Christine Lewington is a visionary. No wonder she is leading the delivery of an innovative new pea protein isolate product to the food industry.
Thanks to the breakthrough technology of PIP (Protein Isolate Plant) International, its pea protein is on its way to becoming the market leader.
Technology has finally cracked the code on the poor taste, color, texture and compromised performance of pea protein. It aims to set industry standards and has the potential to take plant-based food consumer enjoyment to the next level.
The Visionary and 10 Lessons….. So Far…
With 20 years of experience in the agricultural processing and renewable energy industries, PIP International CEO Christine has worked for Pepsico and Belectric Canada Solar.
“I cut my teeth working as a project manager at Pepsico. Many projects used innovative and unproven technologies that needed to be further developed for full commercial deployment. It gave me valuable and diverse experience from business justification, technical due diligence, project planning and execution through to final close,” Christine shared speaking exclusively to Business Enquirer. .
Prior to founding PIP, Christine was recruited to become General Manager of Belectric Canada Solar. While there, Christine managed the design, construction and commissioning of the two largest follow-on utility-scale solar farms – throughout the Canadian winter, no less. Roles like these have helped develop Christine’s business and risk mitigation skills.
“Your business edge is your offensive weapon, your risk management is your defensive weapon, and your emotional management is your ability to balance these weapons.” ~ Christina
An entrepreneur and visionary, Christine is always one step ahead of the game, as easily evidenced by the fact that PIP has just commissioned the fourth continuous and fully automated wet fractionation plant for yellow peas less than a year after the purchase of the building.
“I purchased equipment for PIP’s phase one processing facility before the purchase was finalized. There is always a method in my madness – despite global supply chain challenges, by taking this calculated risk, PIP maintained momentum and was able to introduce our Ultimate Pea Protein in 2022 instead of much later in 2023 said Christine.
“Don’t be afraid to lose. The fear of losing is worse than losing. ~ Christina
Deep down Christine is driven by morality. Early in her conversation with the Business Enquirer, she told the publication that she was a grandmother. Why? “Because why are we doing anything? To hopefully make things better for our future generations,” she explained.
This underlying philosophy is what drove Christine to found PIP and fuels her daily navigation in a new start-up, with a complex project while maintaining a simple vision.
“In 2006, during a trip to Panama, I was told to keep my eyes forward while driving on some secondary roads and of course I didn’t. I saw children playing and drink water from the sewer. That day, I swore that in my journey through life, I would not only find the technology to clean the water, but I would make it accessible everywhere in the world. One of the interesting technologies of PIP, in our wet pea processing plant, is this technology. Eventually, we will donate this technology to enable free access to clean drinking water,” Christine shared.
The protein crisis
It is estimated that by 2030 there will be a 40% global increase in protein requirements, which will strain global supply and approach capacity limits. The pea protein market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12% and reach a revenue of US$1.4 billion globally by 2025.1
This raises the question of why hasn’t the world’s plentiful supply of yellow peas, with its high protein content and near-perfect amino acid profile, come to the rescue yet?
“It’s easy,” Christine said, “Products made with current pea protein options don’t pass” The Second Moment of Truth. They just taste horrible. Almost every time I tell someone what I’m doing they wrinkle their nose and tell me how awful pea protein is and that they once bought it.
The “second moment of truth”
In product development, there is a lot of talk about the “first moment of truth”, which is when the consumer decides to buy the product for the first time. But the true measure of a product’s success is determined by the “second moment of truththat is, when consumers actually consume it. If they have a positive experience, they are likely to buy your product again. This leads to a high repetition rate and ultimately a successful product.
With regard to food and beverages, taste is at the center of the second moment of truth and is the most important redemption driver. Jason Cohen of Analytical Flavor Systems agrees, stating that “when you see a new product that claims to be organic, all-natural, no additives, etc., you may buy it because of those claims. That’s bullshit. marketing.But you will only buy it again if you like the taste of the product.
“By sticking firmly to our ‘must do better’ and strategically combining multiple disruptive technologies across various industries, we believe we are far ahead of the industry. Our Pea Protein is the tastiest, most affordable, healthiest and most environmentally friendly pea protein isolate on the planet! Christine says.
The technology level UP.P’d
Since Christine established PIP International in January 2020, her goal has been to ensure that the chosen extraction technology would consistently deliver protein beyond anything the industry hoped for but never thought possible.
“Not good enough…I’m out,” Christine said firmly on December 10, 2019, just outside Paris. Christine and her team had just spent 7 days working with a team of expert scientists who knew the best way to extract protein from yellow peas. When the protein results came in, it was “as good as the best”.
Christine went on to explain, “Consumers reject plant-based products simply because they taste bad. We MUST do better and find what appears to be a technological unicorn that will solve the mystery of bitter taste, yellow color and poor performance of pea protein to become the solution to the protein crisis!
The room was now perfectly silent. After a few prolonged minutes of deafening silence, a nervous shuffling of papers broke out and the chief scientist cleared his throat and asked, “Christine, would you consider going to dinner tonight to have further discussions about your vision of finding a tech unicorn? I have an idea.”
This was the start of a very difficult but very exciting journey for PIP!
When Christine researched where best to start the search for a tech unicorn, she discovered and chose IMPROVE SAS in France. Positioned as a cutting-edge R&D platform for the end-to-end valorization of alternative proteins, with international visibility, it knew it was the best place to go.
The next steps
Christine and the lean PIP International team are on the verge of a pea revolution.
“Since the Future Food-Tech New York show in July, the doors have opened for us. There is incredible demand for our breakthrough pea protein,” Christine shared.
Financially, PIP is in a positive position, with Christine using her business prowess to strengthen her position as they evolve into a positive revenue-generating business.
“In addition to our ESG initiatives that help reduce costs, I found a new construction process that reduced our initial construction costs of $54 million for the largest processing plant by $27 million,” she explained.
As PIP progresses, Christine and her company select partners interested in global product development, as well as the best financial partner to help PIP scale to meet global demand.
“I strategically choose who will be my long-term dance partner,” Christine said.
As PIP’s clean-profile protein sells out of its Phase 1 plant, Christine is excited to move on to scale up the process.
“We still have a lot of work to do, but as we have now proven the selection of synchronous innovations to upgrade the whole process, we now need to focus more intensely on what is most important, and that is our staff.We have an innovative team platform, which will make PIP, “The Place to Enjoy Your Day”.You can have the best product, the lowest equipment costs, dramatic energy savings and the most amazing facility to operate, but without great people you have nothing. People are what connect the synchronicities to truly become a market disruptor. Our goal is for our team to say “PIP PIP HOORAY!” every day,” said Christine
Company Name: P.I.P. International
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