US-based agricultural processor and ingredients manufacturer ADM is keeping its cards close to its chest regarding the product launches, scheduled for the IFFA trade show in May. But in an exclusive interview with GlobalMeatNews, the company did open up about the opportunities it sees in the alternative meat market.
“The biggest opportunity is the growing demand for vegetable proteins within the flexitarian and vegetarian market,” said Tim Symons, sales director of ADM’s Meats & Meals division. “We really see a lot of opportunity in soya proteins and transitioning away from meat-based diets is clearly presenting ADM with some very significant opportunities to grow.”
A flexitarian or semi-vegetarian diet – one that is plant-based with the occasional bit of meat – is a topic that has been discussed increasingly in the food industry. Data from Mintel and Innova Market Insight shows consumers have cut back on meat to be healthier or because they want more sustainable protein sources. This trend is “more developed” in Europe, according to Innova Market Insight.
ADM’s Symons echoed this, saying the ingredients business had seen “very strong demand” in both Western Europe and the US for vegetable-based proteins. Speaking alongside Symons was Roland Snel, ADM’s senior technical manager, who said that changing meat products to soya-based ones was not a straightforward operation.
“With reformulating meat products, there is no one-size-fits-all method,” explained Snel. “The key is to think about certain types of meat analogues – ground meat, or hot dogs from emulsified meat all offer different challenges in terms of texture, flavour and colour.
“From a technical perspective, replacing animal proteins in any food system, especially meat analogue systems, is not only working within a high-protein source, but overcoming other reformulation hurdles. So reformulating from a meat product to a vegetarian or a meat alternative product brings much more challenges than just taking out meat and replacing it with another product,” he added.
Symons said the company was “excited” to unveil the latest products at IFFA and said ADM had a “really strong message” to give to the alternative meat sector.
“We see IFFA as a really important show for our customers in the meat industry,” said Symons. “This time it’s all about showcasing our wider range of products and capabilities in this area. It’s about showcasing what ADM is capable of, not just from an ingredient perspective but from a capabilities platform too.”
ADM will host a seminar of seven hot topics within the meat industry at IFFA. These topics are: soya proteins and soya fibre; sodium reduction technologies; emulsified meat systems; whole muscle and reformed meat systems; meat preparations made from ground meat; wild dairy ingredients and edible beans as alternative nutrition sources; options for vegetarian, vegan and flexitarian lifestyles.
ADM will also have an industry-recognised chef on stand to cook gourmet meat samples all featuring a range of ADM’s ingredients. The business will be at stand E58 in Hall 4 at IFFA which runs from 7-12 May.