Like a Pro
The interest of Europeans in alternative proteins is becoming clear and this trend is the perfect ground for the dietary shift towards sustainable and healthy nutrition and food systems, in line with the ambitions of the EU Green Deal, Farm to Fork strategy and EU’s climate goals. Yet, this interest is not reflected in the European dietary patterns, as alternative proteins are mainly consumed by early adopters, while the majority is less receptive towards alternatives or have limited possibilities to integrate them in their diets.
This gap between interest and consumption is due to obstacles in the food environments such as product limited offering, sub-optimal product taste, isolated product placement in shops or menus etc. Without overcoming these obstacles, alternative proteins will remain a niche.
LIKE-A-PRO aims at mainstreaming alternative proteins, making them accessible, available, and acceptable to everyone (from children to elderly, vulnerable groups) and everywhere (across Europe, in urban, peri-urban, and rural areas).
To achieve this, key representatives along the entire alternative protein value chain (growers, processors, researchers, cooks, caterers. retailers, consumers) will work together in a trans-disciplinary consortium. To improve European food environments towards encouraging alternative protein consumption, practical solutions will be co-designed with citizens. This social innovation will take place in 11 living labs and in 4 real life food environments.
For a diversified alternative protein offering, 16 new alternative protein products will be developed with 7 sustainable, healthy, and novel sources. To secure result deployment, the project will actively involve middle food system actors – via co-creation and capacity building. For a maximized impact, innovative communication campaigns will be launched in 6 countries, reaching 8 million citizens in 4 years.
Foodvalley plays a role in one of the four project clusters (themes), which focuses on the engagement and empowerment of the food system actors (players), making alternative protein products an easy and economically viable choice. The (transition) method used in this cluster is a multi-actor approach, incorporating views of i.e. primary producers, product developers, cooks and retailers, and aims at the creation of new pathways for the future food environment, based on a negotiated vision and goal.
Thomas van der Lee
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 101074323.