The LIKE A PRO Project Kicks Off: Mainstreaming Alternative Protein Products Across Europe

Europeans have never been more interested in alternative protein foods*. Such pull is an excellent opportunity to shift toward more sustainable diets, in line with the European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork Strategy. Despite increasing interest on more sustainable alternatives, animal-based products still make up for almost 70% of the Europeans’ protein intake, with 95% of them consuming animal-based products on a daily basis.**

Our LIKE A PRO project aims to accelerate the shift toward and normalise healthier and more sustainable dietary patterns by diversifying and increasing the availability, accessibility and uptake of alternative sources of protein and specific products.

16 new alternative protein products will be developed during the course of the project, based on ingredients from 7 protein sources which are novel, sustainable, EU- based, healthy, affordable and industry viable. Such products could be for example alternatives to meat, fish or diary-based ice cream and smoothies.

In addition to these products, LIKE A PRO will also co-design and promote other type of solutions, such as governance mechanisms which hold the potential to promote alternative protein supply in food environments. Examples of these include policies that look at reducing the portfolio of unsustainable products, marketing strategies, guidelines for human-centric campaigns and the like.

Four interlinked and iterative clusters of activities will support reaching out the project goals, such as:

  • focusing on understanding consumers and the food environments in which they make their choices
  • activities aiming to diversify and increase the availability and accessibility of alternative protein products in European markets
  • mobilising food system actors to make alternative protein products an easy and economically-viable choice
  • impact assessment activities to ensure that the LIKE A PRO project will bring about positive change in terms of health and sustainability of the European food system

As a project partner, the CSCP is involved across the four clusters in different capacities. The CSCP will be responsible for the coordination of citizen engagement activities through living labs established in 11 European countries as well as act as a local living lab implementer in Germany. Moreover, the CSCP will coordinate behavioural interventions in 4 different food environment settings as well as support the creation of a better understanding of food environments in Europe. The CSCP will also contribute to the project on engagement and capacity building activities with food system actors as well as support the socio-economic and environmental assessment, including the nutritional and health impact of alternative protein products developed within the framework of the project.

The LIKE A PRO project is funded under the European Union’s Horizon Europe programme and it will be running over a period of 4 years (2022-2026). The project relies on the expertise of a consortium of 42 European partners and affiliates.

For further questions, please contact Arlind Xhelili.

* ING Economics Department (2017) The protein shift: will Europeans change their diet?
** NG Economics Department (2017) The protein shift: will Europeans change their diet?

Photo by Eiliv Aceron on Unsplash.