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Rachel Konrad: ‘The plant-based meat market will quickly morph into the entirety of the meat market’

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Scientists agree that the fastest, most cost-effective (and least disruptive to our quality of life) way to repair Earth is to eliminate the need for livestock and accelerate the shift to a plant-based diet.

VEGCONOMIST: As one of Asia’s leading food-tech startups, NextGen Foods has been in the vegan news frequently following its $20 million fundraise as well as the US launch of its flagship TiNDLE plant-based chicken. The Singapore based brand also named former Tesla and Impossible Foods executive Rachel Konrad as its first independent board member. Vegconomist took the opportunity to speak with Konrad a few months into her new role and to find out more about why the future of meat is already here…

V: What do you think the plant-based food market will look like in 5 years’ time?

RK: Great question! I don’t have a crystal ball but I know for certain that the plant-based meat market will quickly morph into the entirety of the meat market, for all intents and purposes. That’s because the current way that most companies make meat — using animals as inefficient, dangerous production factories — is not sustainable, therefore it is not going to last.

Here are a few more details about why I know that the switch to sustainable meat is inevitable:

  • Animal agriculture generates four times more greenhouse gas emissions than Exxon, Shell, BP and Chevron combined) and is one of the most lethal generators of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Scientists agree that the fastest, most cost-effective (and least disruptive to our quality of life) way to repair Earth is to eliminate the need for livestock and accelerate the shift to a plant-based diet.
  • Investors also agree — and that’s why sustainable protein companies raised almost $6 billion in investments from 2010–2020 — and more than half of that came in 2020 alone.
  • 2021 will likely see even more investment in the plant-based category as food-related tech startups overall raised more than $16 billion in the first half of the year.
  • Meanwhile, consumers are sending the clearest signals yet: Nearly 70% of shoppers say it’s important that a brand be sustainable or eco-friendly. If people don’t have to compromise on quality or price, they are even more likely to pick the sustainable option.
  • For the first time, scientists, investors and consumers are aligned; the inevitable result is a swift transition to sustainable food.

My last thought on the timeline of plant-based meat adoption: Sci-fi author William Gibson famously said, “The future is already here – it’s just not very evenly distributed.” It might not be obvious to every single person, but when it comes to making meat sustainably, the future is already here. SOURCE…

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