The consumer industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by veganism, environmental awareness, and sustainability, and growing importance of technologies such as plant-based protein, 3D food printing, and personalized nutrition. 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 Innovation in consumer: texturized vegetable proteins. Buy the report here.  

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However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

30+ innovations will shape the consumer industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the consumer industry using innovation intensity models built on over 116,000 patents, there are 30+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, microencapsulated proteins, plant-based cheese substitutes, and texturized vegetable proteins are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Botulinum toxin, beverage pods, and filled confectionary manufacturing are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are anabolic muscle supplements and protein-fortified beverages, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the consumer industry

Texturized vegetable proteins is a key innovation area in consumer

Texturized vegetable proteins are meat substitutes prepared from plant sources. Soybeans are the most consumed materials for texturized vegetable protein. However, wheat, peanut, cottonseed, and corn can also be used for this purpose. These proteins are highly processed, and are prepared by isolating protein from other components in the whole source, such as whole soybeans. Growing veganism for ethical and health reasons has been a key factor behind the rise in demand for texturized vegetable proteins.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 70+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established consumer companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of texturized vegetable proteins.

Key players in texturized vegetable 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 texturized vegetable proteins

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Nestle 106 Unlock Company Profile
Roquette Freres 69 Unlock Company Profile
Gold&Green Foods 57 Unlock Company Profile
DuPont de Nemours 44 Unlock Company Profile
Valio 32 Unlock Company Profile
General Mills 29 Unlock Company Profile
Air Protein 22 Unlock Company Profile
DMK Deutsches Milchkontor 19 Unlock Company Profile
Redefine Meat 19 Unlock Company Profile
Kellogg 17 Unlock Company Profile
Planted Foods 10 Unlock Company Profile
V2 Food 10 Unlock Company Profile
Anabio Technologies 10 Unlock Company Profile
Fuji Oil 10 Unlock Company Profile
PepsiCo 10 Unlock Company Profile
Monde Nissin (UK) 9 Unlock Company Profile
Buhler 9 Unlock Company Profile
FMC 9 Unlock Company Profile
MycoTechnology 8 Unlock Company Profile
Usarium 8 Unlock Company Profile
Mars 8 Unlock Company Profile
Givaudan 8 Unlock Company Profile
Plant Meat 7 Unlock Company Profile
Prairie Aquatech 7 Unlock Company Profile
Terramino 7 Unlock Company Profile
Cargill 7 Unlock Company Profile
Beyond Meat 6 Unlock Company Profile
Suddeutsche Zuckerrubenverwertungs-Genossenschaft eG 6 Unlock Company Profile
British American Tobacco 6 Unlock Company Profile
Novo Nordisk Foundation 5 Unlock Company Profile
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Forderung der Angewandten Forschung eV 5 Unlock Company Profile
Otsuka 5 Unlock Company Profile
Raisio 5 Unlock Company Profile
Glanbia 4 Unlock Company Profile
Abbott Laboratories 4 Unlock Company Profile
Marel hf 3 Unlock Company Profile
Solar Foods 3 Unlock Company Profile
The Hershey 3 Unlock Company Profile
Crush Dynamics 3 Unlock Company Profile
DAST 3 Unlock Company Profile
Hooked Seafood 2 Unlock Company Profile
Sophie's Kitchen 2 Unlock Company Profile
Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus VTT 2 Unlock Company Profile
Shanghai Shiwei Biotechnology 2 Unlock Company Profile
HappyVore 2 Unlock Company Profile
Lin Minyi 2 Unlock Company Profile
House Foods Group 2 Unlock Company Profile
Cosucra Groupe Warcoing 2 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

In terms of patents filed, Nestle is the leading company in the texturized vegetable proteins space, followed by Roquette Freres and Gold & Green Foods. In November 2022, Nestle launched a plant-based protein that serves as an egg alternative. Prepared from soy-based alternative, the product is claimed to contain the same amount of protein as eggs, albeit with lower cholesterol and saturated fats. According to the company, the product contains ironand can be used in a variety of dishes such as omeletes, scrambled eggs, and baking.

In terms of application diversity, Givaudan is the leading company, while V2 Food and FMC stood in the second and third positions, respectively.

By means of geographic reach, General Mills leads the pack, followed by Anabio Technologies and FMC Corp.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the consumer industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Consumer.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.