SINGAPORE - Big Idea Ventures and Grand Hyatt Singapore held its first in-person and virtual tasting from the latest plant-based companies at the end of last month – Tasting Big Ideas 2021. This was the third Big Idea Ventures tasting event showcasing alternative protein innovations, but the first time offering both in-person and virtual tasting experiences. The event showcased the World’s next generation of alternative protein companies.
“Changes in global consumer demand, sustainability and food security is driving significant growth in alternative protein food innovation. Startups are fast developing alternatives to meat, dairy and seafood. We are now able to deliver a high culinary experience while delivering on these global and personal health benefits," said Andrew D. Ive, Founder and Managing General Partner of Big Idea Ventures. Big Idea ventures is a venture capital fund with startup accelerators in key locations, investing in and accelerating top performers in the new food space. Its first fund, the New Protein Fund, has raised over USD$50 million to invest in the best companies in the alternative protein ecosystem.
“With the New Protein Fund, we will support some of the best companies globally developing meat, seafood and dairy alternatives to support the ecosystem driving big changes in the food industry,” added Christian Cadeo, Managing Partner of Big Idea Ventures in Asia.
Chefs at Grand Hyatt created the culinary tasting experience for attendees of the event. Chef Lucas of Grand Hyatt said: “Working with these plant-based products, it is a great opportunity to share with like-minded guests who care deeply for our food - where the ingredients come from and how it is being produced.”
“It was like a black box competition, you receive the products, it all comes in boxes, you open and see - wow these are the products, then we think what we can create with that”, said Chef Gottfried.
Top trends to come out of the Tasting Event:
- Fermentation drives more options for alternative protein
Fermentation can develop everything from seafood and sustainable oils, and innovations will rise in these areas in 2021.
The development of new alternative solutions that are entering the market will go some way to replacing their traditional products. Examples of such companies developing products are Aquacultured Foods, the first whole muscle seafood alternative created through microbial fermentation and Farmsow, with its patent-pending microbial fermentation process delivers sustainable alternatives to tropical oils and animal fats for diverse applications..
- Alternative protein dine-in and take-out options growing
Plant-based options have thrived despite the pandemic, and many products have launched throughout the world. Angie's Tempeh, founded during the pandemic, is now available at Vios by Blu Kouzina and Little Farms Groceries.
To celebrate the diversity of plant-based foods and to deliver to multicultural tastes, Plant Ranch Foods, from the US produces the only full line of plant-based Mexican flavored proteins based on generations-old family recipes and Haofood's from China developed the first peanut protein based chicken, available at various restaurants in Shanghai and Shenzhen, with many applications from Asian to Western food. Also, in light of the pandemic, Tasting Big Ideas 2021 and 2020 offered a virtual tasting option where guests could opt to have a tasting kit delivered to enjoy in the comfort of their homes or offices.
- Improving Taste and Texture for Alternative Protein
As more consumers adopt a plant-based diet, we need plant-based foods to have not only the right taste, smell and price but also the right texture and mouthfeel. Increasingly we will see technologies and companies such as Meat. The End which will allow plant-based foods to be indistinguishable from the traditional meats they can and will replace.
- Cell-based products futuristic concept overseas but a growing trend in Singapore
Singapore was the first country in the world to give approval to the commercialisation of cell-based meat. In late 2020 the Singapore Food Agency gave approval to Eat Just to sell cultured chicken to customers.
Companies from Big Idea Ventures’ portfolio company, Animal Alternative Technologies and Innocent Meat foresee this trend and provide end-to-end solutions to scale production of cell-based meat in a cost efficient manner.
- Big Idea Ventures is a major supporter of female-founded companies and women founders of colour
According to Vegan Women Summit, less than 3% of all investment dollars go to female-founded companies, and yet companies with a female founder performed 63% better than investments in all-male founding teams. Over 50% of startups in Big Idea Ventures’ accelerator portfolio are founded by women, and for our latest cohort, 100% of our Singapore cohort companies have a female founder or co-founder.
Find out about the companies that took part in the tasting showcase by registering to attend Big Idea Ventures’ Cohort 3 Demo Day on 27 May 2021: 14:00 - 16:30 (SGT) & 11:00 - 13:30 (ET). This is a private event for accredited individuals and the press only. Investment firms will be able to hear founders pitch live. Register to attend here.
Applications for Big Idea Ventures’ fourth cohort are now open - alternative protein startups can apply to enter the next accelerator program starting Q3 2021. Successful startups could be awarded $125K in capital and $75K in in-kind value adds, undergoing 5 months of preparation work to pitch to investors and expand into new markets. Interested entrepreneurs can apply here until June 6.
Big Idea Ventures are available for introductions, further comments or media interviews.
About Big Idea Ventures
Big Idea Ventures (BIV) is solving the world's greatest challenges by supporting the world’s best entrepreneurs, scientists and engineers. Big Idea Ventures develops the most globally strategic funds delivering significant investor returns while addressing real world challenges. BIV is focused on alternative protein with its New Protein Fund, innovations in the food industry to solve challenges in waste, water use, plastic use and CO2 with its Generation Food Fund and commercialization of university intellectual property with its Generation Food Rural Partners fund.