Thai silk pupae firm Kokoonic is marketing its new high-protein, low-sodium savoury snack range Eri Rocket as the ‘Snack of the Generation’, believing it can draw in health-focused and sustainability-seeking consumers.
Kokoonic is already well-known as a silk fibre and silk pupae powder manufacturer, with its silk being used to make textiles, garments and cosmetics, while its pupae powder is used in a variety of food and beverage options from cereals to rice fortification.
More recently though, the firm has opted to step up its product offerings with the creation of a snacking product range dubbed Eri Rocket, which is planned to comprise crackers, chips and seaweed snack products.
Plant-based meat in a dry, ambient format could provide the alternative protein industry with cleaner and more convenient options that can simultaneously also offer longer shelf-life and stability.
Although the plant-based category has been seeing undisputedly immense growth over the past several years, much of this has been focused on frozen products, with most big plant-based names from Impossible to Beyond to Nestle’s Harvest Gourmet and Tyson’s First Pride all having established firm presence in the frozen plant-based meat market.
A far less-explored sector thus far has been in the dry-form, ambient space, but increasingly firms such as Singapore’s Thoughtful Food believe that this format could be the answer to solving a lot of the issues the sector is still struggling to overcome.
Thai Union has outlined ambitious goals for its in-house plant-based meat and seafood range OMG Meat over the next three years, including for its alternative protein sector to be bringing in US$30mn of revenue by 2025.
OMG Meat is Thai Union’s first alternative protein range which covers both meat (e.g. pork buns, chicken nuggets) and seafood (e.g. fish nuggets, crab shumai), and was launched just last year but the firm has already set some ambitious targets for it.
“We see our plant-based products as an integral part of our [sustainability] strategy , [especially as] we know that our consumers are changing, and we want to provide them with the choices they’re looking for,” Thai Union Managing Director Alternative Proteins Maarten Geraets told FoodNavigator-Asia.
The Asian plant-based protein start-up scene is geared to grow 25% by 2025 as more Asians look into flexitarian diets and firms region-wide strive to develop products better suited to their palate.
Such start-ups have a competitive edge over international peers because of their abilities to localise products and leverage local ingredients beyond soy, wheat and pea protein, said Andrew D Ive, founder of New York-based VC firm and start-up accelerator Big Idea Ventures (BIV) in an exclusive interview with FoodNavigator-Asia.com.
Proving its stance, BIV recently announced its first investments in Indonesia, Thailand and Japan, which are among the bigger markets in APAC. One of them is Indonesia’s Meatless Kingdom.
Overcoming Asian reluctance: Singapore plant-based luncheon meat ANEW to launch in 42 ‘accepting’ markets
Singapore food giant OTS Holdings aims to export its plant-based brand ANEW to markets where plant-based awareness, penetration and adoption rates are already high to overcome the Asian consumer reluctance to “let go” of conventional meat.
Therefore, it is planning for entry and trademarking of ANEW in 42 markets, like the US, Canada, Europe and China, said its spokesperson and brand marketing manager Ong Shiya.
“Asia has a very long history of consuming vegetarian products. However, this (plant-based) concept is coined and marketed for Western countries, such as Europe and the US. Impossible and Beyond Meat made a big bang. Our research shows there is a very high growth rate for the segment.