The future of protein could be a meal worm, a fungus, an obscure plant or a run-of-the-mill pea.
“If we look around the world, there’s a big consumer trend on more protein,” says Mehmood Khan, vice chairman and chief scientific officer at PepsiCo Inc. “The question is: How are we going to do this in a manner that’s sustainable? Protein isn’t cheap. And animal protein has the greatest footprint on the planet.”
The maker of Cheetos, Rice-A-Roni and Quaker Oats this year issued a request for proposals on “novel protein sources” for its snacks and beverages. PepsiCo is focused primarily on plant-based proteins but said it would also consider insects or mycoprotein—an ingredient made from fermented fungus.