Israel-based startup CHiCK.P plans to enter the lucrative plant-based protein market with its tasteless, high-protein chickpea products. Founded by Ram Reifen, MD, professor of human nutrition at the University of Jerusalem, the company produces chickpea concentrates with 60-90 percent protein content and isolates with more than 90 percent protein content. “We are negotiating with various partners in Israel, Europe, and the US and samples of our products are being evaluated by various food companies for use in meat substitutes, dairy alternatives, beverages, pastries, [snack bars], and more,” Reifen told media outlet Foodnavigator. While the use of soy in plant-based products is still popular, pea-based protein—an ingredient found in Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burger, Ripple’s line of vegan milk, and Coffee-mate’s new vegan creamers, amongst many others—is gaining market share due to soy’s allergenic properties. Reifen estimates that chickpea protein—which does not pose major allergen concerns—will be an $8 billion industry by 2024 and believes CHiCK.P will garner $300 million in revenue within a five-year time period. According to a recent study by market research firm Packaged Facts, beans and legumes are gaining traction amongst consumers looking for plant-based protein and chickpea-based snacks saw a 150-percent increase in sales last year.
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