Anne-Marie Gendreau of Lallemand

Anne-Marie Gendreau of Lallemand ©MCF

Lallemand: “The Plant-Based Market is Moving Forward Rapidly, and Innovation is Key”

Anne-Marie Gendreau is a Canadian pastry chef and food scientist. She is the North American Applied R&D team leader at Lallemand Bio-Ingredients. Anne-Marie is known for her ability to develop formulations and provide customized support across a broad range of food product categories. She embraces the challenge and variety in making plant-based savory applications or sweeter plant-based developments. Can you highlight some of the unique properties of Lallemand’s plant-based ingredients and how they contribute to the quality of plant-based products? Recently, we’ve been developing yeast extract-composed flavor bases, Savor-Lyfe® CI is the latest addition to the product line. The typical meaty yeast extract flavor profile is elaborated to contribute more specifically to the poultry flavor of plant-based foods. How does Lallemand approach innovation in the development …


Rich Dillon, CEO Ivy Farm

Rich Dillon, image supplied by Ivy Farm

Ivy Farm Technologies: “Fighting Climate Change with Cultivated Meat is a Global Opportunity”

Rich Dillon is the CEO of Ivy Farm Technologies, a leading cultivated meat company based in Oxford, UK. Ivy Farm describes itself as a “disruptive food-tech startup on a mission to create real meat in a radically more sustainable way and to tackle one of the world’s biggest climate polluters – industrial agriculture”. Continuously making waves since its foundation in 2019, Ivy Farm’s technology was developed by PhD engineers at the University of Oxford and the team holds nine patent filings with unique IP which it says gives the company a technological edge in the cultivated meat sector. Last summer Ivy Farm unveiled a pilot plant in Oxford with production capabilities of 2.8 tonnes of cultivated meat a year, which it claimed to be the …


Emmanuel Lavocat of Clextral

Emmanuel Lavocat. © Clextral

Clextral: “We Have More Than 35 Years of Expertise Supplying Twin-Screw Extruder Systems for the Alt Protein Industry”

Headquartered in Firminy, France, Clextral is a medium-sized company that has specialized in the design, manufacture, and installation of twin-screw extrusion systems (extruder and complete line) for various industries since 1956. The company is now a global leader in the field and has been working with the alternative proteins industry for over three decades. Clextral has a global presence, serving international customers via 12 subsidiaries worldwide. The company also has two test centers (Firminy in France and Tampa in the USA) where it runs extrusion trials for alternative proteins. Emmanuel Lavocat is an Extrusion Process Engineer and Alternative Proteins Market Manager at Clextral. He has an engineering degree from Compiègne Technology University, and has been working for Clextral since 1999. We spoke to him to …


Top Ten Inspiring Interviews With Vegan Business Experts

© wellphoto –

World Vegan Month Special: Top Ten Inspiring Interviews with Industry Experts

To celebrate World Vegan Month, we are sharing the ten most popular vegconomist interviews from so far this year. Interviews are not only a powerful tool to collect information but also an excellent way to acknowledge the experience and perspective of the most inspiring alt protein experts. Take advantage of this opportunity to catch up if you missed any of the following popular interviews with vegan businesses from Germany, France, California, South Korea, Israel, and the UK. In descending order of popularity, here are the ten most clicked Q&As from 2023 so far. 1. Klaus Schmaeing – Burger King Germany By far the most popular vegconomist Q&A of 2023 came from Klaus Schmaeing of the famous burger chain, who revealed in August that “one in …


Aisling Cullen, Founder, Thanks Plants.

Pictured is Aisling Cullen, Founder, Thanks Plants. Picture by Shane O'Neill, Coalesce.

Thanks Plants: “We Want to Be Known Europe-Wide for Great Ingredients and Clean-Label Products”

Ireland-based Thanks Plants was founded in 2020, with the aim of offering clean-label meat alternatives made from recognisable whole food ingredients. The concept proved hugely popular with Irish consumers, and Thanks Plants’ products — made predominantly from seitan, legumes, and vegetables — are now available at SuperValu and Fresh stores in Dublin, along with some independent retailers. Aldi Ireland also stocked a selection of the meat alternatives for six months this year, and Thanks Plants’ Festive Roast was available at Planet Organic stores in London last Christmas. The brand is now on a mission to expand beyond Ireland, entering countries with a high demand for healthy plant-based options. We spoke to founder Aisling Cullen to find out more about Thanks Plants and future plans for …


Henrik Lund, founder & CEO of Naturli

Henrik Lund © NATURLI’ Foods

Naturli: “We Are Convinced That We Have the Best Vegan Butter on the Market”

The Danish brand NATURLI’, a subsidiary of the Norwegian group Orkla, has been respected for its 100% plant-based products based on selected organic ingredients since its foundation in 1988. The NATURLI’ range now includes a wide range of vegan foods and beverages, including vegan ice cream, vegan yogurt, and meat alternatives, in addition to its famous butter. In the past few months, NATURLI’ has successfully built up its own sales department for the food service sector, among other things, and would like to focus even more on this area in the future. The company was also represented at the last ANUGA, the world’s leading trade fair for food and beverages in Cologne, where it presented a number of new product innovations. We spoke in an …


Martin Habfast, cofounder of Umiami

Martin Habfast © Umiami

Umiami: “We’re the First Company Worldwide That Can Create a True Whole-Muscle Chicken Breast at Scale”

Umiami‘s story is nothing short of a phenomenon, one that we have been following closely since its beginnings in 2020. Along with La Vie, Umiami is effecting a successful plant-based business ecosystem in its home country of France, continuing to go from strength to strength and creating 70+ jobs following the acquisition of a former Unilever production facility. Such is the popularity of Umiami’s unique plant-based chick*n whole cuts. Just this month, the startup secured €32.5 million in a Series A, bringing the overall capital raised to an impressive €100 million in just three years, with plans to further expand in France and accelerate the distribution of its products in Europe, and outlining an expansion into the US. We spoke with Co-founder Martin Habfast hot …


Robin Simsa, CEO of Revo Foods

Revo Foods CEO Robin Simsa, image supplied

Revo Foods: “3D Extrusion Technology is Not a Far-Fetched Dream, But a Reality That You Can Already Buy in Supermarkets”

When we last spoke with Revo Foods just a year ago, CEO Robin Simsa boldly stated that, in five years, “Revo will be the leading provider of plant-based seafood in the world”. Since then, the young Austrian team has famously gone on to launch its mycoprotein-based salmon filet into REWE’s flagship vegan superstore, the 200-metre square Billa Pflanzilla, marking the first-ever 3D-printed product to be available in supermarkets worldwide and receiving huge amounts of international attention. As Revo works to scale up production in three distinct steps, with the second step set to conclude next year, it will gain capabilities to produce far higher volumes and roll out the product into multiple locations. Exciting times for Austria and for the food industry, as Robin explains …


ProVeg Czechia

Julie Karabinová. © ProVeg Czechia

ProVeg Czechia: “The Interest in V-Label is Unprecedented and Demand is Constantly Growing”

In 2021, the Czech Vegan Society became ProVeg Czechia, as interest in plant-based diets began to grow rapidly in the country. At the time, a quarter of Czechs were already reducing their meat consumption, with 6% avoiding meat altogether. Since then, the Czech plant-based market has only continued to grow, and ProVeg Czechia is now one of 11 ProVeg offices worldwide working to raise awareness of food system transformation. The organisation has been instrumental in bringing the internationally recognised vegan and vegetarian trademark V-Label to the country, along with helping to make plant-based foods more mainstream. Julie Karabinová joined ProVeg in 2021, working as V-Label certification manager for the nonfood section and New Food Forum co-organizer. We spoke to her to find out more about …


Keum Chae Min, CEO and Founder of UNLIMEAT Inc

Keum Chae Min, CEO and founder, UNLIMEAT Inc. Image supplied

UNLIMEAT: “It’s the Perfect Time to Enhance the ‘Deliciousness’ of Alternative Meat”

UNLIMEAT, originating in South Korea and also enjoying success in the USA, is addressing a global issue that needs to be addressed more urgently by our food system, our producers, and our politicians. In the US alone, over 80 billion pounds of food is wasted each year, meaning that 30-40% of America’s annual food supply goes to waste, says founder and CEO Keum Chae Min. In response, the young entrepreneur set out initially in her home country to upcycle unused, “ugly” plants to create plant-based meat products tailored for diverse global cuisines. “We want to accelerate the transition to plant-based eating by making it convenient and delicious for consumers. That is why we’re relentlessly finding ways to expand our offerings, from Korean BBQ to Pulled …


Stephanie Michelsen of Jellatech

Stephanie Michelsen © Jellatech

Jellatech: “Utilizing Animal Cells for Collagen Production Enables us to Offer a Genuinely Bio-Identical Collagen Product”

In June of last year, US-based biotech company Jellatech announced a huge milestone with the development of cultivated collagen made from the company’s own proprietary cell lines. Unlike its competitors, Jellatech has developed a product that is bio-identical to collagen, which is naturally only found in animals. The discovery has the potential to be used across multiple sectors, including medicine, cosmetics, and the food industry. Recently, Jellatech raised $3.5 million in an oversubscribed seed round to scale its manufacturing platform and introduce cell-based proteins to the global market. The company also announced a partnership with CULT Food Science in April to develop pet food made with cultivated collagen. We spoke to founder and CEO Stephanie Michelsen to find out more about the groundbreaking products developed …


Ayala Meidan Rimoni of Redefine Meat

Ayala Meidan Rimoni. © Redefine Meat

Redefine Meat: “Our New-Meat is a ‘Hero Item’ on Menus, Appealing to Meat Lovers and Vegans”

Israel’s Redefine Meat is known for its unique “new-meat” technology, said to be able to replicate any cut of meat in plant-based form. Since the meat alternatives launched commercially in 2021, they have received extensive praise — including from Michelin-star chefs — with the company raising a huge $135 million to expand globally. Redefine Meat has gone on to partner with Europe’s largest meat importer, Giraudi Meats, allowing for an expansion across multiple countries. The brand is now available at numerous restaurants Europe-wide, adding a record 70 new food service customers during this year’s Veganuary campaign alone. In the UK, Redefine Meat has joined forces with gourmet food distributor Classic Fine Foods to make its products available at high-end restaurants across the country. Global Marketing …


Yves Potvin of Konscious Foods

Yves Potvin. © Konscious Foods.

Konscious Foods: “We Take Pride in Pioneering the World’s First Frozen Sushi Rolls Made From Plants”

In 2021, Canadian serial entrepreneur Yves Potvin founded the seafood alternatives brand Konscious Foods. Considering the success of the other plant-based companies founded by Potvin — Yves Veggie Cuisine and Gardein — it’s no surprise that Konscious Foods is already seeing rapid growth. The company has made a name for itself by launching products that are claimed to be the first of their kind, such as frozen plant-based sushi and onigiri. Konscious Foods also announced last year that it was working with fellow Canadian companies Merit Functional Foods and Canadian Pacifico Seaweeds to develop an extensive line of seafood alternatives. Retailers have proven enthusiastic about the plant-based sushi, with the products rolling out at all Whole Foods locations across the US and Canada in July. …


Svenja Fritz, Oatly

Svenja Fritz © Oatly

Oatly: “Our Food System Still Clearly Favors Products of Animal Origin”

Swedish oat specialist Oatly offers a wide portfolio of plant-based dairy alternatives, including alternatives to milk, ice cream, yogurt, cooking creams, spreads, and on-the-go drinks. The company has been campaigning for equal treatment of plant-based alternatives and animal products at the political level for some time and, together with various partners, is making concrete demands on politicians. We spoke in an interview with Svenja Fritz, Head of Communication & Public Affairs at Oatly for Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Poland. Since 2021, Fritz has been committed to driving change towards a more sustainable food system. She previously held senior positions in the House of Representatives in Berlin, in the Ministry for Integration in Baden-Württemberg, and in the German Bundestag. She previously worked as press spokesperson for …


New Culture team shot

© New Culture

New Culture: “With Our Groundbreaking Science, Any Cheese is Possible and Can Be Made Completely Animal-Free”

Californian animal-free cheese producer New Culture revealed an impressive milestone last month, significantly upscaling its precision fermentation platform, managing to successfully produce enough animal-free casein in a single run to make enough vegan mozzarella for 25,000 pizzas. Since our last interview back in 2019, the startup has received backing from Kraft Heinz, ADM, and biotech giant CJ CheilJedang, for its innovative platform. It was time to catch up with CEO and co-founder Matt Gibson to hear more about New Culture’s string of success. What is New Culture’s mission or long-term goal?  New Culture’s mission and long-term goal is to lead the global change to an animal-free dairy future. We’re revolutionizing how cheese is made with our animal-free dairy products that stretch, melt, and taste like …


Shannon Falconer, CEO of Biocraft

Image courtesy of BioCraft Pet Nutrition

BioCraft Pet Nutrition: “Pet Food Manufacturers Are Desperate for a More Stable Alternative”

Shannon Falconer is the CEO and founder BioCraft Pet Nutrition (formerly Because, Animals), a biotechnology company making cultured meat for cats and dogs. Shannon holds an MSc in Cell and Systems Biology from the University of Toronto (Canada), a PhD in Biochemistry from McMaster University (Canada), and is co-author of eight peer-reviewed scientific publications.  In 2016 she founded BioCraft, the first company to focus exclusively on developing cultured meat to meet the unique nutritional needs of cats and dogs. Since then, BioCraft was among the first cultured meat companies to eliminate animal ingredients from cell culture media–including fetal bovine serum (FBS) and to derive non-immortalized stem cell lines for the specific application of cultured meat. How would you describe the mission of BioCraft? BioCraft’s mission …


Alice Fauconnet of New Roots

Alice Fauconnet ©SusanneGoldschmid

New Roots: “We Honour Swiss Cheese Heritage by Making it More Ethical and More Sustainable”

Alice Fauconnet is co-founder and marketing director at New Roots, a vegan cheese company based in Switzerland. When she’s not inventing the cheese traditions of the future, Alice can be found mountaineering in the Swiss Alps, or advocating for animal rights.  New Roots offers a large range of artisan cheeses and spreads as well as yogurts and creamery products. When we last spoke with Alice, back in 2018, she urged that the “dairy industry is an environmental disaster”, and she wasn’t wrong. What is your current product line and which are the bestsellers? We currently offer a range of 12 different cheeses, as well as yogurts and cooking creams. Our two best sellers are the Soft White, our alternative to soft cheese with a rind …


Cyril Carrat, KaTech

Cyril Carrat © KaTech

KaTech: “Our Texture Solution Without Methylcellulose is Game-Changing for Meat Alternatives”

Founded as a startup in 2012, KaTech has certainly come a long way. The customized texture solutions company – which has facilities in Germany, Poland, and the UK – was acquired by global ingredients giant Ingredion Incorporated, two years ago.     We caught up with KaTech’s group managing director, Cyril Carrat, to find out more about the company and how its texture experts are helping manufacturers create vegan products that are affordable, nutritious, and taste great.    Please introduce KaTech Our focus is on developing the best product and process-specific texture solutions for our customers. The fact that we source raw materials independently gives us the widest possible view of the global market which, together with our proven technical knowledge, means we can adapt our approach to …



Amy Chen © UPSIDE Foods

UPSIDE Foods: “We’ve Proven Cultivated Meat is Safe, Delicious, and Something Consumers Want”

Last November, UPSIDE Foods made history when it became one of the first two cultivated meat companies to have a product greenlit by the FDA. Since then, the company has reached several more milestones, with its cultivated chicken receiving USDA label approval this June and gaining final regulatory approval to be sold in the US a week later. UPSIDE’s first sale — believed to be the first ever for cultivated meat in the US — took place on July 1 at Chef Dominique Crenn’s acclaimed Bar Crenn restaurant. The initial event was for winners of a social media contest, but the cultivated chicken is now available to the public as part of a six-course meal at the restaurant. Most recently, UPSIDE announced that it had …


Astrid Lefournier

Astrid Lefournier, image supplied

Association Végétarienne de France (AVF): “Changing Our Food Model is Now a Necessity on a Societal Scale”

Head of V-Label France at AVF since March 2020, motivated by the ethical, ecological, and health challenges of animal issues, Astrid Lefournier is committed to leading the food transition, convinced that democratizing the plant-based offer is essential to support collective and individual action towards change. Thanks to her studies in food security and sustainable development, Astrid realized the importance of global consumption on the environment and biodiversity. Passionate about sustainable food systems, she is convinced that protecting the planet and our environment depends above all on a healthy, local, plant-based diet. What is Association végétarienne de France and what does the organization stand for?  Founded 25 years ago, Association Végétarienne de France (AVF), a non-profit, strictly non-religious and independent of political parties, is France’s leading …