The Key to Opening the Door, Is Knowing More.
By Jason Rosenberg, Head of Business Development at Remilk
Consumers from New York to Kuala Lumpur are adopting alternative proteins at astounding rates. And while everyone seems to be on the hunt for the best alternatives for dairy, there seem to be many different factors driving this adoption in different regions around the world.
Through an array of discussions with food companies and consumers from across the globe, we have begun to identify a set of recurring themes that provide valuable insight into these regional motivations.
We invite you to join us on a quick journey, as we explore how alternative dairy is addressing multiple challenges across the globe.
The primary considerations driving the shift to alternative dairy in Europe (primarily Western and Northern Europe) are related to combatting the negative environmental impact of industrialized animal agriculture. This aligns with greater EU public policy, which is revered worldwide as leading the way with regard to advancing eco-friendly practices.
Environmental impact is viewed as a driving force for companies around the globe to adopt friendlier practices, primarily due to their public perception as well as a growing number of fiscal incentives to become greener. In Europe however, in addition to the corporate desire, consumers are adamant about the issue as well.
Remilk’s process for the production of dairy proteins is significantly more efficient and kinder to the environment than that of traditional cow-derived dairy protein. By streamlining the process, utilizing extremely efficient microorganisms as high throughput “factories”, Remilk is able to produce these same proteins using only a small fraction of the land, water and other resources that go into producing dairy, while minimizing the harmful outputs as well, such as greenhouse gas emissions and waste.
While environmental impact contributes significantly to the shift towards alternative protein in North America as well, the primary reasons for the move to animal-free products are aversion to animal-cruelty existing in industrialized animal agriculture, as well as a desire to consume healthier products.
With regard to animal cruelty, Remilk is extremely proud of its 100% animal-free process, with no need at any stage to ever touch any animals! And as for the health benefits, Remilk’s proteins are free of lactose, cholesterol, growth hormones and antibiotics, allowing for a healthier product, with no compromise on taste, texture, or experience.
Dairy has not traditionally been consumed in most Asian countries, and its rapid adoption over the last several decades has come at a much quicker rate than the population’s development of lactose tolerance. As such, a primary driving factor for the adoption of alternative dairy is the lack of lactose in the formulated fermentation-enabled dairy products.
In addition to lactose intolerance, which is a widespread issue in Asia (over 90% of the population in almost every country in the region), China, Indonesia and other major Asian countries deal with another challenge which has driven the adoption of animal-free dairy as well. This is the challenge of attaining quality dairy from cows, stemming from both the lack of historical infrastructure, as well as problematic climates for raising cattle. As such, many Asian dairy companies import a majority of their dairy from other regions, paying heavily for their inability to produce the entirety of their internal demand for dairy products.
Remilk provides a solution for these countries, allowing them to produce large quantities of lactose-free, quality dairy, locally, and in any climate conditions!
India represents an anomaly in the Asian landscape, as the Indian population has consumed dairy for many generations and does not suffer from the same staggering rates of lactose intolerance as the rest of the continent. However, India is faced with a particular consideration that we at Remilk believe will drive widespread adoption of animal-free dairy in the coming years: the unique status of cows in the religious and philosophical practices of the country.
While consumption of dairy from cows is accepted throughout most of the country, the slaughter of the animals for meat is not. As such, a growing stray-cattle problem has developed throughout the country, as cows are often released to the streets once their milk-giving years are behind them.
Remilk provides an opportunity to produce the same dairy that the Indian population has consumed for generations, while removing the endeared cattle from the equation altogether.
In recent years, dairy consumption in the Middle East, and specifically in the Gulf Cooperation Council states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE), has skyrocketed. However, these desert nations have extremely suboptimal conditions for raising cattle and producing milk in an efficient manner.
As such, much of the dairy in the region is either produced in inefficient processes or is imported from abroad. As many of the region’s governments have elevated the public mission of ensuring food security within their nations, increasing sustainable and local food production has been declared a primary goal of these endeavors.
Remilk is able to provide those in the UAE with the same production capabilities as those in cattle-friendly regions such as Northern Europe or North America. By doing so, Remilk’s technology offers a unique solution for countries interested in ensuring food security for their populations, while consuming certain products which historically have not been a staple of that region’s diet.
Alternative proteins are the answer to many of humanity’s concerns: They can ensure a stable supply of nourishing food for our world’s growing population, relieve the environmental strain caused by traditional dairy, eliminate animal suffering, and take less of a toll on our digestive systems. And while Remilk’s innovative solution provides a tremendous remedy to different pain points, it is crucial to understand that all these incentives exist to some extent in each region of the world. While European consumers may primarily be driven by environmental motivations, animal cruelty and food security are also significant considerations. And while those in the UAE are primarily interested in securing stable and local food production, the lack of lactose and antibiotics are viewed in a positive light as well.
Our mission is clear: reinventing dairy to create a healthier and more sustainable food production system; yet the door to each region may need to be opened with a different key. As we focus on solving a global issue, we view it as our responsibility to properly understand the primary driving forces in each region, to ensure that better, kinder dairy is accessible on a global scale.