Tufts / Tender Food

Tufts / Tender Food

FAIRR & Tufts University Publish Protein Research Paper for Investors, While Tufts Announces “Unprecedented” Cell Ag Hires

The FAIRR initiative — a global network of investors addressing ESG issues in the food system — has partnered with Tufts University to publish a paper called the ‘Protein and Nutrition Research Overview’ for investors. According to the authors, ESG frameworks tend to focus on environmental issues such as carbon emissions without taking nutrition into account, resulting in a tradeoff between health and environmental priorities. However, there is considerable potential for investors to be aligned with both, especially with the rise of “sustainable nutrition” funds. Setting the record straight & debunking misconceptions The new overview outlines major protein sources in food, setting the record straight about their health effects with supporting scientific evidence. It also outlines notable trends, risks, and opportunities in the protein supply …


Flora plant butter with paper packaging

© Upfield

Upfield Reports €3.3Bn in Net Sales & Significant Emissions Reductions in 2023

Global plant-based food producer Upfield has published its 2023 Financial & ESG Summary, reporting significant business growth and sustainability achievements. The company achieved net sales of €3.3 billion for the calendar year 2023, reaching an additional 55 million consumers globally through brands such as Flora, Violife, Blue Band, Rama, and Proactiv. The total addressable market for Upfield products across the spread, margarine, cheese, and cream categories is estimated to be over €150 billion, indicating significant potential for further growth. Upfield’s sustainability achievements in 2023 included the reduction of Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 13.5% per ton of production compared to 2022. This was made possible by responsible sourcing practices and investment in low-carbon energy. Additionally, the company launched a plastic-free …



SHICKEN Unveils “Category First” Allergen-Free Plant-Based Chicken with Locally Sourced Ingredients

Fast-growing challenger brand SHICKEN Foods announces what the company describes as a category first: a plant-based chicken recipe that is free from the top 14 allergens, created solely with British ingredients at its newly certified allergen-free site, in Kent, England. As part of its strategy to make plant-based food more inclusive, removing consumption barriers around dietary requirements, SHICKEN explains that the recipe reformula involves a switch from soy and wheat to pea proteins, sourced from peas farmed in East Anglia; reportedly making it the first meat alternative protein in the UK to be allergen-free whilst using completely home-grown ingredients. This March, the British Asian pioneers received a further investment from Veg Capital to the tune of £4 million, bringing the total funding to date to …


Better Nature

© Better Nature

Better Nature Tempeh Becomes the UK’s Fastest-Growing Wholefood Protein Brand 

Better Nature Tempeh announces the achievement of some major milestones. This week the brand expands its retail distribution in Tesco and Asda, as such it has become the UK’s fastest-growing wholefood protein brand; the B-corp now represents 51% of tempeh sales growth in the country, as shoppers increasingly look towards healthy protein options. “Despite the consolidation and shrinkage of the meat-free category, tempeh is coming out on top, growing 30% year-on-year. As a brand, we’re responsible for more than half (51%) of that growth*, with two of the top three Tempeh SKUs in the UK (by volume) being Better Nature Tempeh,” says co-founder and CEO Christopher Kong. The business has grown by 250% YOY and increased distribution to over 1,000 supermarkets across the UK, say …


Irish consumers go plant-based

© Oatly

Oatly Stock Rises Following Promising Q1 Financial Results

Leading oat milk producer Oatly has published its financial results for the first quarter of 2024, revealing an “encouraging start to the year”. The results have boosted Oatly stock, which is up 3.42% and has risen above the 200-day line. Compared to the same period last year, Oatly’s Q1 revenue rose by 1.8% to $199.2 million, while constant currency revenue increased by 1.2% due to growth in the North America and Europe & International segments. Gross margin reached 27.1%, up 9.7 percentage points. First quarter net loss was $45.8 million, an improvement of $29.8 million compared to Q1 2023; meanwhile, adjusted EBITDA loss was $13.2 million, a $36.7 million improvement. These results indicate that Oatly is moving towards break-even. For the remainder of 2024, Oatly …


French plant-based egg producer Yumgo reports strong financial results

© Yumgo

French Plant-Based Egg Producer Yumgo Reports Turnover of Over €1M

Yumgo, a French plant-based egg producer, has reported strong financial results for 2023 with a turnover of over €1 million. The company has also shared some impressive environmental results, claiming it has saved approximately 301 tonnes of CO2, 29,000 m3 of water, 5.7 million eggs, and 14,000 chickens since March 2020. Yumgo’s success comes in the wake of its launch across France via the distributors Délice & Création, Végétalfood and Episaveurs. The brand has also expanded internationally to Belgium, the UK, Scandinavia, Germany, Japan, and the US. Yumgo is now looking to raise between 3 and 5 million euros this year to recruit more staff and begin manufacturing some of its powdered egg alternatives internally. The company previously raised 1.6 million euros in 2022. “A …


Willicroft dairy alternatives

© Willicroft

Willicroft Dairy Alternatives Produce Up to 25X Fewer Emissions Than Conventional Dairy

Dutch dairy alternatives producer Willicroft has published a product emissions report comparing the environmental impact of its plant-based cheeses and butter to equivalent dairy products. The results take into account agricultural processes, production, packaging, transportation, and end-of-life for packaging. They show that Willicroft cheeses produce up to 25 times fewer carbon emissions than their dairy equivalents; for example, Willicroft Greek White generates just 1.26 kg of CO2 equivalent per kilogram, while traditional feta produces 34.1 kg. The brand’s butter alternative, Original Better, produces 2.48 kg CO2-eq/kg, compared to 16.9 kg for dairy butter. Furthermore, many of the products have lower emissions than dairy alternatives made by other plant-based brands. Original Better outperforms an Upfield butter alternative, and is roughly on par with Naturli’s organic spread. …


Freshcut Foods

© Freshcut Foods

Plant-Based Ingredients Supplier Freshcut Foods Reports Strong Performance With £42.4M Turnover

Freshcut Foods, a UK supplier of plant-based ingredients, has reported strong financial results for the year ending in July 2023. The company’s profit and loss account shows a turnover of over £42.4 million, up from £35.4 million the previous year. However, pre-tax profits were down from £709,567 to £179,270. Freshcut Foods aims to “make veg the hero”, supplying fresh vegetables to global food service brands, chilled food manufacturers, and recipe box operators. The company is catering to the growing trend towards flexitarianism in the UK, with a report published last year finding that the country’s plant-based food market is growing at a rate of 9.58%. Freshcut Foods recently announced on LinkedIn that it had led a Plant Forward Cuisine session for major supermarket chain Tesco, …


Heura closes Series B round, forming plant-based alliance

© Heura

Heura Announces €38.3M Turnover and 63% Growth in International Sales

Spanish plant-based food startup Heura has announced that its turnover reached €38.3 million in 2023, while international sales rose by a huge 63%. In France, growth was particularly significant at 88%. A partnership with supermarket chain Waitrose allowed Heura to increase its presence in the UK, and the brand saw double-digit growth in all the other European markets where it has a presence. The announcement comes after Heura raised €40 million in Series B funding, in what was claimed to be the largest plant-based funding round of 2023. Among the investors was Upfield, which will work with Heura on a food tech collaboration. All the investors in the round will also join a board that aims to accelerate the transition to a sustainable food system. …


© Alexandre Bompard

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 …


Ingredion factory workers

© Ingredion

Ingredion Named as a Top Employer 2024 in Germany and UK

Ingredion, an ingredient producer with a global presence, focused on non-GMO sweeteners, stevia, and pea protein, announces that it has been recognised as a Top Employer in the UK and Germany, having been rewarded the Top Employer accolade for both countries for the second year. The Top Employer programme has seen 2,300 employers recognised in 121 countries or regions across the world. Being certified as a Top Employer recognises an organisation’s dedication to creating a better world of work, demonstrated through a commitment to excellent Human Resources policies and people practices. In Europe, Ingredion demonstrates its commitment to its values through an inclusive and supportive workplace through various programmes such as wellbeing initiatives and training sessions spanning health and safety topics such as safe driving …


Birdman love animals eat plants

© Birdman

Mexican Plant Protein Company Birdman Surpasses $65M in Sales

Lever VC, a venture capital firm focused on the future of protein, has increased its equity stake in Birdman, a leading plant-based protein company in Mexico set to expand into the US, as the company experiences a significant surge in sales. This investment comes as Birdman demonstrates impressive sales performance, achieving a $65 million sales run rate amidst a challenging economic landscape. Founded in 2016 in Guadalajara, Mexico, Birdman rapidly bootstrapped to $15 million in sales by 2021, prior to attracting its first external funding. The company’s plant-based protein powders and supplements have gained popularity across Mexico, surpassing industry averages in the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) sector, with EBITDA margins exceeding 35%. According to Nick Cooney, managing partner at Lever VC, which expanded its equity …


Recipe box provider Gousto plant-based meals

© Gousto

Recipe Box Provider Gousto Sees Meatless Meal Sales Double Within Four Years

UK-based recipe box provider Gousto has released its 2024 Food Trends report, which reveals that the company’s sales of meatless meals have doubled in the past four years. Additionally, Gousto told Wales Online that 23% of meal orders were plant-based in 2023, with this figure even higher in some areas. The highest proportion of plant-based meals was ordered in the following towns and cities: London – 32.5% Harrow – 31% Brighton – 30% Bristol – 28.2% Cambridge – 27.3% Edinburgh – 26.8% Watford – 26.3% Oxford – 26.3% Truro – 26.1% Southall – 25.9%. “Flexitarianism and the rise of plant-based meals have been some of the most important food trends of 2023,” says the Food Trends report. Plant-based meal kits Recipe kits rose in popularity …


The founding team of Infinite Roots

The founding team of Infinite Roots (from left to right) Mazen Rizk, Cathy Preißer and Thibault Godard © Infinite Roots

Mushlabs Becomes Infinite Roots, Plans to Pioneer New Era of Sustainable Foodtech

Hamburg biotech company Mushlabs announces its new corporate brand: Mushlabs will become Infinite Roots, with the transformation representing a deeper commitment to food security and sustainability and reinforcing the company’s commitment to promoting healthier diets and a healthier planet. As a specialist in mushroom mycelium-based nutrition, Infinite Roots supports the sustainable revolution in food production. According to the company, the new brand development symbolizes the transition from an emerging startup phase to a mature corporate era. Three years ago the company raised $10 million in Series A to upscale production to industrial level, stating its vision to “bring about a meaningful and lasting change to our food system”. Further to this mission, Infinite Roots says that its new identity seeks to reflect the essence of …


SunOpta 50 Anniversary

© SunOpta

SunOpta Marks 50-Year Milestone in Plant-Based Food Production

SunOpta, a US-based food and beverage company specializing in sustainable plant-based beverages and ingredients, is marking its 50th anniversary by reflecting on its five-decade journey. Established in 1973 under the name StakeTech, the company initially focused on biomass conversion for animal feed. Over the years, it underwent strategic shifts, entering diverse sectors like industrial minerals and eventually moving into the natural and organic foods industry. In 2003, StakeTech rebranded as SunOpta to reflect its commitment to producing plant-based products with ingredients grown using the sun.  The company first entered the soy milk market over two decades ago and proceeded to execute 37 acquisitions in the food and beverage sector between 2000 and 2015, including Simply Organic, Pacific Food Processors, and multiple processing facilities, which are …


Veganuary participants

© Veganuary

80% of Veganuary Participants Have Reduced Their Animal Product Consumption by Over 50%

Veganuary, the campaign encouraging people to try a vegan diet for the month of January, has published the results of its six-month follow-up survey for 2023. 98% of Veganuary participants said they were eating fewer animal products than before they took part in the campaign, while 80% had reduced their animal product consumption by 50% or more. 28% had opted to remain fully vegan; the biggest motivator for this group was learning more about veganism, followed by discovering that being vegan was easier than expected. Better health was also an important factor, with over 60% of participants seeing improvements in this area. 58% had more energy, 51% said their skin appearance had improved, and 43% saw a positive impact on their body weight. Of those …


Actual Veggie Burgers Expand Report 300% growth

©Actual Veggies

Actual Veggies Reports Over 300% Growth in Past Year, Expands into Whole Foods Markets

US veggie burger brand Actual Veggies announces it has achieved a stunning 338.2% growth in the past year, driven by its online presence and expansion into major retailers. The brand will continue its momentum by unveiling new packaging and launching frozen veggie burgers in a new 4-pack format at Whole Foods Markets. Founded in 2020, Actual Veggies has gained a loyal following for its line of clean-label, chef-crafted burgers made with only whole vegetables, grains, and spices. After appearing on the QVC home shopping channel, the company sold $75,000 worth of products in under eight minutes and has since expanded its retail distribution to thousands of major retail locations, including Kroger, Costo, and The Fresh Market.  Actual Veggies reports it earned $1M in revenue in …


pink albatross

©pink albatross

Spain’s Pink Albatross Exceeds 2,000 Points of Sale, Expects to Turnover €1.1 million This Year

Pink Albatross, the Spanish 100% plant-based ice cream company, announces that its distribution has multiplied this season and it has managed to expand into more than 10 new retail outlets. In addition, the company has stated that it expects to reach a turnover of 1.1 million euros by end of 2023. The points of sale where these ice creams can be purchased are in all Carrefour locations entailing more than 200 hypermarkets; in around 60 Eroski, Caprabo and Familia shops; and in more than 105 Bon Preu and Esclat supermarkets. Pink Albatross products have also entered more than 160 points of sale of Supermercados MAS and Cash Fresh, of the Sevillian group Hermanos Martín; in 44 Hiper Usera shops, in an in&out in around 60 …



© Vitasoy

Vitasoy Recovers From Last Year’s Losses to Record HK$104M Profit

Hong Kong-based plant milk brand Vitasoy has published positive results for the financial year 2022/2023, after turning around previous losses. The company recorded a profit from operations of HK$104 million for the year ending in March, compared to a loss of HK$213 million in FY 2021/2022. This was achieved in spite of the increased cost of energy and raw materials, mainly due to cost rationalizations in mainland China and an increase in government subsidies in Hong Kong. Results by region Vitasoy continues to lead the Chinese soymilk market, and registered an operating profit of RMB40 million this year versus a loss of RMB280 million in FY2021/2022. However, revenue dropped slightly by 2%. The company’s Australia and New Zealand operation saw a 3% revenue increase, with …


Renegade Foods sampler set

© Renegade Foods

Renegade Foods Triples Production of Vegan Charcuterie Products Just Months After “Game-Changing” Launch

Berkeley, CA-based Renegade Foods, a producer of plant-based charcuterie products like salami, chorizo, and sobrasada, announces it has tripled its production capabilities amid increased consumer demand. Co-founder and CEO Iona Campbell states that the brand’s “commitment to creating delicious food leveraging age-old techniques and high-quality ingredients” is fueling company growth. Launched in 2019 by Campbell and Co-founder Kalie Marder, Renegade Foods today reports the addition of more than 20 new accounts following the launch of an “industry first” shelf-stable, vegan salami that can be stored, shipped and merchandised without the need for refrigeration. Furthermore, the company says it has eliminated 80% of its packaging, while dramatically reducing shipping costs.    Since the announcement in March of the shelf-stable sausage, Renegade says it has achieved more than …