Plant-Based Burger Innovator ADM Forecasts $30B Alternative Protein Opportunity

Global nutrition company ADM is forecasting the alternative protein segment will grow to $30 billion from $10 billion over the next 10 years. The company made that prediction with the release of news that it planned to acquire Sojaproteina leading European provider of non-GMO soy ingredients with annual sales of $100 million. The deal comes 30 years after ADM invented the soy vegetable burger which it maintains gave rise to the plant-based protein segment.

“Today, alternative proteins represents one of our core growth platforms, and as this $10 billion global industry grows to $30 billion over the next decade, we are investing to expand our unparalleled capabilities,” said Leticia Gonçalves, president of global foods at Chicago-based ADM. “The addition of Sojaprotein – the largest producer of plant-based protein in southern Europe – adds production capacity in addition to an impressive network of customers who are leading the way in meeting consumer needs for nutritious and responsible plant-based foods and beverages.”

Established in 1977, Serbia-based Sojaprotein has sales into 65 countries, offering non-GMO vegetable protein ingredients to European and global customers in the meat alternative, confectionary, protein bar, pharmaceutical, pet food, and animal feed segments. The company had more than $100 million in sales in 2020, compared to ADM’s annual sales of more than $64 billion.

The addition of Sojaprotein builds on ADM’s recent investments in alternative proteins, including the company’s soy protein complex in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil; a new pea protein plant in Enderlin, North Dakota; its PlantPlus Foods joint venture; and partnerships with startups such as Air Protein.

“Consumers today are looking for more from their foods and drinks – they want great tasting products and sustainable sources of proteins,” Gonçalves said. “ADM is in a unique position to meet those needs: Our global, integrated value chain, which stretches from the farm gate to the dinner table, and our unmatched portfolio of ingredients and solutions, are why we are the partner of choice for customers at every step of the food and agriculture value chain.”