- Plenty of investors are betting on plants as the future of our flawed global food system, which relies on unsustainable farming methods and contributes large amounts of greenhouse gas to our environment.
- PowerPlant Ventures is one of the firms that’s looking to use their capital to do better for the planet and the animals by investing in a portfolio of plant-centric companies finding innovative ways to reshape the food system.
- From brands like Beyond Meat that make meat out of plants to companies like Thrive Market that make healthy eating more accessible, keep reading to check out the innovative brands PowerPlant Ventures is betting on.
When it comes to choosing what we want to eat, a few obvious factors come into play. Most of us consider taste, personal dietary preferences, and prices when it’s time to fill our plate. But, have you ever started the day with a little examination of the environmental impact of your breakfast?
If you’re like the majority of Americans, the answer is probably not. While three-quarters of Americans admit they’re concerned about the environment, only one in five Americans say they actually make an effort to live an environmentally conscious life all the time. Yet, being more conscious consumers — particularly when it comes to choosing what we eat— could make a big impact on our rapidly changing climate.
Our food system as it stands today is not sustainable in the long term. When you factor in all the land and resources required to raise animals, grow crops, package and transport food, this industry accounts for 37% of global greenhouse-gas emissions. Our food system contributes to global warming, yet in a catch-22, it’s also vulnerable to the whims of a volatile environment caused by rising temperatures and high CO2 emissions.
As individuals, we have the power to make a more positive impact with every dollar we spend. So, where should we start?
PowerPlant Ventures is a growth equity fund with a desire to fix our global food system, and they’re investing serious capital into the plant-centric food and beverage companies changing the way we produce, distribute, and consume food. The mission is multi-faceted: the goals are to advance innovative food brands to ultimately tackle the environmental inefficiency of our food system, protect our planet and our people from climate change, and improve animal welfare. To do this, they’re looking toward plant-centric brands — ones creating more sustainable and ethical ways to fuel our bodies, by focusing (mostly) on plant-based nutrition.
Since its founding in 2015, PowerPlant Ventures has been investing in a slew of disruptive brands poised to change our food system for the better. The brands in their portfolio run the gamut from consumer-packaged goods to full-fledged fast casual chains.
Keep reading to discover the five innovative brands PowerPlant Ventures is betting on to build a better food system.
Weaning carnivores off the juicy goodness of hamburgers is a tough feat. Beyond Meat wants to give meat eaters all the things they love about classic burger (or any meat product, for that matter) in a better-for-you-and-the-planet package.
The company is on a mission to create better protein, made wholly from plant-based ingredients. Don’t expect your average black bean and quinoa burger here. Beyond Meat has taken the blueprint of what makes meat what it is (protein, fat, trace minerals, water) and found plant-based alternatives to create burgers, sausages, and ground meats that look and cook just like the real deal.
Beyond Meat has been buzzing since going public this past May. The brands’ faux meats are popping up everywhere, with sausage patties in breakfast sandwiches at Dunkin’ Donuts to burgers on menus at Bareburger and BurgerFi.
Buy Beanfields Bean Chips at Amazon and Thrive Market
Beanfields wants to prove you can get all the crunch and flavor of old fashioned tortilla chips with a host of more nutritious ingredients. As the name suggests, beans are the hero ingredient here — they provide more protein, fiber, and less fat than your traditional corn, wheat, or potato chip.
Beans need little to no fertilizer to grow, which helps prevent the pollution runoff that occurs when farming corn (which needs a lot of fertilizer). As a certified B Corporation, Beanfields is committed to using their business to make a positive societal and environmental impact. The brand works with Homeboy Industries — an organization that provides programs that help high-risk, formerly gang-involved men and women with rehab and re-entry into public and private life — employing graduates of the program, and donating a portion of their sales to the group. On top of all the good they’re doing, these non-GMO, gluten-free, kosher chips are certified delicious — the products are flush with five-star reviews on Amazon.
Computational biologists, food engineers, and chefs make up the team at JUST, where they’re on a mission to find delicious plant-based alternatives that can recreate some of our favorite decadent foods like mayonnaise, cookie dough, and eggs.
The brand first came onto the food scene with JUST Mayo, an alternative to your typical combination of eggs and oil that uses yellow split peas to create a creamy texture. JUST has branched out into the world of dressings (you can find classics like Caesar and ranch), cookie doughs that are totally safe to eat raw, and the highly-anticipated eggless eggs.
It took six years for JUST to find a plant-based formula that mimicked the texture, flavor, color, and scramble-ability of eggs. While it may not taste exactly like an egg to omnivores, dress it up in a breakfast sandwich and you won’t be able to tell the difference. Canadian chain Tim Hortons is testing menu items featuring JUST Egg, which is made from mung bean protein, oil, and turmeric, among other ingredients.
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