Latest News

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 seasoned culinary professionals Kesha Stickland and Dan Gardner, who have a self-proclaimed passion for mushrooms, plant-based nutrition, and good food, with 20+ years of experience in product development. The Mushroom Meat Co. is focused on building an ingredient platform rather than developing one-off products to support the economical creation of a variety of products. According to the company, this strategy, embodied in its “Flexible …

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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 “High-Health Status” Livestock From New Zealand

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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Chickenish fried chicken

© Chickenish

Startups, Accelerators & Incubators

5 More Small Vegan Businesses You May Not Know That Deserve to Be on Your Radar

As a follow-up to Tuesday’s piece listing five small vegan companies that you might not know, here we present another five emerging businesses from around the world that deserve your support. From Canadian cheese to Spanish cakes, these small enterprises are doing great things and are well worth your hard-earned pennies. 1. Freedom Cakes – Madrid, Spain Freedom Cakes of Madrid is an uber cool outfit that entails a cake shop, an American style vegan cafe/diner, and a delivery service in the Spanish capital. The diner concept is described as “The only 100% Plant Based American Diner in Madrid where you can find the best brunch, burgers, sandwiches, milkshakes, pancake towers and our famous cakes and much more!” The cafe concept recently moved to a …

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microTERRA has launched Flora, a duckweed-based ingredient to reduce sugar in F&B

© microTERRA

Ingredients

microTERRA Launches Super Sustainable Duckweed-Based Ingredient to Reduce Sugar in F&B

microTERRA, a Mexican startup creating plant-based functional ingredients for the food industry, has launched of a new development: Flora, a protein ingredient extracted from Lemna, an aquatic plant commonly known as duckweed.  microTERRA’s new ingredient enhances sweetness perception, reducing sugar in food and beverages without compromising taste and texture. “Flora helps improve people’s health by reducing the sugar content in their food while maintaining the same consumer experience,” shared Marissa Cuevas Flores, CEO and founder of microTERRA. The ingredient also offers other features depending on the application. It can enhance a particular flavor, unmask undesired ones, or improve the mouthfeel of products by providing better texture. According to the company, Flora enables F&B companies to produce healthier and more sustainable products, from ice cream to sugar-sweetened …

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Impact Food x Pokeworks

© Impact Food

Food Service

Pokeworks Expands Partnership with Impact Food, Bringing Plant-Based Tuna to San Francisco and New York

Plant-based seafood producer Impact Food, and Pokeworks, an American fast-casual poke chain, have announced an expansion of their partnership in the US. The collaboration, which initially began with a limited partnership at the Pokeworks location in Irvine, California last June, has now expanded to include all Pokeworks locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, followed by a launch in New York City locations in March. Kelly Pan, CEO of Impact Food, enthused, “Our mission at Impact Food is to revolutionize the food industry by providing delicious, nutritious, and environmentally friendly alternatives to conventional seafood. Our partnership with Pokeworks underscores our mutual commitment to a sustainable future where plant-based options are preferred. The launch in New York City and San Francisco is just the beginning.” Impact …

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a 2kg prototype of cultivated meat by TissenBioFarm .

© TissenBioFarm

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety Accepting Submissions for Cultivated Meat Approval

South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (KFDA) has announced that it has opened an application process for the approval of cultivated meat after implementing cultivated food regulations and a framework to provide companies with guidelines. The news came after the KFDA revised and published the “Temporary Standards and Standards for Food Products,” stipulating the procedure for approving raw materials “made using technology,” such as cell and microbial cultures.  Cultivated food ingredients became eligible for certification as food ingredients through the revision of the Enforcement Rules of the Food Hygiene Act in May last year. Previously, they were only allowed for R&D purposes. However, under these temporary standards, cultivated food ingredients could be approved for sale for the first time. Sam Lawrence, GFI Vice President of Policy …

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GreenLeafFoods

©Maple Leaf Foods

Company News

Maple Leaf Foods to Merge Meat and Plant Protein Divisions

Maple Leaf Foods, a major Canadian meat and poultry company, announced a restructuring plan today that will merge its meat and plant protein businesses into a single unit. The move aims to simplify operations and drive growth across all protein categories. During a quarterly earnings call on February 12, Curtis Frank, CEO of Maple Leaf Foods, stated, “While there are still some headwinds to navigate in the very near term, the structural health of our business and our long-term growth potential and to create shared value is undeniable,” He further noted the goal of transforming the company into a “brand-led protein powerhouse,” leveraging nearly three decades of industry experience, as reported by WATTPoultry. The company’s plant-based protein portfolio, which includes Lightlife and Field Roast brands, …

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Vegetarian Butcher fish fillet

© The Vegetarian Butcher

Products & Launches

The Vegetarian Butcher Launches its First Vegan Fish Product

The first vegan fish alternative from Unilever subsidiary The Vegetarian Butcher, the “Krosse Flosse”, is now available in Germany. The Dutch brand is following its philosophy of producing plant-based alternatives that provide the same experience as their animal-based counterparts, with the aim of sustainably removing animals from all steps of meat and fish production. According to the company, the “Krusty Fin” is very similar to the animal equivalent in texture, taste, and ingredients. The 100% plant-based fish fillets are made from rice and wheat protein and are enriched with omega-3. The Vegetarian Butcher has expanded its range to include various new vegan products in recent months. In January, the company presented its product innovations to a large audience at the Green Week in Berlin, receiving …

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© Handtmann

Fairs & Events

Handtmann Showcases Molding System Suitable for Production of Vegan Products at AnugaFoodTec

Handtmann, a specialist in forming, portioning, dosing, and packaging systems for the food industry, is to present a new option for producing molded and filled products at the AnugaFoodTec show this March. The new Handtmann all-in-one molding system FS 525 offers manufacturers of snack and convenience products a new option to further expand the possibilities in the production of molded products: the co-extrusion function. The molding system offers flexibility for both free molding and for molding and separating vegetarian and vegan alternative products, among others. The additional co-extrusion function now enables the production of a wide variety of filled products. The FS 525 forming and cutting system combines two different forming principles for maximum flexibility in industrial applications (perforated plate forming technology for freely shaped …

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Unilever's brand Breyers has launched a new dairy-free ice cream made with animal-free dairy proteins from Perfect Day.

© Perfect Day

Products & Launches

Unilever’s Breyers Launches Lactose-Free Ice Cream made with Animal-Free Whey Protein

Unilever brand Breyers, an ice cream company in business since 1886, has launched a new lactose and cholesterol-free product made with animal-free whey protein. Unilever, one of the world’s biggest CPG companies, partnered with Perfect Day, a pioneer producer of whey protein from precision fermentation, to introduce a more sustainable product than dairy ice cream but with the same taste and texture. Perfect Day claims its protein is identical to cow’s whey offering a lower environmental impact — its process reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 97% and reduces blue water consumption by up to 99% compared to traditional production methods. An exciting innovation The new Breyers Lactose-Free Chocolate is described as providing the creamy taste people expect from the brand, and will be available …

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Ichiran vegan ramen kit

© Ichiran

Products & Launches

Ramen Chain Ichiran Launches Vegan Ramen Kit After Six Years of R&D

Japanese ramen chain Ichiran, operating 83 locations across Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, has developed a new vegan ramen kit, which will launch in the US on March 1. Founded in 1960, Ichiran claims to be Japan’s top tonkotsu ramen restaurant and in the US it currently has three restaurants in Brooklyn, Times Square, and Midtown New York. The ramen kit arrives on the market after six years of R&D and claims to offer the same depth, richness, and smokey flavor as the company’s original tonkatsu ramen. It contains a liquid broth concentrate featuring soy, roasted garlic, onion, shiitake, ginger, and vegetables. It is accompanied by a ramen oil that adds creaminess to the broth, along with Ichiran’s signature Original Spicy Red Seasoning made from …

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Algae-based omega-3 supplements

© iwi life

Health

Algae-Based Omega-3 Supplements May Have More Cardiovascular Benefits Than Fish Oil

A clinical trial has demonstrated that a type of algae-based omega-3 supplement (AlmegaPL, the functional ingredient in products made by US brand iwi life) may support cardiovascular health more effectively than traditional fish oils. The algae oil was found to decrease triglycerides by 14%, four times what would be expected from conventional omega-3 supplements. It also reduced remnant cholesterol by up to 25%, supporting theories that EPA-only omega-3s may perform better than those containing both EPA and DHA (two types of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids). There was no increase in LDL cholesterol in those taking AlmegaPL, whereas supplements containing both types of fatty acid have been shown to raise cholesterol levels. Unexpectedly, 12 weeks of supplementation also reduced hip circumference and body weight compared to …

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Sway has introduced TPSea, a biopolymer resin made from seaweed and plants to replace plastic pellets in single-use packaging manufacturing.

© SnackTime

Algae, Microalgae & Seaweed

Sway Launches Seaweed Pellets to Replace Single-Use Plastics at Scale, Following $5M Funding Round

California-based Sway, a startup creating biodegradable alternatives to plastic, has introduced Thermoplastic Seaweed (TPSea), a “breakthrough” biopolymer resin made from seaweed and plants to replace plastic pellets in single-use packaging manufacturing.  The launch follows a successful $5 million seed round led by Third Nature Investments. The Helm, Alante Capital, BAM Ventures, Superorganism, and other investors also backed Sway in this round. The funds will help Sway expand its product portfolio and fuel marketing initiatives targeted at the fashion, food, and home goods sectors to accelerate product adoption. “We believe everyday materials should help to replenish the planet from sea to soil. The launch of our thermoplastic seaweed materials, along with an influx of new capital targeted at scaling production, signifies tangible progress toward a more circular …

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oatly organic

©Oatly

Politics & Law

Oatly Agrees to $9.25M Settlement Over Allegations of Overstated Environmental Claims

Swedish oat drink company Oatly has agreed to a $9.25 million settlement following allegations of greenwashing. The lawsuit, initiated by investor Kai Jochims in July 2021, claimed that Oatly’s promotional strategies had led to “artificial” inflation of its share prices by overstating product demand and environmental credentials. This settlement comes after a mediation session held in October, although it is still awaiting final court approval. The lawsuit against Oatly surfaced shortly after the company’s successful $1.4 billion initial public offering (IPO), when the trading price of the company’s US shares dipped approximately 9%. This decline was attributed to accusations from a short-seller, labeling Oatly’s environmental claims as misleading. The consolidated lawsuit encompassed various investor complaints, centralizing around allegations of financial misrepresentation and exaggerated environmental sustainability …

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Mooala banana milk on-the-go

© Mooala

Products & Launches

Mooala Introduces Single-Serve Organic Bananamilks at Sprouts Nationwide

Mooala, makers of organic plant-based milks, has introduced a new line of single-serve Bananamilks. Now available in Sprouts stores across the United States, these 8oz “on-the-go” packs come in three flavors: vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, designed to appeal to both adults and children. Jeff Richards, CEO of Mooala, commented on the brand’s commitment to offering guilt-free, nutritious options that appeal to all ages: “Our Bananamilks boast flavors that kids and adults crave, while our organic ingredients and nutritional profile easily pass the ‘mom-police’ test.” Previously available only in a larger 48oz format, the introduction of these single-serve packages marks Mooala’s entry into the convenience segment with its best-selling product, priced at $1.69 per unit. Retail expansion Sprouts Farmers Market will be the first brick-and-mortar retailer …

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© Day 8

Ingredients

Israel’s Day 8 Secures Funds for Leaf Protein-Based Ingredient Extracted from Upcycled Crops

Israeli startup Day 8 has secured $750,000 pre-seed funding from The Kitchen FoodTech Hub to introduce a functional ingredient made from the leaf protein Rubisco for plant-based dairy, meat, and other food applications. The young startup was founded last year by Daniel Rejzner (CEO) and a former executive at Solbar (a leading soy manufacturer) Dana Marom (CTO) to unlock the future of delicious plant-based foods with earth’s most abundant and nutritious protein, Rubisco. All green leaves, from spinach to kale to the small Lemna (duckweed), contain small quantities of Rubisco. Day 8 claims that it has developed a unique extraction method to produce a flavorless white powder that contains the best nutritional qualities of Rubisco and its functional capabilities, such as emulsifying, foaming, and gelling, which surpass the capabilities …

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