Hybrid animal-plant products could shape the future of plant-based sector – v2food

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

v2food’s current line-up includes chilled and frozen products , as well as ready-to-eat meals. ©v2food
v2food’s current line-up includes chilled and frozen products , as well as ready-to-eat meals. ©v2food

Related tags Australia plant-based Meat alternatives

Australian plant-based producer v2food says that consumers should not discredit the entire category based on a single negative experience, stressing it is still relatively young, especially when compared to the traditional protein sector.

Backed by CSIRO’s research and expertise, v2food is a major player in Australia’s plant-based industry that is projected to be worth over AUD 6bn (USD 4bn) by 2030.

While the firm believes there is a trend towards reducing or eliminating animal proteins altogether, it expects the majority of consumers to eat plant-based options as a complement to their existing diets. 

“v2food is a plant-based alternative for anyone who loves the taste of meat, and people of all dietary preferences can enjoy our products as part of the diet that is right for them.

“As consumer preferences and awareness continue to evolve, the industry is likely to witness increased demand for a variety of plant-based products, in addition to opportunities for innovative solutions, such as hybrid animal-plant products and cultured meat, to further shape the future of the sector,” ​Chris Coburn, Sales Director (Asia) of v2food, told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

v2food’s current line-up includes chilled and frozen products such as burger, mince, sausage and popcorn bites, as well as ready-to-eat meals.

Besides Australia, it has expanded across Asia since its inauguration in 2019, and is now available in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines.

According to Coburn, the brand’s best-selling products vary in different markets, depending on the local consumers’ culture and taste preferences.

“For example, the v2gyoza is highly popular in Japan due to product localisation. Taste is the biggest success factor for any food item, and it is no different for plant-based meats.

“We agree that animal meat tastes great. We’re not about getting rid of meat; we are about making a new and improved version— and more — of it from plants, which is delicious, nutritious, and sustainable for generations to come,” ​Coburn reiterated.

v2 gyoza
The v2gyoza is said to be highly popular in Japan due to local consumers' familiarity with the dish. ©v2food

More to be done

Working with scientists at CSIRO and an in-house R&D team, v2food has developed products that claim to be as nutritious as animal meat, containing protein, zinc, iron, phosphorus, and vitamins B12, B3 and B6, with an additional dose of plant-derived fibre.

“Although awareness of plant-based meats has grown, there is still a lot to be done in terms of educating consumers about the benefits of these alternative options.

“If a beer drinker has had one bad craft beer, they won’t say no to all beer from then on—they may go back to their preferred brand or style, or try something different. Unfortunately, some consumers are discounting the entire plant-based category because they may have tried a plant-based burger few years ago and didn’t enjoy it,” ​said Coburn.

Along with the development of the sector comes widening consumer choices, which v2food has recognised as an essential driver to differentiate its products effectively.

Animal meat-based products have had a huge head start, but plant-based meat solutions are just getting started. Brands matter in all industries, particularly in categories where the key players are still being established. Therefore, brands like v2food play an important role in setting important markers, such as food safety and taste.”

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