Alternative Proteins: Balancing sustainability, innovation and acceptance in the food supply chain.


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According to United Nations estimates, the world population will reach 9.7 billion people by 2050 and food security will be a challenge for governments and the food industry. In this scenario, promoting a sustainable food system will be a fundamental action to realize the environmental goals of the Green Deal and of the Farm to Fork Strategy that affects all the contests of sustainable food chain and identify the strict connection between healthy citizens, healthy societies and a healthy planet. Looking at the economic aspects, once the strategy has been defined, the transition to sustainability presents a ‘first mover’ advantage for all players in the EU food chain. The conversion to sustainable food structures represents also a vast economic opportunity for all the chains actors. This transition will allow the EU food chain to make sustainability their symbol and getting also the first mover advantages for all players of the food chains before the competitors outside the EU.

The Farm to Fork Strategy is also crucial to the Commission’s agenda to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This scheme encourages the transition by placing the importance on new and more green occasions for consumers and also for food producers. It is certain that the conversion can take place also through a change in individuals’ diets. People beliefs are changing and driving a revolution in the food market. In this context, alternative proteins could represent a sustainable solution to guarantee the food security of the growing population because they can be produced in a more sustainable way than traditional protein sources using less water, land and energy resources providing a sustainable source of low-cost protein. There are several alternative protein sources including: insect protein, mushroom protein, seaweed protein, seed protein, lentil and bean protein. Alternative proteins can be a sustainable and healthy choice for those wishing to reduce their consumption of meat and other animal products.

This special issue is focused on alternative proteins that are a well-timed topic as there is a great deal of attention from international and European institutions on this issue, that is expressed by the deployment of substantial research funds from different international programs and also by private sponsors.

Currently, there are a number of projects that are addressing the importance of encouraging the new sustainable foods, to encourage sustainable food choices and the information about alternative proteins in various contexts. This special issue will be a collection of articles that arise from the numerous projects underway on these topics resulting from international researches.
Forthcoming articles will be focused on consumer acceptance regarding alternative proteins in the supply chain. Contributed authors could present articles on consumers side or case studies to analyse the supply side from an environmental point of view in order to increase efficiencies, risks reduction connected with innovation. Furthermore, attention will be devoted also to the governance of all these changing that are in charge of the policy makers that must manage these processes in terms of production, information and labelling limits to regulate the world of production and consumption and give answers for a clear system of rules. The food culture is changing but it is necessary to know which part of the population will show strong resistance to changes and among these an important role could be played by the strong identity connotation of the foods included in consumers’ diet also connected to traditions.

Our special issue will also offer studies on how supply is moving in the market right now. All these changes are also leading to major organizational changes for the industries and above all a necessary attention to market orientation in the development of new products. 

The editors are particularly interested in articles that contribute to the following specific areas:

  1. Main psychological and behavioural drivers on willingness to consume alternative proteins; 
  2. State of the art of alternative proteins: from plant based to precision fermentation; 
  3. Consumer willingness to pay and willingness to buy for alternative protein-based food products; 
  4. Risk Analysis and Regulatory interventions on alternative protein market; 
  5. Stakeholders’ involvement in alternative protein market; 
  6. Contribution of alternative proteins to the ecological transition; 
  7. Contribution of alternative proteins to food security; 
  8. Moving from land to laboratory: the case of cultured meat and precision fermentation.


List of topic areas

.Our special issue will include research articles, case studies and literature review on the topics of the British Food Journal, in particular: consumption, consumer choices, preferences and concerns, consumer attitudes, experiences, perceptions and decision-making, business, management and marketing, food marketing, distribution, pricing, market models, labelling and branding, quality assurance practices and strategies, traceability, food supply, supply chain and logistics, economics, innovation and technology, food safety/quality, food-related health education (risk assessment, management, communication), food handlers' knowledge, attitudes and practices, consumer aspects of nutrition, food sustainability and economics, social corporate responsibility, environmental protection, food systems and agriculture, climate change.


Guest Editors

Mariarosaria Simeone, 
University of Naples Federico II, Italy, 
[email protected]  

Fabio Verneau, 
University of Naples Federico II, Italy, 
[email protected]  

Robert Hamlin, 
University of Otago, New Zealand, 
[email protected]

Submissions Information

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available by clicking the button below.
Submit your paper here!
Author guidelines must be strictly followed.
Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to “Please select the issue you are submitting to”.
Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal. 


Key Deadlines 

Opening date for manuscripts submissions: 8 November 2023 
Closing date for manuscripts submission: 30 June 2024
Email for submissions: [email protected]