Hungarian company to debut on the American market of meat substitutes

The Hungarian Plantcraft Innovációs Ltd. has developed a soy-, gluten-, and additive-free cold cuts range using natural plant protein sources. The business received a 150-million-forint investment transaction by X-Ventures Gamma Kockázati Tőkealap (X-Ventures Gamma Venture Capital Fund) so that it can debut on the American market with its second-generation meat substitute products.

The meat production of the world has tripled since 1970, and meat consumption has been increasing at a faster rate than the population of the Earth: according to predictions, by 2050, 70% more meat will be consumed by the then-living 10 billion people. However, our planet’s resources are finite, so this would not be sustainable.

According to experts, focusing on the environment and health protection aspects, changing consumer habits, as well as economic considerations on the long run will help to spread meat substitute products, reports Agrár Szektor.

According to Allied Market Research, there is a reason why it predicts an 8% increase for meat substitute products between 2018 and 2025, and they think that by the end of the period, the yearly trade will amount to 7.5 billion dollars (2100 billion forints). Bernstein Research Company predicts an even more ambitious course; they think the meat substitute business will grow into a 40 billion dollar business in 10 years. A Hungarian startup is trying to get on board of this “meatless train” as well: Plantcraft, which received a 150 million forint investment transaction by X-Ventures Gamma Venture Capital Fund. The company was established by Hungarian-born Katalin Ohens who lives in New-Zealand and Csaba Hetényi who lives in Budapest, who started their product development according to the recipe of a Hungarian biotechnologist researcher.

The startup has since been helped by Proveg Incubator from Berlin and InnovationsLab of CEU Budapest.   “The first range of products consists of rustic pastes, pepperoni salamis, and ham cold cuts outs, of which pastes are completely done. The latter is in its last development phase, and we hope it will get its final form and taste in a few months, and we can start introducing them to the US market,” explained Csaba Hetényi, cofounder of Plantcraft. Plantcraft, after several years of research, has developed a so-called send generation meat substitute which means that the plant-based products they offer are completely free of soy, gluten, and additives.

The revolution of plant-based meat substitutes is in full swing in the United States. Currently, 5% of the American population is vegetarian and 3% is vegan, which is considered a big market regarding the population and its consumer habits. “However, we do not target just them with our products; rather, the remaining part of the 92% who want to consume less meat but want the experience of having meat products to remain. 86% of current costumers of alternative meat are not vegetarian or vegan, which indicates a huge costumer base for us,” states Csaba Hetényi.

“We see a great market potential in the products of Plantcraft and the know-how of the team since in the future, we’ll be able to produce those products on smaller land and at a smaller cost than traditional meat industries, which satisfy the needs of consumers, and price will always be a priority for customers. Such an economic possibility will bring radical changes in the food industry: new products, new business models, and in parallel with this, new companies will emerge, which is why we are interested in Plantcraft,” added Levente Zsembery, the chief executive officer of X-Ventures Alpha Capital Fund Management.


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