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September 29, 2021updated 30 Sep 2021 4:26pm

Rich Products backs China alt-protein start-ups investor Dao Foods

Dao runs an incubator which provides companies with early-stage seed capital, support and mentoring.

US food major Rich Products Corp. is investing in a fund that backs China-based alt-protein start-up businesses.

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Via its corporate venture arm Rich Products Ventures, it is backing Dao Foods International’s Dao Foods Venture Fund 1. The fund has an incubator, established in April 2020, and both are looking to invest in and support up to 30 alternative-protein start-ups focused China in the next three years.

Financial details have not been disclosed.

The fund provides incubator companies with early-stage seed capital, support and mentoring, especially in relation to how to make plant-based products more appealing to mainstream meat eaters.

Other investors include Matrix Partners China and New Crop Capital.

Tao Zhang, co-founder of Dao Foods International, said: “We are extremely excited to have Rich Products join Dao Foods as a strategic investor and believe its deep experience and networks in foodservice, grocery, bakery and retail in both China and beyond will provide a great deal of insight and competitive advantage for our portfolio of start-ups going forward.”

Rich Products, which has annual sales of more than US$4bn, has operated in China for more than 30 years. The company’s corporate venture arm invests in venture and growth stage companies focusing on technology and innovation. Its investments include cell-based meat business Future Meat, mushroom-ingredients supplier MycoTechnology and cell-cultured seafood firm BlueNalu.

On backing Dao Foods’ incubator, Dinsh Guzdar, director of Rich Products Ventures, said: “China is one of the most important growth markets for Rich Products and we believe that alternative protein innovation will be a key component of that growth over the coming years.”

He added: “We have been impressed with Dao Foods’ ability to source and engage passionate and talented Chinese entrepreneurs and are excited to work with them to build the market for alternative proteins in China.”

Dao Foods has backed alternative-protein businesses hailing from different parts of China, including investing in plant-based meat company Starfield Food and Science Technology, a move made outside the fund and incubator.

It recently announced the second cohort of alternative protein companies for the incubator. The group of five companies included Cultured Decadence, a US-headquartered cell-based lobster company, the first cross-border venture recruited for the incubator.

Read Just Food’s interview: “This industry is so nascent” – Dao Foods investor Tao Zhang on taking plant-based meat mainstream in China

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Free Report
img

What’s the forecast for the food and grocery industry?

The food and grocery sector thrived during the pandemic, largely due to the shutdown of the food service industry and the sector’s subsequent necessity, panic-induced bulk purchasing, and spending more time at home. The market has grown as a result of inflation. Consumer unwillingness to go out and socialize, and the reopening of several hospitality facilities, helped maintain the demand for groceries, particularly online, in 2021. As consumer behavior changes, we consume more food and drink at home, and inflation increases basket sizes. GlobalData predicts that the sector will continue to hold a higher share than had been predicted prior to the pandemic. This is true despite the fact that the food and grocery sector's share of overall retail will decline from its peak in 2020. This report will discuss market forecasts and key themes in the global food & grocery industry in 2022 and beyond. It covers:
  • Market drivers and inhibitors
  • Five-year forecasts and the impact of COVID-19
  • The performance of the online channel versus offline
  • Major trends in the market including rapid delivery, ambient retailing, supply chain disruption, and inflation
Assess developments within this sector to help your business thrive in 2022 and beyond.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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