Cargill will add Cubiq’s plant-based “smarter fats”, including its Go! Drop emulsion of vegetable oils and water, to its ingredients and plant-based formulation offerings.
Cubiq CEO Andrés Montefeltro stated that having a market-ready product for widespread commercialization is a vital milestone in the company’s development.
Last year, Cargill invested in Cubiq’s $5.75 million funding round and made plans with Cubiq to eventually reach this development and commercialization agreement.
Cargill provides that it will now have access to Cubiq’s existing portfolio of plant-based ingredient solutions, which include plant proteins, texturizers, and an array of traditional fats and oils.
According to Cargill, most current plant-based options do not meet consumers’ expectations for taste and quality, meaning that this area needs more research and investment in product development.
Cargill is one of the world’s largest meat companies, and it estimates that the plant-based sector will eat away at the traditional meat industry’s sales and profits.
It is, therefore, sensible for Cargill to develop partnerships that establish better and more realistic plant-based alternatives.
The global plant-based food market is likely to reach US$74.2 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 11.9 percent from 2020 to 2027, according to a report by Meticulous Research.
Cubiq’s products could take a considerable share of this market following their partnership with Cargill.
Cubiq has been doing a lot of work in developing plant-based fats that can pair well with plant-based meat, and the Go! Drop line, available on Cargill’s website, is evidence of this work.
The food tech company started with plant-based fats with a process that converts liquid oils into solid or semi-solid fats for a healthier and more natural pairing in plant-based meat.
Cargill believes Cubiq’s line of “smarter” fats closes the flavor gap by replicating the visual appearance, mouthfeel, and bite of conventional animal fat.
“ Ultimately, it will be a win for consumers, as we enable food manufacturers to create products and solutions with an eye toward both people and the planet,” said Vivek Cherian, Meat and Dairy Alternatives Category Leader for Edible Oils at Cargill.
Cubiq to develop cultivated fat as well
As much as there is a growing demand for plant-based fats, there is a place for animal fat, and Cubiq is also in the business of cultivated fat.
Cubiq has been working on cultivated fat, which comes directly from growing animal fat cells, since 2019. However, the product is not on the market yet.
The plant-based partnership with Cargill allows Cubiq to work on developing other products and commercializing cultivated fat.
Cargill has a similar relationship with pea protein ingredient maker Puris.
In 2018 and 2019, Cargill invested US$100 million in Puris to scale up its production and processing of pea protein ingredients, a venture that offers this ingredient to manufacturers.
The pea protein market has exploded in popularity since the 2019 investment, benefiting Cargill and Puris.
Additionally, Puris has bolstered its offerings by adding sweet lupin flour and a consumer product line of plant-based eggs.
If Cargill’s agreement with Cubiq turns out to be similar to the one with Puris, it has the potential for a wider impact on alternative meat and dairy products.
“Together, we’ll help food manufacturers and consumers reimagine what’s possible in the quest for healthy and satisfying foods,” said Andrés Montefeltro, CEO at Cubiq Foods.