This IEC member-exclusive webinar, presented by the leading nutrition think-tank, Sight and Life, addressed the true nutritional value of alternative proteins and related opportunities for the egg industry.
‘Alternative proteins: The nutritionist perspective’, as presented by Dr Klaus Kraemer, explored the challenges, trends and opportunities facing the egg industry in relation to an increasing demand for protein and the rise of alternatives to animal-source proteins.
As Managing Director of Sight and Life, Dr Kraemer offered fascinating insight into the limited nutritional value of alternative protein products when compared to eggs and other livestock-derived foods, while also exploring the environmental impact and economics of these products.
“Even though alternative proteins are constantly improving, they still do not meet the nutritional needs of a growing global population. That’s why we need to invest in sustainable, animal-source food products, including eggs.” – Dr Klaus Kraemer
Dr Kraemer also outlined actionable ways in which egg producers can improve their communications with consumers to increase awareness of the rich nutritional value of their product.
Key insights from the talk:
Nutrition expert Dr Kraemer discussed the rise of the alternative protein industry, citing that in the last decade, alternative protein companies have raised US$ 6 billion, with over half of this invested capital raised in 2020 alone.
Despite this investment, Dr Kraemer highlighted that we, as consumers, should question the sustainability of these alternative proteins, taking into account nutrition, environmental impact and livelihood.
“We have to question whether these alternative proteins are really reducing fat and salt consumption and if they’re contributing to micronutrient and essential fatty acid intakes. The current alternative protein products are not nutrient dense at all. They are rich in salt, saturated fats and contain a range of technologically required additives, meaning they simply cannot be considered healthy alternatives to eggs.” – Dr Klaus Kraemer
Dr Kraemer addressed the economic challenges faced by many people and communities in low-resource settings in accessing animal source foods. He explained how scalable, sustainable interventions can increase both availability and affordability of eggs in these areas: “The key message is that even in low- and middle-income countries, it is possible to set up efficient egg production systems which are good not only for the malnourished communities, but for the environment.”
In response to the growing influence of the alternative proteins industry, the nutrition expert argued that it is consumption of a wide variety of food types that delivers the healthiest results: “I think we should combine, in a much better form, the egg with plant-based foods. There’s a lot of potential that has not been utilised and I think we should also engage with chefs to develop new recipes, combining eggs with other kinds of foods, making diets more nutritious and healthy.”
In conclusion, Dr Kraemer offered considerations for ways that IEC members can continue to build sustainable global egg businesses which help nourish the world. Suggestions included tapping into egg powder innovations for humanitarian use and promoting egg products through context-specific and emotion-based marketing.
With thanks to DSM Animal Nutrition and Health for their support of this IEC Business Insight session.
Sight and Life: Translating Science. Nurturing Lives.
Sight and Life is a humanitarian nutrition think-tank delivering innovative solutions to eliminate all forms of malnutrition in children and women of childbearing age and to improve the lives of the world’s most vulnerable populations. Visit their website for more information: https://sightandlife.org/.