Company expands soybean growth to meet demand

Food innovation company Benson Hill says it more than doubled planted acres of its high protein soybean varieties this growing season, in part to keep up with growing demand for meat alternatives.  

Benson Hill CEO Matt Crisp tells Brownfield the company partnered with farmers to grow more than 70,000 acres of the company’s soybean varieties.  

“Just that alternative meat market is projected to be a $140 billion category over the course of this decade, that’s a pretty impressive number,” he said. “When you see a market that’s $10 to $15-billion today and is expected to grow 10x over the course of a decade, I think it garners a lot of attention and rightfully so.”

He said the St. Louis based company is well positioned in the market offering a premium product with its Ultra-High Portein soybeans without a premium cost to producers or consumers by eliminating the soy protein concentrate processing step. 

“Soy protein concentrate is the most used ingredient in the alternative meat market globally and that processing step is really water and energy intensive…” Crisp said. “It cost more than all the other steps combined.”

The company says its soybeans are the first commercially available varieties that ‘effectively’ replace soy protein concentrate with crushing.   

Crisp said consumer trends are emphasizing more sustainable ingredients, increased traceability and affordability in the food market. 

Matt Crisp Interview

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