Latest News

Vivici fermentation unit

© Vivici

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Global Biomanufacturing Capacity Must Grow 20X to Reach Industry Growth of $200 Billion by 2040, Says New Report

A recent report, co-authored by the New York-based biotech firm Synonym and Boston Consulting Group, has outlined a roadmap for the biomanufacturing industry, predicting a potential explosion to a $200 billion market in specialty sectors over the next ten years. The report Breaking the Cost Barrier on Biomanufacturing encourages the transition to biomanufacturing to address issues of sustainability and cost-efficiency in current industrial production methods. However, the report’s estimated $200 billion market value is focused on precision fermentation to produce food ingredients, chemicals, and chemical precursors. According to the authors, the figure is considered conservative and reflects only a fraction of the potential for growth within the industry. “The big problem—and the reason that precision fermentation remains an underused technology despite continuing advances in genome engineering and …

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Plantbased Business Hour

How to Get Your Food Business Acquired with Yves Potvin

Three-time founder, Yves Potvin, discusses the current state of the plant-based innovation sector and how to grow a food business to be acquired. Having sold Gardein to Conagra and Yves Veggie Cuisine to Hain Celestial, Yves is now championing Konscious Foods with a plan to be acquired. Learn from this ultra-successful pioneer on The Plant-based Business Hour with Elysabeth Alfano. Specifically, they discuss How to have a successful exit/acquisition for your company. The most important steps in building a robust company. Why, after starting and successfully selling Yves Veggie Cuisine and Gardein, he decided to start Konscious Foods. The common mistakes founders make that can implode their companies. The current state of the industry. Below is a highlight clip and transcription from our long-form conversation. …

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BlueNalu yellowtail

© BlueNalu

Cultivated Seafood

BlueNalu Becomes First Cell-Cultured Seafood Company to Enter National Fisheries Institute

BlueNalu, a California-based cellular aquaculture startup, has become the first cultivated seafood company to join the National Fisheries Institute (NFI), the trade association for the United States seafood industry. The development demonstrates the growing recognition of the role of cell-cultured seafood within the traditional seafood sector. BlueNalu’s induction into the NFI also includes a pivotal role as a founding member of the newly established Sushi Council, which aims to develop and distribute food safety guidance to sushi’s supply chain. The announcement comes after BlueNalu’s active participation in last month’s NFI’s Global Seafood Market Conference. There, in collaboration with Nutreco and Pulmuone Co. Ltd., BlueNalu showcased how cell-cultured seafood can complement traditional seafood production methods. Worth noting is that The National Fisheries Institute, known for its global …

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VFG group acquires Tofutown

© VFC

Investments & Acquisitions

VFG’s Strategic Acquisition of TOFUTOWN to Boost Group Revenues Over €100M, Further M&As on Horizon

Vegan Food Group (VFG), the recently rebranded holding company formerly known as VFC Foods Ltd, announces it is on track to becoming one of Europe’s largest plant-based manufacturers with the acquisition of TOFUTOWN, a German producer with revenues of €60 million. Following the group’s revelation of its intentions to create a “vegan Unilever” at the start of this year, VFG’s fourth acquisition, following Clive’s Purely Pies, Meatless Farm, and its chick*n brand VFC, creates a major European CPG company boasting 80 SKUs in the UK and EU across 21,000 distribution points. The combined entity of the four brands is already poised to achieve profitability in 2024, with a clear line of sight for scaling group revenues beyond €100M. This is just the start of VFG’s …

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Oatly creamers

© Oatly

Products & Launches

Oatly Expands Beverage Portfolio with New Oatmilk Creamers in the US

Oatly today announces the introduction of Oatly Oatmilk Creamers in the United States. This product line addition targets the coffee segment with creamers designed to emulsify smoothly into coffee beverages. It comes in four flavors: Sweet & Creamy, Vanilla, Caramel, and Mocha. The company views its launch into flavored creamers as a significant opportunity to engage both new and current customers, citing data from Nielsen that reports a 13% increase in dollar sales and a 9% rise in unit sales for plant-based creamers over the past year. Following the announcement this morning, there has been a slight uptick in the company’s stock price, a pattern that has consistently emerged with the unveiling of new products or partnerships.  Leah Hoxie, SVP of Innovation at Oatly North …

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Grupo Agrovin has launched an alternative to animal-based fining agents for wine based on yeast proteins.

© Agrovin

Ingredients

Agrovin Unveils New Yeast Alternative to Animal-Based Wine Clarifiers

Agrovin, a Spanish biotech supplier of oenological products, winemaking equipment, and services, has launched an alternative to animal-based fining agents based on yeast proteins. Branded Clarifine Proyeast, the new development is a 100% vegan, organic, and allergen-free clarifier for wine. It can be used to produce organic wines according to European and NOP regulations. Agrovin extracts a yeast protein from the strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae to develop the product. With a molecular weight of more than 15 KDa, it is said to offer a higher absorption degree, favoring the cleanliness of the wines by collecting the impurities. Clarifine Proyeast is said to deliver cleaner whites and rosés with greater brilliance, refined reds that preserve their color, and a reduction of astringency, improving mouthfeel. Additionally, it protects …

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Students eating outside

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Food Service

Kent State University Partners with Forward Food, Aims for 30% Plant-Based Meals by 2026

Kent State University in Ohio has announced its plan to increase its plant-based meal offerings to 30% across all dining services by 2026. This initiative, developed in partnership with the Humane Society of the United States’ Forward Food program, aims to enhance the sustainability and nutritional value of food choices available to students on campus. Kent State University’s decision to double the plant-based meal target comes after the university successfully exceeded its previous objective of making 15% of its meals plant-based in its residential dining facilities. Sarah Korzan, a licensed and registered dietician and assistant director of Kent State’s culinary services, says that the shift is part of a move to cater to the diverse dietary preferences of the student population. “With over a third …

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France Flag

© Björn Wylezich - stock.adobe.com

Politics & Law

France Finally Bans “Meaty” Names from Plant-Based Labels in New Decree

The French government has finally published a decree specifying the list of names that plant-based companies cannot use to label their products, including, among many others, ‘steak,’ ‘entrecote,’ ‘ham,’ ‘butcher,’ and ‘cutlet.’ The text responds to a long-standing demand of animal agri-food players to ban meat-product names in plant-based foods, claiming that these labels mislead and confuse consumers.   France, the first country in the EU to take measures against plant-based meat labels, published the first decree in June 2022, but last year, the French Conseil d’Etat halted the process to ask the European Court of Justice if banning these names in plant-based products was compatible with the EU. However, the government revealed a renewed proposal to ban “meaty” names last September, alleging consumer confusion. Two prohibiting lists …

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© Alexandre Bompard

Retail & E-Commerce

Carrefour Exceeds Target for Sales of Plant-Based Alternatives With €514M Turnover

French multinational supermarket chain Carrefour — one of the world’s largest retailers — has reported that it made €514 million in sales of plant-based alternatives last year, exceeding its target of €500 million by 2026. The plant-based alternatives category includes meat and dairy substitutes, as well as legumes. The latter were recently added to the scope following requests from stakeholders, and accounted for €142 million in sales in 2023. Carrefour has now increased its plant-based sales target to $650 million by 2026. The supermarket chain has also reported that 306 suppliers were part of its Food Transition Pact last year, up from 204 in 2022. The pact helps suppliers to become more sustainable through measures such as boosting biodiversity, offering healthier choices, and removing unnecessary …

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70/30 Food Tech pack shots

© 70/30 Food Tech

Market & Trends

Chinese Alt Protein Sector Could See “Pivotal Chapter” in 2024

This article was compiled with insights from Rouyu Wu, Director of Innovation and Investment at Dao Foods. 2024 looks set to be a pivotal year for the Chinese alt protein sector, with companies facing a combination of challenges and opportunities. Here, we take a look at some of the most significant trends predicted for the months ahead. Regulatory approval There are indications that China’s National Health Commission may be speeding up its regulatory approval process; last year, it accepted applications for 22 novel food ingredients and issued solicitation drafts for 17 new ingredients. Two of the submitted applications were accepted the same year, suggesting an accelerated review speed. Approved ingredients included nutmeg protein, yeast protein, and fermentation-derived Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs) for use in infant …

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New Culture block of grating cheese on chopping board

© New Culture

Fermentation

What is Precision Fermentation? Precision Fermentation Alliance and Food Fermentation Europe Reveal Expanded Definition 

Trade organizations the Precision Fermentation Alliance (PFA) and Food Fermentation Europe (FFE) have revealed a new expanded definition of precision fermentation (PF) to provide clarity on its unique characteristics, its differences from other fermentation-based technologies, and its applications. With biomass fermentation, traditional fermentation, and other technologies like molecular farming and plant cell culture emerging to make novel ingredients for food, the collaboration aims to help stakeholders, regulators, and consumers understand the basics of PF technology. Recently, precision fermentation has been in the spotlight, with various companies announcing the launch of animal-free dairy proteins, human milk fat analogs, and proteins for eggs. However, before its emergence for alt proteins, the technology has been safely used in food and medicine for over three decades to make insulin, rennet …

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Vegan meal kits cooked and served

© Just Add Vegan

Politics & Law

Australia to Include Sustainability Messaging in Dietary Guidelines to Align with Global Efforts

Australia is set to promote plant-based foods and diets as it looks to incorporate sustainability messaging into an updated version of its official Dietary Guidelines. Hailed as a milestone step by Food Frontier, a leading advocate for sustainable food solutions, sustainability messaging would raise awareness among Australian consumers about the environmental implications of dietary choices. The move, recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), is poised to align the country with global efforts. As explained by the alt protein think tank, Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, Qatar, Norway, Brazil, and Germany have already recognized the need for more sustainable food systems in light of the increasing global population — from 8 to 9.7 billion by 2050 — and climate crisis concerns.  For the planet Dr. Simon Eassom, CEO …

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Infinite Roots team

Cathy Hutz (co-founder), Philipp Tigges (CFO), Dr. Mazen Rizk (founder and CEO) and Dr. Thibault Godard (co-founder) © Infinite Roots

Company News

Mycelium Tech Infinite Roots Announces Strategic Partnership with Pulmuone

Mycelium tech company Infinite Roots, formerly Mushlabs, announces a strategic partnership with Pulmuone, a leading food manufacturer from South Korea. Together, the companies intend to develop innovative protein products specifically tailored to the needs and taste preferences of the South Korean market. Infinite Roots has developed a patented method to use mycelium in innovative ways for food production. Just last month, the German startup secured $58 million in an oversubscribed Series B round, said to be Europe’s largest-ever investment in mycelium. On the other hand, Pulmuone, known for its tofu products, owns the Nasoya brand, famous for its plant-based steak line Plantspired which is hugely popular domestically as well as in the US, and is catering to the increasing interest in plant-based products in the …

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Woman shopper in Spanish supermarket

Image courtesy of ProVeg International

Market & Trends

How Are Consumer Dietary Preferences Changing Throughout Europe?

If you work in the food and beverage industry, tracking consumer preferences is an important part of your work. What do consumers want from their diet? How are their food preferences and motivations evolving? Do you need to adapt your business and/or products, and if so, how? The answers to these questions are vital in order to optimise sales, and need to be monitored as consumer preferences shift. In its latest New Food Hub article, ProVeg International shares key insights from its recent Smart Protein Consumer Survey, Evolving Appetites. The pan-European survey explores how consumer behaviour has changed over the last three years, building on their 2021 survey report, What Consumers Want. The primary objective of this follow-up study was to track and analyse whether …

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Mushroom Meat Co.

© Mushroom Meat Co.

Fungi, Mushrooms & Mycelium

The Mushroom Meat Co.’s Flexible Ingredient Platform to Support Scalable Production of Mushroom-Based Meat

The Mushroom Meat Co. is on a mission to carve a niche for itself in the creation of plant-based meats utilizing gourmet mushrooms and upcycled plant proteins. The products, designed to mimic the textures and flavors of meat, are whole-food based, low in fat and sodium, high in fiber, and free from the top 10 allergens. The company was created by vegan couple Kesha Stickland and Dan Gardner, who have a self-proclaimed passion for mushrooms, plant-based nutrition, and good food. Both were software executives and consultants with 20+ years of experience in product development, and Gardner convinced Stickland it was time to turn their love for fermentation and culinary arts into a business, inspiring the invention of Mushroom Meat Co.’s platform. The Mushroom Meat Co. …

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new zealand's biotech company opo bio's team in a photo shoot outdoors

© Opo Bio

Cultivated Meat

Opo Bio Introduces Porcine Cell Range Sourced From New Zealand “High-Health Status” Livestock

Opo Bio, New Zealand’s first company to develop non-GM cell lines for the cultivated meat industry, has launched Opo-Oink, a porcine cell range for cultivated pork production.  The initial selection of Opo-Oink includes primary cells from pigs, such as satellite cells, pre-adipocytes, and fibroblasts, sourced from local livestock with high-health status. “At Opo, we believe in ethical standards and traceability. That’s why all our animal donors are raised with utmost care and integrity on our partner farms throughout Aotearoa, New Zealand,” says Opo Bio. Commercially available cell lines Opo Bio was founded in July 2022 by Dr. Olivia Ogilvie (CEO), Dr. Laura Domigan (CSO), and Dr. Vaughan Feisst (CTO) to develop primary cells and cell lines, starting with bovine and porcine products. According to the …

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Largest ever Vurger Co. location opens

© The Vurger Co.

Food Service

The Vurger Co Closes its Doors, Citing Government Failures & “Anti-Vegan Misinformation”

British vegan fast food chain The Vurger Co has closed its doors for the last time, following years of “seemingly endless domestic and international crises”. After launching in 2016, The Vurger Co. opened four locations in total — two in London, one in Brighton, and one in Manchester. The restaurants have served hundreds of thousands of burgers over the years, including to celebrities such as Billie Eilish. The chain also launched a range of sauces for retail at Ocado, Whole Foods, and Co-op, as well as further afield at stores in Los Angeles, New York City, and Dubai. But like most hospitality businesses, The Vurger Co struggled during the pandemic, heightened by what the company describes as “infuriating government policy”. Ensuing crises, such as the …

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Image: REWE/Planet A Foods

Sweets & Snacks

REWE Group Launches Own-Label Products Made With ChoViva Cocoa-Free Chocolate

Germany’s REWE Group says it has become the first European retailer to use ChoViva cocoa-free chocolate in its own-label products. ChoViva is produced by German startup Planet A Foods, and is made from locally-grown ingredients such as oats and sunflower seeds. The concept originated when the founders realised that most of the flavour of chocolate comes from the fermentation and roasting process rather than the taste of cocoa beans. REWE launched its first products containing ChoViva this month, under the brands ja! and REWE Beste Wahl at REWE stores and the COVO, Granola, and Chocolà brands at PENNY. By using the cocoa alternative, REWE hopes to become more ecologically responsible, as ChoViva requires far fewer resources than conventional chocolate production and is not reliant on …

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Worcester mayor removes meat from menu at council receptions

Councillor Louis Stephen, © Worcester City Council

Politics & Law

Mayor of Worcester Removes Meat From Menu at Council Receptions

The mayor of the UK city of Worcester has announced that meat will no longer be served at council receptions, which are held in the mayor’s parlour after long meetings to offer refreshments to councillors. As reported by the BBC, Worcester’s first Green Party mayor, Councillor Louis Stephen, said he was making the change to raise awareness of the lower carbon footprint of plant-based diets. He added that meat-free meals are inclusive as they are suitable for everyone, including those from non-Christian religions who may not be able to eat some or all types of meat. The decision only applies to receptions, and wider council events will be unaffected. However, the change has attracted protests from one Conservative councillor. At a full city council meeting, …

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Creamura Tequila

Image: Creamura Tequila on LinkedIn

Beverages

Cremaura Offers “Delightful and Guilt-Free” Vegan Tequila Liqueurs

Cremaura Tequila is a new UK brand offering plant-based tequila cream liqueurs. The products are also gluten-free, with the aim of being inclusive for everyone. The liqueurs are available in four flavours — rose, orange, café, and chocolate — with more additions reportedly coming soon. The beverages feature sustainable packaging, including recycled glass bottles, sugar cane heat seals, and recyclable cardboard. Cremaura recently announced a partnership with leading West Midlands drinks wholesaler Swallow Wholesale Drinks Solutions, and has reported growing interest from other wholesalers. For Valentine’s Day, the company partnered with Bolicious Vegan Chocolates to offer a range of chocolate liqueurs in the flavours hazelnut, tiramisu, orange, and dark rose gianduja. Despite being a relatively new brand, Cremaura is already available at various bar groups, …

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