Pepsi Exec: Plant Protein Will Spark a Sea of Change

Tim Ingmire believes recent major investments position the plant-based protein industry for explosive growth in the next five to 10 years.

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Tim Ingmire, senior director of research and development at PepsiCo, revealed his positive views about the growth of the global plant-based protein industry at a panel discussion during the recent Future-Food Tech conference in London. Ingmire supported his views with recent investments made by large corporations that he believes will accelerate the growth of plant-based food formulations around the world. “When you look at the French government and its €1 billion [$1.2 billion] investment in this area, you see these actions at a government level that will continue to build a body of research around these materials,” Ingmire said. “Their application to new products … will appear over the next five to 10 years.” Fellow panel participant Liz Specht, senior scientist at food nonprofit The Good Food Institute, confirmed Ingmire’s belief. “A few years ago, the meat industry saw this as a threat,” Specht said. “Now, I think they are seeing this as the next big growth engine. A lot of them are getting involved really early, whether it’s through investment or collaboration.” Earlier this year, meat giant Tyson made an undisclosed investment in plant-protein brand Beyond Meat, and Canadian bacon company Maple Leaf Foods announced its $140 million acquisition of vegan brand Lightlife in February.