Facing competitive pressure from the well established algae protein industry, the last remaining traditional animal protein companies – chicken, beef, and pork – are consolidating into a new diversified entity called Interdum, Latin for protein.
The merger looks to realize operating efficiencies while pooling marketing and lobbying clout for the long declining land animal protein industry. Each company has experienced over a decade of declining sales growth in light of the rise of alternative proteins such as insect, vegetable derivatives, sand most notably, the algae industry.
Algae farming has succeeded due to superior production cost advantages, plentiful water cultivation space, and broad innovation as a protein source. With algae jerky, hamburger-like patties, and the classic powder that can be integrated into nearly any food, algae is an ingredient that is difficult to compete with in today’s market.
The Federal Trade Commission is highly likely to approve the merger, since antitrust concerns are largely abated by the significant amount of alternative protein competitors on the market today. There is still a robust market for small, independent producers of chicken, beef, and pork, as consumers now prefer companies with more responsible and traceable growing practices.
Investment analyst, Joseph Hall, who covers the food industry is cynical about the new protein conglomerate. “The merger feels like a last ditch effort for these companies to stay afloat as alternative and small protein producers are eating their lunch. These guys will be around for a few more years but it’s definitely a business that’s on life support. We’re short on this one by a long shot.”