PepsiCo – the food company that makes snacks like Doritos, Cheetos, and Quaker Oats cereal – is looking for alternative protein sources for its products.
On the open innovation site NineSights, PepsiCo recently posted a request for “new and novel protein sources for usage in their snacks and beverages.”
These non-traditional proteins could include plant-based protein, mycoprotein (a protein made from mushrooms), or insect protein.
The request also mentioned that PepsiCo has already done extensive work with soy, moringa (a protein powder made from dried leaves), duckweed, cricket powder, pea protein, dairy, single cell protein, and mealworm powder (generally made from roasted and milled mealworms).
PepsiCo declined to comment on any specific plans, but spokesperson Andrea Foote said the company’s R&D team is working on the project, which is not tied to any one brand.
Other food giants are also experimenting with novel types of proteins, often made from plants.
Ideally, PepsiCo said it would like to find a high-protein source that has a pleasant taste. Additionally, the company said the protein should be non-GMO, have “a good sustainability story,” and have an “easy to pronounce and common” name that avoids “chemical-sounding ingredients.”