Thai Union says food security is more important than making a ‘quick buck’ when it comes to alternative protein

Thai Union recently launched its first plant-based product range OMG Meat​, and has also highlighted its high hopes for its alternative protein portfolio over the next few years.

“A lot of people have been asking Thai Union why we are disrupting our own business model – but though it may seem so on the surface, we know that it is a fact that as the population grows and grows we are going to need to utilize population grows and grows all the protein sources available to feed the world’s population by 2050,”​ Thai Union Head of Global Busines Development of Seafood Alternatives Gerben Camps told FoodNavigator-Asia​ at our recent Growth Asia Summit 2022 in Singapore.

“There are many players in the industry today, and we would say that especially the start-ups in the space have done a very good job of making alternative protein products to bring up the category – but really, it is about time for more bigger names, especially conventional protein partners, to get involved.

“It is especially the branded partners that must come on board – that need to come on board, and one of the main reasons is that in addition to product innovation and development, it is these big names and the marketing dollars and influence they can bring with them that are key to fully unlocking the category.”

However, Camps also cautioned firms to keep an open mind in terms of profit margin expectations, highlighting that alternative protein is not the golden goose that many seem to expect it to be.

“The thing is that a lot of people are looking at this as a way to enhance their margins right now – maybe when the industry evolves and production costs lower to hit price parity. This thinking will change, but right now it’s a common concept,”he said.

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