SERBIA – Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) has announced plans to acquire Serbia-based non-GMO soy ingredients group Sojaprotein even as it looks to strengthen its position in the alternative protein sector. 

Founded in 1977, Sojaprotein offers a variety of non-GMO soy ingredients for European and global customers in the meat alternative, confectionery, protein bar, pharmaceutical, pet food and animal feed segments.  

Its acquisition will accelerate ADM’s growth in the alternative proteins space where it already has an impressive portfolio which includes a soy protein complex in Brazil; a pea protein plant in the US ; its PlantPlus Foods joint venture; and partnerships with startups such as Air Protein. 

“30 years ago, ADM invented the soy vegetable burger, giving rise to the plant-based protein segment,” said Leticia Gonçalves, ADM’s president of Global Foods.  

“Today, alternative proteins represent one of our core growth platforms, and as this US$10 billion global industry grows to US$30 billion over the next decade, we are investing to expand our unparalleled capabilities.”

Expanding its presence in the alternative protein ingredients sector is happening at a time when the market is experiencing explosive growth thanks to increasing consumer interest in alternative proteins and a rising vegan population in Europe. 

As per a survey conducted by vegan food producer Veganz, Germany’s vegan population doubled from 1.3 million in 2016 to 2.6 million in 2020, accounting for 3.2% of the population. 

With current driving forces at play, Boston Consulting Group forecasts that the alternative protein segment will likely grow to 3% by 2025 – nearly doubling 2020 volumes to 24 million metric tonnes consumed. 

The addition of Sojaprotein – the largest producer of plant-based protein in southern Europe – therefore expands ADM’s production capacity, better positioning it to meeting consumer needs for nutritious and responsible plant-based foods and beverages.  

We’re particularly excited for the opportunity to work together to meet the fast-growing demand of European consumers who prioritise locally sourced, non-GMO ingredients in their food and beverages,” Gonçalves added. 

Financial terms of the transaction, which are still subject to regulatory approvals, were not disclosed. 

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE