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ChickP, the Israeli food tech behind the world’s first 90% chickpea protein isolate made with its patented technology, has announced its expansion into Asia-Pacific markets with a newly established office in Singapore. The startup’s move comes in response to “booming demand” in the region and to solve pandemic-related logistical bottlenecks for the firm’s Asia-based clients spanning 20 countries.
Rehovot-headquartered startup ChickP has opened a new office in Singapore to lead its Asia-Pacific expansion, the company announced on Tuesday (May 25). Appointing food veteran Moy Teo as the firm’s new Asia business development director, ChickP says it plans to bring its patented functional chickpea isolate “closer to its Asian customers” to serve the local “community of enthusiastic plant-protein consumers”.
The company has reported a significant spike in demand for its plant-based protein from the Asia region over the past months, in line with global trends showing a major consumer shift towards healthier, sustainable and safer protein alternatives. Asia is predicted to be a hotbed of growth for the plant-based industry, with a recent report expecting a 200% demand surge in key markets in the region in the coming years.
ChickP says that the new Singapore office will also include a warehouse, aimed at alleviating some of the logistical challenges it experienced during Covid-19, which slowed supplies to its Asian customers who are based across 20 countries in the region.
Commenting on the official launch of ChickP’s Asia strategy, Teo said: “I’m excited to start this journey with ChickP in the alt-protein ingredient segment,” and added that familiarity with the chickpea crop will give the startup an edge with consumers in the region. “Chickpea is a well-known and highly venerated crop in Asia.”
Developed by a team of scientists at the food and agriculture faculty in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, ChickP’s proprietary product is concentrated non-GMO, allergen-free and phytoestrogen-free 90% chickpea protein isolate, which has been patented in Israel and is pending in Singapore, where its investor Growthwell Group is based. It can be incorporated into a wide range of alternative protein food and beverage products.
Singapore has become the centre of plant-based products and alt-protein, and ChickP is there to help its clients.Ron Klein, CEO, ChickP
Ron Klein, CEO of ChickP, explained that Singapore was a natural choice to house its Asia-Pacific base, given its growing reputation as a food tech hub of the region – being first to approve cultured meat and providing a supportive ecosystem for the development of novel alternative proteins and sustainable food solutions – where many of ChickP’s clientele is based.
Asia is an important market for ChickP. This move is part of ChickP’s global extension.Itay Dana, VP of Sales & Business Development, ChickP
“Singapore has become the centre of plant-based products and alt-protein, and ChickP is there to help its clients,” said Klein.
“We believe in strong customer relations and partnerships in product development. While plant-based products pose many functional and flavour challenges, getting closer to your clients advances development, helps control the supply chain, and shortens time to market.”
The news comes shortly after ChickP announced that it has begun full commercial production of its chickpea protein isolate, revving up its capacity to 20 metric tonnes per day or 5,000 metric tonnes annually. At the time, the company said it will be expanding into the U.S. with its partner Socius Ingredients, an Illinois-based food company.
Itay Dana, VP of sales and business development at ChickP, says that ultimately, the company is aiming to go global.
“Asia is an important market for ChickP. This move is part of ChickP’s global extension beyond the joint market development agreement with Socius Ingredients in the U.S. We also signed a contract with a distributor in South Africa, with the next step in the European market.”
All images courtesy of ChickP.