Manturov urged to change mentality and evaluate meat from fly larvae
In the future, consumers will add more and more plant-based raw materials to their diets instead of animal proteins. The state needs to support this direction, and the Russians need to change their attitude towards alternative meat, says Manturov Denis Manturov (right)
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov believes that the production of alternative products from vegetable protein in Russia needs to be supported, and consumers need to change their "mentality" in relation to this product. The official stated this at the session of the Innofood exhibition held in Sochi.
According to him, Manturov tried vegetable meat twice - he was treated at the Innoprom exhibition. It was about the products of the Efko company, which began the production of vegetable meat back in 2020 (meat is made from vegetable proteins: soy, pea and rice). “Indeed, it is very difficult to distinguish from natural meat - you have to be such a great gourmet to do this. To be honest, I couldn’t distinguish, ”admitted the head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
The use of vegetable raw materials instead of animal protein is a global trend today, and Russian manufacturers are keeping pace with this trend, but consumers are still cautious about such products, Manturov points out. When he was offered alternative meat at the tasting, he knew about it in advance: “It was a blind tasting, therefore, as I said, it still sits in the mentality that you eat a substitute, but in terms of taste it is absolutely identical. Moreover, all these flavors are natural.
The Deputy Prime Minister admitted that he himself is "so far adapting" to the proposals of manufacturers regarding the use of vegetable protein as an alternative to animals - for example, larvae. At the Innofood exhibition, such products - burgers with a cutlet, which consists of vegetable proteins with the addition of a concentrate of black lion fly larvae, vegetables and aquafaba (vegetable replacement for eggs) - were presented by Modern Food Technology.
“It's really a surprise when the world uses the protein from the larvae of the black lionfly, and we, as I said, are in step with the times here. Probably, we need to work a little with the mentality of all of us present here, and the black lion can “enter”. But you have to try. Although, probably, a person adapts to everything, and to this too, ”said the head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. He also stated that, as a consumer, he intends to "continue to experiment and consume plant-based meats in his diet."
Manufacturers show “good results,” but in addition to growing raw materials for the production of alternative products, the technology of its production, including mechanical engineering, should also be developed, Manturov added. “We must support these areas from the state with soft loans, R&D benefits (research and development work. -), provide support together with the Ministry of Agriculture and other federal executive authorities in terms of regulation. Because in addition to mentality, it is also necessary to ensure this from the point of view of regulatory mechanisms, ”the official concluded.
Ruslan Ismailov, director of the Magnit retail chain, also spoke about the growing interest in the production of alternative raw materials for products. According to him, Magnit, together with the Federal Center for Food Systems, conducted a study on how consumer behavior and human diet will change in the next ten, 20 and 50 years, which showed that the share of alternative raw materials will grow and it will be added to the standard diet. “It is unlikely that the predictions of futurologists that people will eat from tubes and tablets will come true, but all the same, some kind of transformation of food will occur. And it is very important that today access to natural raw materials and food products is quite limited all over the world,” Ismailov said.
Magnit is looking for technological solutions in the field of foodtech that will allow it to “be modern, meet the needs and demands of customers,” in particular, it is considering creating its own plant-based meat production, Ismailov says. Sales of plant-based milk and plant-based meat supplied by Efko to Magnit are growing by 7-10% monthly. “We are thinking about creating our own plant-based meat production. Not because it is fashionable, but because we see that it is beginning to manifest itself in consumer demand,” Ismailov added.
Efko Strategic Development Director Vladislav Romantsev noted that when the company launched the production of vegetable meat, “there was a lot of skepticism about why it was needed,” but today “it is a conservative product, everyone is already used to it.” Moreover, these products are of interest in other countries, in particular in the UAE.
In February of this year, Efko opened the headquarters of the Fuel For Growth venture capital fund in Dubai and began negotiations with local investors, entrepreneurs and buyers to promote its plant-based alternative products in the UAE. Now the company has begun negotiations on the construction of its plant-based meat production there, Romantsev said: high-tech ingredients will be supplied to the UAE - in fact, products of deep processing of Efko vegetable raw materials, such as oilseeds and grains, the top manager added.
The world market for alternative meat by 2030 will amount to $200 billion, Romantsev points out, Russia has all the conditions necessary for the development of this production, including climatic conditions and the absence of GMOs, and “if we aim at at least 10–15%, and we believe that up to 20%, we can count on this market share”, he summed up.
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