The Impact of Modern Plant Based Companies with Alexia Lingart
When it comes to plant based food companies, we’ve seen major advances in both the quality and quantity of products available to consumers. The public is far more receptive to the idea of a diet that is less centered on meat, but viability of the companies who create such products will determine whether a lasting shift will solidify. Health concerns and environmental impact are more substantial factors in the decision making process now than in the past. Someone who understands the intersect of all these areas is Alexia Lingart. A Venture Capital Associate and Finance Expert specializing in food entrepreneurship and agritech investments at Creadev, Alexia works closely with companies in the Unites States, Asia, and Africa who are reimagining a “better way” personally and globally to eat and prosper. A booming industry that generates a whopping seven-billion dollars in the United States alone, Plant-based foods grew twice as fast as overall food sales last year. We asked Alexia Lingart to explain how this trend became so massive and how it will develop in the near future.
Along with vegetarians, vegans, and flexitarians, the average American has become increasingly aware that a less meat-centric diet is beneficial for all. Working on the AgTech vertical strategy at Creadev, Alexia oversees the update of market trends of the industries, competitors, technology updates, regulations, patents, etc., especially in the US. Creadev is building a platform from the United States to Europe to Asia; something that Ms. Lingart couldn’t be more thrilled to participate in. She notes, “We have been focusing on consolidating our know-how in this booming industry that is revolutionizing the way we grow and eat. To that extent, we’ve been investing in companies with different know-how, protein extrusion techniques, and supply chain models.” In just a short period of time, a number of these investments have become very successful. One of these is the Jack & Annie’s brand which takes advantage of India’s superfood, the Jackfruit, to create popular non-meat like plant based nuggets (among other products). Lingart points to the fact that Jack & Annie’s is the only brand using whole food as its first ingredient, before water (which is the first ingredient for both the Beyond Burger and Impossible Burger) for the vast majority, and uses Jackfruit as the first source of protein. The French plant-based steak of Accro is another product receiving the support of Creadev. Popular and tasty in its replication of meat, Accro’s steak boasts 100% wholefood ingredients and an impressive Nutri-Score of A (The Nutri-score is a nutritional labeling system with five levels, from A to E and from green to red, based on the nutritional value of a food product).
The redirection of eating habits towards less meat dependency is a worldwide trend, making it ripe for both supply and demand opportunities. Alexia offers a few examples of companies which provide proof of this. She informs, “The Jackfruit Company uses the Indian superfood jackfruit and has found a great deal of popularity in the United States with the Jack & Annie brand. It really mimics the texture of meat quite well which makes it an easy transition to a healthier diet for meat eaters. We work with Singaporean Growthwell who has more than thirty years of expertise in plant based alternatives. Their three brands (OKK, Gomama and Happiee!) are making a huge difference in providing nourishing food to the massive Asian population. Wholly Moly addresses China’s rising young middle-class consumers’ healthy eating lifestyle with a portfolio of plant-based healthy brands starting with a D2C oatmeal brand that promotes whole-grain based fiber-rich diet. We have also initiated the Creadev Plant-based Alternative Club to focus on synergies we can find between our companies. We have organized with my colleague in France and moderated a Zoom-based conference on the Plant-based Market, leading an interview of Tim Geistlinger (Chief Scientific Officer at Perfect Day and a plant-based field expert with 25+ years’ experience in the industry) dedicated to informing Creadev portfolio companies about market trends.”
In all honesty, a transition to a different way of life only occurs when we recognize the value that it offers us. It’s a personal decision that says much about what we want for ourselves and the world we envision. This is the case for Alexia Lingart who finds herself as part of manifesting the very direction towards healthier food that she wants. She communicates, “My parents taught me the importance of having a well-balanced diet, learning about seasonal food products, fresh & healthy food, respecting the environment, avoiding food waste, and consuming local products. I became so passionate about healthy food and the environmental impact the food supply chain has on the planet that I decided I’d work in that field. I’m a pescetarian, almost a vegetarian. I do not eat meat but I occasionally eat seafood. It forces me to find plant-based protein. I’m really looking at the nutritional profile of every product that I buy, and this has increased since I’ve been working at Creadev. Especially when I buy plant-based meat alternatives. I look at protein ingredients. I can read the daily values and recommendations. It was natural for me to work in this specific field because I’ve been curious and learning about all these new startups in the plant-based industry, from plant-based dietary supplements to plant-based meat and dairy products to find substitutes for my own diet.
Writer: Arlen Gann