Innovation Challenge in APAC gives plant-based food startups new opportunity 

To scale up and commercialize in Asia-Pacific (APAC) with the Scale It Up! Challenge

Bühler, Cargill and Givaudan have joined forces to help accelerate startups who are innovating in plant-based protein, to address the needs of a growing global population.

During the programme, startup companies who register and submit their project will gain visibility to the larger, plant-based protein ecosystem and be able to network and collaborate with others on a similar journey. One winner and one runner-up will be chosen and provided ongoing support that will help them scale their product for market introduction. 

The Scale It Up! Innovation Challenge will provide resources, mentorship, and expertise to startups with innovative solutions for plant-based meat or seafood alternatives. The three sponsoring companies are all active in the production of sustainable, plant-based protein ingredients, each focusing on differing parts of the value chain and each bringing their unique expertise to the challenge. The Scale It Up! Innovation Challenge will provide resources, mentorship, and expertise to the challenge winners.  

“The rising protein gap is a challenge too big to solve alone,” says Dr Aparna Venkatesh, Regional Innovation Lead of Bühler. “The Scale It Up! Innovation Challenge is designed to accelerate startups who are also working to close that gap. It allows regional startups to access our expertise, ecosystem, capabilities and facilities to develop delicious plant-based meat products. We’re excited to kick-off the Asia-Pacific version of this unique challenge with our likeminded partners and look forward to seeing what it will bring.”

APAC is experiencing a boom in alternative proteins innovation. In the region, alternative protein investments grew from $162M in 2020 to $312M in 2021 (a huge 92% surge). Consumer food spending in general is slated to jump over the next decade in Asia-Pacific. A study by PwC, Rabobank and Temasek predicts that consumer-driven growth in food spending in Asia-Pacific will hit $1.1 trillion in 2030, an 83% jump compared to 2019, a growth rate that would outpace China’s.

Image credit- shutterstock

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