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From niche to mainstream - alternative proteins for everybody and everywhere

Project description

Look what's on the menu: alternative proteins for a more sustainable and healthier diet

Can European dietary habits be healthier and more sustainable? The EU-funded LIKE-A-PRO project will answer this question, and more. It will explore the production of new food products from alternative protein sources such as rapeseed, mealworms, krill, microbes, mushrooms, fermented fungi and peas. It will also investigate the consumers’ needs and ways to meet them with new products. The project will carry out activities to understand the eating habits of Europeans in order to find ways to adapt the products they like to consume. The middle food system actors will also be engaged to make alternative products an easy and economically viable choice. The project’s overall aim is to mainstream alternative proteins, making them accessible, available and widely acceptable.


The interest of Europeans in alternative proteins is becoming clear and this trend is the perfect ground for the dietary shift towards sustainable and healthy nutrition and food systems, in line with the ambitions of the EU Green Deal, Farm to Fork strategy and EU’s climate goals. Yet, this interest is not reflected in the European dietary patterns, as alternative proteins are mainly consumed by early adopters, while the majority is less receptive towards alternatives or have limited possibilities to integrate them in the diets. This gap between interest and consumption is due to obstacles in the food environments such as product limited offering, suboptimal product taste, isolated product placement in shops or menus etc. Without overcoming these obstacles, alternative proteins will remain a niche.
LIKE-A-PRO aims at mainstreaming alternative proteins, making them accessible, available, and acceptable to everybody (from children to elderly, vulnerable groups) and everywhere (across Europe, in urban, peri-urban, and rural areas). To achieve this, key representatives along the entire alternative protein value chain (growers, producers, cooks, retailers, consumers, researchers) will work together in a trans-disciplinary consortium.
To improve European food environments towards fostering alternative protein consumption, practical solutions will be co-designed with citizens. This social innovation will take place in 11 living labs and in 4 real life food environments. For a diversified alternative protein offering, 16 new alternative protein products will be developed with 7 sustainable, healthy, and novel sources. To secure result deployment, the project will actively involve middle food system actors (+35,000 companies) – via co-creation and capacity building. For a maximised impact, innovative communication campaigns will be launched in 6 countries, reaching 8 M citizens in 4 years.


Net EU contribution
€ 1 188 375,00
26315 Aleson La Rioja

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Noreste La Rioja La Rioja
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 1 188 375,00

Participants (43)