A lack of processing capacity to produce protein powder

The soaring popularity of plant-based meat substitutes has shone a spotlight on a new star ingredient: the humble pea. From Beyond Meat, which has seen its shares rocket after a flotation in May, to US meat producer Tyson and Nestlé of Switzerland, food companies are turning to protein from the yellow pea as the key ingredient for plant-based foods including burgers, bacon, tuna and yoghurt. The rush to introduce products amid a spike in demand from consumers has led to a scramble to secure supplies. The squeeze has not been caused by the availability of the yellow pea itself — which is plentiful… — but a lack of processing capacity to produce the protein powder extracted from the legume. Producers have simply not kept pace. Output from Meatless Farm, for example, a Leeds-based start-up that recently signed a US distribution agreement with Whole Food Markets, the upscale grocery chain, has increased almost 30-fold since it launched last year. However, the company recently received just 25 per cent of one pea-protein order as suppliers diverted the shipment to other buyers… Yellow peas, a pulse or dry edible seed that is part of the legume family alongside soyabeans, lentils and chickpeas, have become the protein source of choice for many food companies as consumers are turning away from soyabeans.
Emiko Terazono