PepsiCo Experimenting With WORMS As A Protein Source For Everything From Drinks To Snacks

The PepsiCo food company, which also makes snacks such as Doritos and Cheetos, is looking for new protein sources for their snacks and drinks.

The firm posted a request for new and novel protein sources, and is looking for plant-based, fungi based or insect based protein sources.

They also mention sources they've done ‘extensive work' with and is no longer interested in, including cricket powder and meal worm powder – whole meal worms ground into a finer powder.

Meal worms, a source of high protein, can also be baked or fried, and they're usually used as bird feed or fishing bait.

The PepsiCo request, filed on the external innovation site NineSights, also mentions that the firm has already done extensive work on soy, moringa (horseradish tree), pea, dairy, single-cell protein and duck weed, the aquatic plant that floats on the surface of slow moving bodies of fresh water.

They also want to avoid dairy, egg, meat and gelatin sourced proteins.

PROTEIN SOURCES PEPSICO HAS EXPERIMENTED WITH

The PepsiCo food company, which also makes snacks such as doritos and cheetos, is looking for new protein sources for their snacks and drinks.

The firm posted a request for new and novel protein sources on the external innovation site NineSights, and is looking for plant-based, fungi based or insect based protein sources.

The firm has already done ‘extensive work' with and are not interested in these sources:

  • Soy
  • Moringa (horseradish tree)
  • Duck weed – the aquatic plant that floats on the surface of slow moving bodies of fresh water
  • Cricket powder
  • Meal work powder
  • Pea
  • Dairy
  • Single cell protein 

The firm wrote that they're primary focus is finding a plant-based protein source, although mycoprotein (fungi based) and insect protein could be good options for consideration.

They're also looking for a source minimal flavor and texture impact, and ‘process friendly' – can be baked or homogenized – for applications for both snacks and drinks.

They also said that some ‘nice-to-haves'  for the protein source include non-GMO, other nutritional benefits to the source besides high protein content and a ‘clean label' – easy to pronounce and common, or at the minimum has a good sustainability story or other differentiation to conventional animal and dairy products.

The company also added that by ‘common,' they mean a source that is familiar, with kitchen ingredients being highly desirable, and that avoids ‘chemical-sounding names.'

Other food companies are also experimenting with other types of plant-based protein sources.

For example, in 2016, Campbell Soup Co launched a range of non-dairy, plant-based milk with pea protein.

Also in 2016, Tyson foods started a venture capital fund worth $150 million to invest in companies that produce meat substitutes.

And General Mills' VC firm, 301 Inc, has invested in meat-alternative companies such as Beyond Meat, and Kite Hill, which uses nuts and other plant proteins.

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