A new trend identified by our partner DEPUR Expériences. After the explosion of the offer of meat substitutes (or animal protein substitutes), many start-ups are attacking a product that has a very cultural imprint: cheese.
With an average per capita consumption of 24Kgs per year, the cheese sector represents an attractive market of more than 8 billion euros/year in France.
For these Food-Techs, developing an alternative offer that would preserve the organoleptic qualities of cheese without having to go through the dairy chain could be an answer to many issues: environmental awareness, ethics, traceability, food safety and dietary restrictions (allergies, intolerances, etc.).
Many investment funds are betting on these companies:
For example, Les Nouveaux Affineurs, which makes "cheese" by fermenting a paste made from soy and cashew nuts, raised €2 million in 2020.
Nutropy, which cultivates proteins identical to those found in cow's milk, has just raised €2 million.
Standing Ovation, which operates on the same principle as Nutropy, has just raised €12 million and Bon Vivant, which cultivates a different kind of protein, raised €4 million in March.
And if we leave the spectrum of France, in 2021, financing in this artificial fermentation has exceeded 127 million euros.
These biotechnological solutions are expensive and the price of the finished product is not very suitable for mass distribution. The restaurant industry is therefore a more suitable distribution channel for this luxury product. This is, for example, the option chosen by Nutropy.
Although many restaurants now include a vegetarian option in their menu, the brand promise to also offer a vegan option is still avant-garde.
The craze for these new products is a strong signal towards a cuisine that will become more and more inclusive, allowing consumers with different diets, values and dietary constraints to gather around the same table.