Catherine Tubb, Director of Research at Synthesis Capital

The Plantbased Business Hour

Catherine Tubb, Director of Research at Synthesis Capital and Co-Author of Rethinking Food & Agriculture 2020-2030, shares her projections for the Plant-based Innovation & Alternative Proteins sector on The Plant-based Business Hour.

Specially we discuss,

  1. Why an S-Curve is a more accurate depiction of Plant-based Foods Mass adoption and when this will be.
  2. When price parity for productions costs and a tipping point will happen.
  3. The Animal Agriculture Death Spiral.
  4. What would throw off this predicted trajectory and how other sectors will be impacted.

Below is a short clip and transcript from our conversation.

Elysabeth: I have Catherine Tubb with me today. She’s the director of research at Synthesis Capital. Catherine, thanks for being with me.

According to your report that you can look at if you go to synthesis.capital and then scroll to their insights page and I’ll also put the link in here, but you’re looking at around 2027-2028 we’ll have ten to fifteen percent adoption and that’s how you define a tipping point? And you’ll see exponential growth in the thirties.

Catherine Tubb: Exactly. So I think the tipping point we’re saying is between ten and twenty percent. We see that in the late 2020s and early 2030s which is a bit later than the RethinkX report, I should note. I think that’s kind of what we see as the adoption really kicking in at that point so that’s what we’re still thinking.

Elysabeth: Is that for the late 2030s?

Catherine Tubb: Late 2020s and early 2030s is when we’ll see that tipping point come in between ten and twenty percent. From our studies at RethinkX of various disruptions, that’s generally when you would see the key tipping point. The key thing is the adoption may be at five or six or seven percent, but it really does depend not only on that adoption percentage rate but also that the products are good enough and cheap enough. So that’s the other aspect of it if we are really to see it change exponentially.

Elysabeth: Yeah so that is just so close you can touch it. I mean, that’s really kind of amazing, to think that we will live through these transformations in our lifetimes. That brings us to innovation and as you say, bringing down the price and all these things that investment does for the sector. One of my other frustrations is I’m also an angel investor and I see how angel investors don’t really like to invest in infrastructure. It’s just not as sexy as going for that great founder that’s going to change the world with their brilliant idea that they have yet to execute. What’s your read on investment in the infrastructure that’s so badly needed to bring down the cost of production and other things?

Catherine Tubb: Yeah I mean I think there’s some debates about whether we should really be funding infrastructure with equity. But I think how we think about it is that there’s four things that are really important to get to that tipping point. So as I mentioned several times, cost. Regulation is also kind of an ever moving needle, and then obviously investment in capacity so essentially scaling up. How do we scale up and commercialize these products? I think how we think about it is not just purely going out and building capacity. It’s also investing in technologies that will also help improve that capacity so I think it’s making sure that we are not hitting it by going out and building all this stuff but actually thinking about how we can build it better so I think that’s how we think about it. But I would say that’s probably for the next three to five years. That’s gonna be the key thing: commercialization and scaling up for sure.

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