The research from Ai Palette, a startup using artificial intelligence to keep track of consumer food preferences for 2021, published in the end of November last year has probably passed unnoticed to our readers: agfundernews.com.
First of all, it dealt with trends in food preferences in the Asian markets and in the USA. Meanwhile, the findings of this research are curious.
According to the research, ‘High protein’ is a growing trend in China (+ 205%,), India (+ 39%,) and USA (+ 19%) as consumers explore protein-rich diets and try to reduce their intake of carbohydrates and fats.
This trend, along with the desire to lose weight, is associated with the striving of people to strengthen their immunity against the background of the COVID-19 threat.
In connection with the above, both Asian and US consumers still appear to be keen on increasing the plant-based component of their diets. In particular, interest in plant-based protein as an alternative to conventional, animal-derived meat and dairy is on the rise:
The interest in plant-based foods has added 21% in China, 58% in India and 25% in Philippines.
This shift in food preferences got on the radar of business community. Thus, Yug Rusi, an international agro-industrial corporation with significant interests in Asia, is ready to participate in supplying the region with high-quality plant-based.
“Today, we are implementing a number of investment projects on the production of plant-based protein concentrate”, says Sergei Kislov, President of Yug Rusi Group and former owner of OAO NZNP. “This product is used in making plant analogues of meat and milk, as well as in dietary and sports nutrition. Our choice fell on sunflower seeds and peas as raw materials for such products. They are rich in health benefits and are trusted by consumers. We also invest in the development of sunflower and pea cultivation in our fields that allows Yug Rusi to track the quality of products along the entire chain – from the field to the consumer.”
Besides, Sergei Kislov sees a lot of potential in traditional grain crops such as wheat which can be used as a source of plant-based protein. “In 2020, Yug Rusi supplied about 285,000 metric tons of grain to the Asian market. According to our expectations, the growing interest in plant-based protein will strengthen the demand for grain which will be processed into a base for plant-based meat and milk. In the latter case, a crop such as oats has great potential. In addition, many Asian countries can obtain plant milk base from their own crops, for example, from rice. Today we are ready to invest in its production in a number of Asian countries,” noted Mr. Kislov.