The business of alternative protein

Rocketing consumer demand is driving huge investment in Europe’s plant-based, cultivated meat and fermentation sectors.

As an international NGO, the Good Food Institute Europe supports the food industry to make delicious and affordable plant-based meat available across Europe, and prepares the sector for the arrival of cultivated meat.

Consumer demand for alternative proteins is important for industry

Europe sales data 2020-2022

Our analysis of Nielsen IQ data across 13 European countries shows sales of plant-based foods grew by 21% between 2020 and 2022 to reach a record €5.8 billion. Explore the data with breakdowns by country and category.

plant-based pizza
Sustainable protein innovation priorities initiative

Building the roadmap to alternative protein success

Europe’s plant-based, cultivated meat and fermentation companies are growing rapidly. But to keep up the momentum and maximise its potential benefits for the environment, food security and public health, the alternative protein sector needs to be strategic.

GFI Europe has spoken to 26 investors, entrepreneurs and other industry experts from 10 countries about where the challenges are. Our findings will help the sector chart a course to success.

European alternative protein company database

Explore the landscape of plant-based, cultivated meat and fermentation companies in Europe. Use the database to stay up-to-date on new companies and products in the space, find a manufacturing partner, or identify groundbreaking startups. 

Manufacturers and brands

Alternative protein manufacturers and brands

Use this database view to identify European companies producing plant-based, cultivated and fermentation-made meat, eggs, dairy and seafood. 

Ingredients and equipment

Alternative proteins ingredient and equipment companies

Use this database view to identify European companies producing ingredients or equipment for plant-based, cultivated, and fermentation-made meat, eggs, dairy and seafood. While a wide variety of inputs can be used for these products, companies are only included in the database if alternative protein applications are a key focus of the company. 

Global company database

Global company database

Visit GFI’s global company database to explore alternative protein companies around the world, add companies that aren’t on our list, or request updates to our data.

Resources for investors and industry

State of the industry: Germany

Exploring recent developments surrounding plant-based, cultivated and fermentation-made proteins in Germany.

Plant-based kebab

Plant-based state of the industry report

Plant-based in 2021: new product development, investment analytics, scientific and technical advancements, consumer insights, regulatory developments, and more.

Cultivated meat state of the industry report

Cultivated meat state of the industry report

Cultivated meat in 2021: the commercial landscape, investment statistics, regulatory and industry developments, scientific progress, research priorities, and more.

Fermentation-made beef

Fermentation state of the industry report

Fermentation in 2021: the competitive landscape, innovation opportunities, product and ingredient applications, investment trends, regulatory status, and more.

Pllant-based seafood burger

Seafood industry update

The plant-based and cultivated seafood industry’s commercial landscape, investment, US sales data and consumer insights from 2021.

Mosa Meat cultivated meatball

Techno-economic assessment of cultivated meat

Study of the cost of producing cultivated meat at scale, conducted by independent researchers CE Delft.

BlueNalu cultivated fish

One-page explainer on the science of sustainable protein

How to explain the science of plant-based, cultivated meat and fermentation to the public in plain, accessible language.

GFI Europe colleagues working together

Industry consultants

Find consultants who can offer insights to help you evaluate plant-based, fermentation and cultivated meat companies you’re considering investing in.

Latest industry news

How public-private partnerships are accelerating alternative proteins: a case study from the North East of England

We visited mycoprotein pioneers Quorn Foods and the Centre for Process Innovation, home to the UK’s National Industrial Biotechnology Facility,…

Plant-based food products

Over 50% of Europeans are eating less meat, but taste and price remain biggest barriers to plant-based uptake

More than half of European consumers are eating less meat, but taste and price remain the biggest barriers to wider…

Alternative proteins in European food culture – chefs offer a serving of wisdom at Good Food Conference

Last week’s Good Food Conference was a fantastic opportunity to take stock of how far the global plant-based, cultivated meat…

How to overcome hurdles for plant-based and fermentation scale-up: a case study from Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park

With economic headwinds facing the food sector, conducting sorely needed research and development into healthy, sustainable foods is harder than…

On the path to net zero: 9 ways the UK can build a ‘world-beating’ sustainable protein ecosystem

Government should invest £78 million annually in research between 2025-2030 as part of its science superpower mission. 

Europe has almost 50% of global protein fermentation capacity: here’s how to unleash its potential

A new report has shed light on Europe’s potential to become a world leader in producing sustainable food through fermentation…

Neuer Report empfiehlt die Umrüstung von Produktionsanlagen, um die steigende Nachfrage nach pflanzenbasiertem Fleisch zu decken

Ein neuer Report rät Unternehmen, die Fleisch auf pflanzlicher Basis herstellen, Anlagen und Gebäude aus anderen Bereichen der Lebensmittelindustrie umzurüsten…

Could retrofit of existing infrastructure help solve plant-based scalability?

A new report says plant-based meat companies should reuse equipment and buildings built for other parts of the food industry…

Plant-based cafe

GFI’s global corporate engagement

GFI’s business experts work with investors and entrepreneurs across the private sector to advance the alternative protein industry and enable market breakthroughs. Learn more about their work.