ChickP Announces Strategic Asia-Pacific Initiative
New APAC office to expand company’s plant-based protein in Asia to meet booming demand
FoodTech start-up ChickP Protein, Ltd. is expanding into Asia Pacific with the launch of a new office in Singapore. The strategic move is in response to the rapidly growing demand for plant-based products in the region. The new subsidiary will bring the start-up closer to its Asian customers to better support its community of enthusiastic plant-protein consumers.
ChickP appointed Moy Teo as the company’s Business Development Director for Asia. Moy will be leading the venture’s business development and marketing activities. With 20 years hands-on experience in the food ingredient space within the APAC region, she joins the ChickP team to lead their foothold in Asia with their patented and highly functional chickpea isolate that boasts a 90% protein content. This move follows the acquisition of her distribution business by a group in the Netherlands.
“I’m excited to start this journey with ChickP in the alt-protein ingredient segment,” says Moy. “Chickpea is a well-known and highly venerated crop in Asia. The region makes up more than 85% of chickpea consumption globally, only behind India.”
Traditionally, chickpea is consumed as beans or ground into flour for infusion into a variety of foods and is esteemed for its nutritional value and versatility. “ChickP’s 90% chickpea isolate has unique functional and organoleptic qualities making it applicable for a full spectrum of food and beverage formulations,” adds Moy.
ChickP experienced a significant jump in demand for its chickP protein in the Asia-Pacific region. The new local office will include a warehouse to alleviate the logistical bottlenecks experienced throughout the pandemic era that slowed supplies to its APAC-based customers in 20 countries. “We believe in strong customer relations and partnerships in product development,” explains Ron Klein, CEO of ChickP. “While plant-based products pose many functional and flavor challenges, getting closer to your clients advances development, helps control the supply chain, and shortens time to market. Singapore has become the center of plant-based products and alt-protein, and ChickP is there to help its clients.”
Asia’s craving for plant-based protein
APAC is a key consumer of plant-based protein. Meat and dairy analogues are no new concepts, having long traditions ranging from the use of tempeh as a meat substitute and dairy milk analogs from soy. Meat alternatives have been particularly prominent in low socioeconomic areas where access to meat is restricted, or in regions where religious beliefs discourage it. Plant-based foods presents an affordable, functional, and nutritious source of protein for all consumers for reasons of health and environmental responsibility.
“Asia is an important market for ChickP; we already partner with local food companies to advance plant-based innovations,” notes Itay Dana, VP of Sales and Business Development of ChickP. “This move is part of ChickP’s global extension beyond the joint market development agreement with Socius Ingredients, Inc. in the US. We also signed a contract with a distributor in South Africa, with the next step in the European market.”
ChickP was founded in 2016 by Ram Reifen, MD, a pediatric gastroenterologist and professor of human nutrition. Building on patented technology developed following 20 years of research at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Reifen devoted years of research to the nutritional importance of the whole chickpea and its value in combatting malnutrition in children and mothers. The company started commercial operations producing several types of chickpea protein isolates and chickpea starch to meet flourishing demands.