendly alternatives to conventional animal-based products.

As we navigate the challenges of feeding a growing global population while protecting our planet, the alternative proteins sector is flourishing, with multiple startups offering a promising path forward, one meal at a time.

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