The consumer industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by health and wellness, and environmental sustainability, as well as the growing importance of food safety and transparency, and technologies such as 3D food printers, alternative proteins, and digital food management. In the last three years alone, there have been over 662,000 patents filed and granted in the consumer industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Environmental sustainability in consumer: plant-based proteins. Buy the report here.
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 116,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the consumer industry, there are 30+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Plant-based proteins is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability
Plant-based proteins are increasingly gaining popularity as an alternative to traditional meat as a source of protein. Recent research has focused on developing protein compositions derived from plants with high bioavailability, which are otherwise non-functional when cooked.
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each plant-based proteins and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 60+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established consumer companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of plant-based proteins.
Key players in plant-based proteins – a disruptive innovation in the consumer industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to plant-based proteins
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Impossible Foods is the leading patent filer in plant-based proteins. Some other key patent filers in the space include Avebe, Kemin Industries, Cargill, and Symrise. Recently, Impossible Foods launched three plant-based chicken products including Impossible Chicken Tenders, Spicy Chicken Nuggets and Spicy Chicken Patties, and two new plant-based beef products including Impossible Beef Lite and Impossible Indulgent Burger Patties Made From Plants.
In terms of application diversity, Buhler Insect Technology Solutions leads the pack, with CJ Cheiljedang and Protix Biosystems in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Impossible Foods holds the top position, followed by Ynsect and MycoTechnology.
Plant-based proteins will become popular in the coming years as health-seekers and environmentally conscious consumers switch to ethical consumption. Companies will also innovate and launch new products to cater to the rising demand for plant-based meat alternatives.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the consumer industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) in Consumer Goods.