Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Beef + Lamb studies threat posed by alternative proteins

Beef + Lamb studies threat posed by alternative proteins, considers how to respond

By Rebecca Howard

Nov. 27 (BusinessDesk) - Beef + Lamb New Zealand is carrying out consumer research into alternative proteins in China and San Francisco in response to the rise of the rival products and wants to report back to the sector before the end of the year.

"What we have discovered is that for better or worse alternative protein is here. We are not seeing it as a replacement for now, but we are definitely seeing it as an alternative for certain types of consumers. The consumer research that we doing is to understand who those consumers are and what's driving that behaviour," Damien Cullinan, market innovation manager for Beef + Lamb, told BusinessDesk.

The industry lobby group launched a project in August to understand the production technologies, business models and products, and how consumers are responding along with the threats and opportunities posed by plant-based, lab-grown and insect proteins.

It is trying to separate the "hype from the reality" and "we are going hammer and tongs" to present an internal report within the next four weeks to determine future strategy, said Cullinan. Beef + Lamb will then look at what it presents publically as it doesn't want to provide competitors with "a potential playbook or a look at our strategy," he said.

Cullinan noted that while it's not clear what the eventual impact will be, the technology is moving extremely fast. So-called synthetic or alternative proteins have gone from the world's first lab-grown hamburger unveiled in 2013 to now being available on the menu in some US restaurants.

While Beef + Lamb sees it as an alternative rather than a replacement, others are direr. The Prime Minister's chief science adviser Peter Gluckman has said there is a growing consumer appetite around the world for synthetic alternatives to meat and milk, which poses an "existential threat" to the country's economic fortunes. Earlier this week, Rabobank said alternative proteins are on the verge of becoming mainstream and "stealing" growth from traditional meat products.

Cullinan said Beef + Lamb is not downplaying the opportunities or challenges to the industry: "We are not burying our heads in the sand and saying there is nothing we can do about it," he said.

"This is definitely something we have been taking seriously for a while and we have a very robust process ... we are quite excited about what we are seeing. There is an opportunity for the industry," he said.

Among other things, he noted plant-based synthetic foods rely on genetically modified ingredients to enhance the taste and texture and that is something New Zealand - and consumers around the world - need to be aware of.

"People are making a bit of a trade-off. If they have decided for whatever reason they don't want product A, product B is not product A but it has got some other stuff they may be unaware of," he said.

Against that backdrop, New Zealand's natural and grass-fed based farming system remains competitive.

(BusinessDesk)

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

$7.5 Billion Surplus: Government Accounts "Show Strong Economy"

“The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more on infrastructure and make record investments in health and education,” Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

New OIO Application Trumps Judicial Review: OceanaGold Cleared To Buy Land For Waihi Tailings Expansion

In a surprise turnaround, the government has given OceanaGold a greenlight to buy land to expand its Waihi mine after the application was previously turned down by Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage. More>>

ALSO:

Christchurch Rebuild: Fletcher Sued For $7.5m Over Justice Precinct

Fletcher Building is being sued for $7.5 million by utilities contractor Electrix, one of the subcontractors on the Christchurch Justice and Emergency Services Precinct. More>>

Three New Drugs: PHARMAC Signs Bundle Deal For More Cancer Medicines

420 New Zealanders with lung cancer, breast cancer, multiple sclerosis and respiratory disease will benefit each year from a bundle deal PHARMAC has finalised with a medicine supplier. More>>

ALSO:

"Levels Playing Field": Government Responds To Electricity Price Review

The changes announced today include: • Supporting new and independent retailers by requiring the big power companies to sell into the wholesale market at affordable rates. • Extending discount rates to all customers • A pilot scheme to help customers who have not switched power providers before to shop around for better deals... More>>

ALSO: