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American food giant ADM is doubling down on its alt-protein business segment with a planned acquisition of Sojaprotein. Based in Serbia, Sojaprotein is the largest plant-based protein provider in southern Europe and the country’s largest soy producer. ADM says that the acquisition will help expand its capacity to “meet fast-growing global demand” for vegan protein.
ADM has announced plans to acquire Sojaprotein, the Serbia-based soy giant. Sojaprotein’s distribution network spans 65 countries globally, with its non-GMO soy protein ingredients sold across the alt-protein, confectionery, protein bar, pharmaceutical and pet food industries. The financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.
The acquisition is set to grow the American food giant’s alt-protein business segment, which it describes as one of its “core growth platforms”.
Going all-in on plant-based
With demand for alternative proteins projected to continue growing rapidly, ADM says its latest investment will help “expand our unparalleled capabilities”.
Leticia Gonçalves, ADM’s president of global foods, described the acquisition as just the latest in its strategy to capitalise on the alt-protein trend. It recently doubled down on its own soy protein complex in Brazil, opened a new pea protein plant in North Dakota and formed a joint venture to launch vegan brand PlantPlus Foods.
ADM has also recently opened a plant-based innovation lab in Singapore, as the firm pivots tap into the “rapidly growing consumer demand” across Asia-Pacific.
“The addition of Sojaprotein adds production capacity in addition to an impressive network of customers who are leading the way in meeting consumer needs for nutritious and responsible plant-based foods and beverages,” commented Gonçalves.
Creating more alternative meat products
ADM plans to develop and launch more meat alternatives on the market, especially products targeting the sustainability and health concerns of consumers. As the plant-based market matures, more shoppers are paying attention to clean ingredient lists, sourcing and the climate footprint of products.
Gonçalves noted that shoppers are increasingly “prioritizing locally-sourced, non-GMO ingredients in their food and beverages.”
“Consumers today are looking for more from their foods and drinks. They want great-tasting products and sustainable sources of proteins,” she added.
Research conducted by the firm’s data arm OutsideVoice last year found that 92% of first-time buyers of plant-based meat during Covid-19 now plan on making these purchases a long-term habit. In the same study, analysts found that almost 50% of consumers are looking to spend more on wellness and health-focused products.
Lead image courtesy of ADM.