The winner of the 2021 award for Marketing Gimmick of the Year has to be Air Protein.
The marketing premise is that the company is creating a scalable process for creating protein from ‘thin air’ using a $32 million Series A funding round and 1960’s era NASA research.
Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it?
And that’s why it’s the marketing gimmick of the year.
It’s not technically untrue, but it doesn’t give the whole picture of how the protein is actually created.
According to The Times out of the U.K., the production of Air Protein begins when purified carbon dioxide is mixed in a fermenter with hydrogenotrophs (naturally occurring microbes) to produce a flour-like substance that is 80 percent protein. This protein is then mixed with other ingredients to create meat alternatives. And believe me, this takes a lot of additional work.
So “thin air” is a bit of stretch and the marketing tagline “Meat Made from Air” stretches the depiction of reality near to the breaking point. But, it doesn’t mean the technology is still not potentially amazing and transformational.
The reason is that the way plant-based proteins and other alternative proteins are made are often even less ‘natural’.
So, it will be interesting to see how the finished product of Air Protein grades out versus the titans of the alternative meat market – Beyond and Impossible – but from a marketing perspective, they are off to a strong start!
Image credit: Air Protein
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