LIVE from Ingredion’s Expo West Booth: Matt Olsofsky, Founder of Take Two Milk, Jorge Azevedo, Chief Growth Officer of Planterra Foods, Beth Tormey, VP and General Manager Systems and Ingredient Solutions, Ingredion and Karen E. Constanza, Marketing Manager, Meat Alternatives, Ingredion join The Plantbased Business Hour while on the road to talk innovation. They also all answer the same question: will alt protein persist through what the Financial Times calls the Trough of Disillusionment?
Specifically, from the Ingredion booth, we discuss
- Upcycled ingredients like such as barley,
- Plant-based bacon and why JBS is interested,
- New consumer trends in plant-based and
- Will supply chain issues finally be resolved?
A short clip and transcript from our conversation is below.
Elysabeth: Jorge, I’m happy to see you here. Tell me what you do with Ozo which is Planterra.
Jorge Azevedo: Sure, of course. I’m the Chief Growth Officer for Planterra Foods. We’re a start-up out of Boulder, Colorado. We’re very focused on expanding the consumption of plant-based meats, in general, and very focused on sustainably feeding future generations. That’s the key thing.
Elysabeth: So JBS, one of the largest meat producers in the world, so you know meat and you know taste, I mean I would think so. Here you are branching off into this alternative protein. Can you share with me why you’re doing that?
Jorge Azevedo: Yes, and this is very dear to me. I grew up in Latin America. I’m from Brazil and I saw both the benefits of the meat industry growing in Brazil and all the environmental consequences of that. JBS realizes that meat alone cannot feed future generations in a sustainable way. So, we came in to JBS in 2019 with the mission of feeding future generations. We just cannot continue to produce protein the way we do today and expect to feed the world in 2050. So, this needs to be a part of the solution, and we’re very happy to be inside of a company making the change and pushing the agenda for change. We are very proud of the investment we are putting behind it.
We have a sister company in the UK called Vivera who is a fantastic plant-based company. We have another sister company that is also the marketing leader in Brazil for plant-based in one of the most carnivorous countries in the world, right? So, it’s really about being a part of the solution. That’s really what we want to be. Ozo, specifically, is our main tool with a brand that is welcoming, that is non-judgmental, because at the end of the day ,I’m not advocating for a vegan club. It’s not about a plant-based club. It’s about a plant-based future. So, I need to welcome people and if I can change one meal a week from someone-I don’t need to convince them to change their lives, but if they can change their Sunday breakfast, then it’s a positive change, and that’s what I really want.
Elysabeth: There’s so much to unpack there. You and I could have a very long conversation. I think about change for people and what it takes to get change and it’s really, “Have you made it easy for me?” because if it’s at all hard then it won’t happen. You imagine the single mother of three. She’s not going to have this philosophical conversation. She’s going to buy what is inexpensive, what is easy to make, and makes her kids happy so she doesn’t have to fight about it. So, I think people always say to me, “Ah but culturally meat is so important…” and I always say, “Look, if you can make it easy and inexpensive for people and still tastes good, they’re going to switch because it works for their lives.”
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