Nicole Astra: Thank you for joining Talking Plant Protein. I'm your host, Nicole Astra. The global plant protein market continues its explosive growth. A recent report by Bloomberg Intelligence predicts that the plant protein market could reach $162 billion by 2030. My guest today is Jack Koberstine, head of sales Food for Roquette in the Americas. Jack, welcome back to the show. It's certainly nice to have you in person in the talk lab studio.
Jack Koberstine: Thank you, Nicole. It's nice to be here.
Nicole Astra: So you have a unique perspective on all of this. Did you ever really anticipate this much growth?
Jack Koberstine: I wish I was that much of a visionary, but no, I... Going back maybe seven, eight years ago, you could start to see disruption in the marketplace. Going way back, protein was a supplement and today it's moving so quickly. Maybe even four or five years ago, you would see more grumblings, more disruption. And today the pace of innovation is just unbelievable.
Nicole Astra: What do you think is fueling the exponential growth?
Jack Koberstine: I think there's a lot of things at play here, but I think there's an awareness, a greater awareness, of what people eat and the nutritional value. There's environmental aspects to it. I've got three sons they're all in their twenties and I can tell you, they all know what they're eating. They read labels. They're very conscious about it. And I think this just takes it beyond even a trend, but really a lifestyle.
Nicole Astra: So Roquette has certainly been an industry leader for over four decades. Correct me if I'm wrong. What are you doing to position yourself to remain a leader for the next decade?
Jack Koberstine: Well, if you start from this point on, you know that we've now started our brand new plant in Portage la Prairie in Manitoba. It's the world's largest pea protein manufacturing facility. And that's just the beginning. Let's call that step one as we look at today. And from there on out, we look at innovation of new products from new sources for protein, new grains, new whatever of vegetable proteins, and as well as looking at opportunities to produce those proteins.
Nicole Astra: So are there gaps in the market or even areas where you think Roquette wants to be more involved in, really wants to grow that you can share with us?
Jack Koberstine: I think there's tremendous room for growth. There's still a lot of spaces that really haven't been cracked with the kind of proteins that we produce and will be producing in the future. The whole dairy industry, there's dairy substitutes with vegetables, but they aren't there yet. They aren't the high quality products that everybody's expecting and wanting and we'll get there. It's a matter of technology, innovation, and learning to use these products better.
Nicole Astra: We always call the dairy sector the holy grail around here because it's something that everybody is truly going after. And it's certainly something that Talking Plant Protein is watching. Think back even 5, 10 years and how drastically things have changed. Where do you think we will be in the next 5?
Jack Koberstine: I think somewhere between 5 and 10 years, I think you'll start to see the parody between animal protein and vegetable protein. I mean, right now, I think it barely scratches the surface, but you're going to see some exponential growth is going to continue. And eventually you start to see those percentages creep up. You've got at one end, you've got vegans and the other end you've got hardcore carnivores, right?
Nicole Astra: Right.
Jack Koberstine: And somewhere in between where the masses are, are what we might call flexitarians. And that's where everybody's starting to migrate to. And I really think you're going to see much greater acceptance of these plant proteins.
Nicole Astra: And when I talk to those carnivore lovers, I tell them so much of this industry is for you. It's geared for those meat eaters and giving them an entry into plant-based eating. And if we can get them to change a couple meals a week, what a difference that would make in the world. So you're such a major part of that.
Jack Koberstine: I think that's the key. I mean, little by little, they're going to say, "Okay, I'll substitute one meal. I'll substitute another meal." And I think you'll see that shift.
Nicole Astra: And if we give them that great culinary experience, there's no reason for them not to do so in the future.
Jack Koberstine: They have to be good products.
Nicole Astra: Right.
Jack Koberstine: They have to be high quality. And we see it now in the marketplace, especially with the meat substitutes. Very good products.
Nicole Astra: Well, Jack Koberstine, with Roquette. Thank you so much for joining us on Talking Plant Protein. We appreciate it.
Jack Koberstine: Thanks, Nicole. Good to be here.
Roquette has been an industry leader for more than four decades. With the plant protein market soaring, they continue to position themselves and their partners for success long into the future by presenting new proteins, innovative formulations, exemplary customer collaboration, and unique growth opportunities.