Herbivorous Butcher

©Herbivorous Butcher

The Herbivorous Butcher: “Learn Everything You Can About Your Product and Stand Behind It”

The Herbivorous Butcher of Minneapolis consists of Kale and Aubry Walch who together have operated one of the very first fully plant-based butcher shops since way before plant-based was in its current incarnation, running popups and farmers market stalls from 2014 and opening the first brick-and-mortar in 2016. The brother and sister duo became known to many of us outside of the USA when in 2021 they won the rights to use the phrase “vegan butcher” following a court battle with Nestle, thus gaining worldwide press coverage and a place in the hearts of vegans, especially in their home state where THB has gone from strength to strength, going on to found an animal sanctuary as well as a vegan fried chicken concept, Herbie Butcher’s …

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björn_witte Blue Horizon

Bjöern Witte © Blue Horizon

Blue Horizon: “The Wave of Innovation That Will Be Rolling Towards Us in the Coming Years is Huge”

Bjoern Witte, Managing Partner and CEO of Blue Horizon, gives his insights into the world of alternative protein investments, the company’s plans for 2023, and his thoughts as to the future of the category. What does your current portfolio look like; in which new companies did you invest in 2022? We see a lot of very innovative companies that we source through our Seed portfolio which sort of acts like our finger on the pulse of the industry. One example of a new company we invested in this year would be Arkeon, an Austrian company that produces proteins from carbon dioxide. Arkeon’s technology makes it possible to convert CO2 directly into all 20 amino acids that are essential for human nutrition. At the same time, …

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Meatless Farm

Morten Toft Bech. © Meatless Farm

Meatless Farm: “We’re in the Midst of a Mainstream Global Shift Towards More Plant-Based Eating”

It’s been a huge year for Meatless Farm. The UK-based alt meat brand has gone from strength to strength in 2022, from launching innovative plant-based whole cuts such as steak and chicken breast to announcing major food service partnerships. Earlier in the year, Meatless Farm helped cocktail restaurant The Alchemist make its menu almost 50% vegan and enabled London fried chicken brand Mother Clucker to offer plant-based versions of every one of its menu items. Meatless Farm products can now be found at all major supermarket chains in the UK, and the brand’s success isn’t limited to its home country — its product portfolio is available across four continents and numerous markets, including Europe, the US, Canada, Asia, and Latin America. Founder Morten Toft Bech …

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Rob Brice Crave

Rob Brice © Crave

Crave: “We Have Been the Fastest-Selling of All the Next Big Thing Winners”

This week on UK’s Channel 4 show Aldi’s Next Big Thing, Rob Brice, founder of vegan snack brand Crave, impressed the judges with his veganised versions of British crisp classics. The win secured Rob a retail listing as well as a place in the heart of UK audiences. Crave’s Pickled Onion Monster Feet and Smokey Flavoured Streakers are available on ALDI shelves as of this week. “It goes to show that vegan and free-from can be mainstream,” said Brice upon the win this week. We had to catch up with Rob to find out more! Tell us more about the story behind your vegan snack brand – what made you decide to veganise these British classics? We are all about FOMO (fear of missing out) …

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Stray Dog Capital

Johnny Ream. © Stray Dog Capital

Stray Dog Capital: “Our Portfolio Companies Produce 98% Fewer Farm Emissions Compared to the Meat Industry”

Stray Dog Capital is a venture capital fund with a focus on companies making the food system more ethical and sustainable. The fund’s impressive portfolio spans plant-based, cultivated, and precision fermentation companies, including notable names such as Miyoko’s Creamery, Good Catch, and Aleph Farms. As a frontrunner in alt protein and biotech investments, Stray Dog recognises that it is becoming ever more challenging to make investment decisions, as these sectors continue to rapidly expand. Partner Johnny Ream spoke to us about how the fund will respond to the increased competition and what the future holds. Tell us about your investment approach at Stray Dog Capital. At Stray Dog Capital, we focus on investing in innovative, early-stage companies across the food and beverage and biotechnology sectors …

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Revo Foods

CEO Robin Simsa © Revo Foods

Revo Foods: “In Five Years, Revo Will Be the Leading Provider of Plant-Based Seafood in the World”

It’s been a successful year for Revo Foods, the Austrian pioneer of 3D-printed plant-based seafood. Just a year after launching its first product, a salmon alternative described by one taster as “almost too perfect”, the company has a four-strong range that includes two market firsts. Revo’s products are now available in over 20 countries Europe-wide, including France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and the UK. The company also recently announced it would be collaborating with Mycorena to develop a mycoprotein suitable for 3D printing — a move that could create “a whole new realistic meat-like product segment”. We spoke to Revo CEO Robin Simsa to find out more. What is the story behind Revo Foods? Revo Foods was founded by Robin Simsa, Theresa Rothenbücher, and Manuel Lachmayr …

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Happy Ocean Foods founders

©Happy Ocean Foods

Happy Ocean Foods “Crowdinvesting to Give Private Investors the Chance to Be Part of Our Success Story”

Munich-based Happy Ocean Foods, which specialises in plant-based seafood with a current focus on vegan shrimp, announces a crowdinvesing campaign which goes live today, 15th November. The young startup enjoyed recent success on The Lion’s Den – the German version of the show known as Shark Tank in the US and Dragon’s Den in the UK — receiving investment from two judges including former Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg.  The company was also recently named as one of the hottest food startups not to be overlooked in 2022 in the Food & Beverage Innovators Rising Stars 2022 report.  Without further ado, Co-founder Robin Drummond is here to tell all about the new campaign and plans for the future. Please introduce your brand Happy Ocean …

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Esencia Founders

© Esencia Foods

Esencia Foods: “The First Company in Europe to Produce Alt Seafood Based on Mycelium”

Headed by Scientist and Chef Bruno Scocozza, and ‘Mercenary turned Missionary’ Hendrik Kaye; Berlin’s Esencia Foods says it is “building the fish and seafood alternatives of the future based on mushroom mycelium”. We caught up with Bruno and Hendrik to find out about their plans to feed the world with with mushroom roots. Please introduce yourself and Esencia Foods to our readers Henrik: Esencia Foods is the first company in Europe to produce alternatives to seafood based on mushroom mycelium, using solid-state fermentation. Our mission is to promote the global transition to sustainable ocean stewardship – without asking consumers to compromise on taste, texture or price. What inspired you to start a company?  Henrik: A Dutch researcher said, “Humanity needs to produce more food in …

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Bel Brands Interview

©Bel Brands

Bel Brands USA: “There is a Tremendous Opportunity in the Plant-Based Cheese Space”

Bel Brands USA is the US subsidiary of Bel Group, the world’s third-largest branded cheese company and a leader in single-serve cheese products. In 2020, Bel Group announced bold plans to create plant-based versions for each of its core brands, including Boursin, Babybel and The Laughing Cow. Soon after, Boursin Dairy-Free debuted to great fanfare on the US market, followed by the launch of Babybel Plant Based and Bel’s first plant-based cheese line, Nurishh.  According to the company, its 150 years of cheesemaking experience sets it far above the competition, and it intends to continue leveraging this knowledge to transform the plant-based cheese market. We spoke to Shannon Maher, Chief Marketing Officer of Bel Brands USA, about the company’s exciting cheese innovations, the upcoming launch …

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Kinga Wojcicka- Swiderska

Kinga Wojcicka- Swide rska © Informa Markets

Informa Markets: “The Speed at Which Manufacturers Are Launching New Plant-Based Products is Breathtaking”

Of all the current trends in the food industry, the boom in plant-based raw materials and products is certainly the one that is most profoundly changing the industry and the offerings on shelves. Following the presentation of the Fi Global insights Plant-based Report 2022, Peter Link spoke to Kinga Wojcicka-Swiderska, Head of Content – Food, Informa Markets, about this megatrend and the opportunities and challenges it presents. Peter Link: Kinga you have an excellent all-around view of the food and ingredients industry worldwide. What distinguishes the trend towards plant-based foods and ingredients from all the other trends we have seen in the industry over the past few years? Kinga Wojcicka-Swiderska: This is a trend that is here to stay and it will become mainstream, because …

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Glebe Farm

Philip Rayner ©Glebe Farm Foods

Glebe Farm Foods: “We Have Big Plans to Redefine the UK Plant Milk Market”

Glebe Farm says it has always prided itself on being the only UK company to produce gluten-free oat milk from scratch. Now, the brand is looking to shake up the UK plant milk market by encouraging a shift away from imported products. A recent poll by Glebe found that 34% of consumers don’t know where their oat milk comes from, despite 70% believing it is important to be aware of the origins of food and drink. “THE BIG PLANT MILK CON: Yes we said it…Big oat milk names = big, hefty food miles. When we CAN grow oats in the UK why import from overseas? Support real British farming and legit sustainability.” Glebe Farm on LinkedIn Respondents strongly supported labelling plant milks with their origin, …

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Chef Spike Mendelsohn

Spike Mendelsohn ©Eat the Change

Eat the Change: “There is Endless Potential When it Comes to Innovation and Plant-Based Diets”

Founded by Chef Spike Mendelsohn, founder of PLNT Burger, along with Seth Goldman of Beyond Meat, Eat the Change is on a mission to create nutrient-dense snacks that are better for the planet and aligned with consumers’ health goals. After initially launching ultra-sustainable mushroom jerky, Eat the Change has continued to innovate with other healthy snacks, besides supporting other plant-based brands via grants. Now, the company is turning its attention to the beverage industry. Co-founder Spike Mendelsohn is well-known for finishing in the top five on TV show Top Chef. He is a television personality, product developer, cookbook author, SNAP program advocate, chef, and restaurateur. We spoke to him to find out more about Eat the Change and making plant-based foods appealing. What is the …

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Nil Zacharias headshot

Nil Zacharias ©Plantega

Plantega: “Our Approach to Disrupting Existing Structures Within the Food System is to Focus on Empowerment”

Across New York City, Plantega is making plant-based meat, cheese and egg products more approachable, affordable, and accessible through a unique concept of in-store deli marketing. Led by founder Nil Zacharias, Plantega has partnered with top brands such as JUST Egg, Beyond Meat, Good Catch, Miyoko’s Creamery and more to bring healthier, 100% plant-based foods to NYC’s iconic bodegas. Through its visionary efforts, Plantega is helping brands grow product trial and distribution while working to overcome the core challenges of cost, taste and convenience that prevent widespread adoption of plant-based foods.  Nil Zacharias spoke with vegconomist about Plantega’s business model, special insights, building community-powered food systems and more. Tell us about Plantega. Plantega is on a mission to make plant-based food easier to access everywhere. …

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Darko Mandich

Darko Mandich © MeliBio

MeliBio: “I Dream of MeliBio Becoming One of the Most Influential Food Companies Driving Innovation”

MeliBio is giving bees a break from honey production. This Oakland, California company, headed by Serbian CEO Darko Mandich, has been in the vegconomist news feed regularly since early 2021 and is busy with its mission to provide a 1:1 replacement for bee-made honey. After MeliBio’s initial raise, the company revealed what it claims to be the world’s first real honey made without bees as a plant-based ingredient for B2B customers and food service, in October of last year. In March of 2022, MeliBio secured a further $5.7 million to commercialize its first line of bee-free honey. Since then it has begun partnering with fine dining restaurants, including the world-famous Eleven Madison Park. We were overdue a chat with Darko to find out more about …

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Phil and Maria of Simplifyber

Image credit: Mofield_John © Simplifyber

Simplifyber: “We are Fundamentally Changing the Entire Process of Making Shoes and Clothes”

Simplifyber does not create normal apparel. The clothes and shoes made by this New York brand are not only 3d printed and “created in a lab, not in a factory”, but are also 100% biodegradable. It’s a fascinating area of innovation, bearing in mind that the fashion industry is the third most polluting industry, responsible for more CO2 emissions than the shipping and the aviation industry combined, and one which brought Simplifibyer an initial swell of interest from investors to the tune of multiple millions this summer. We were excited for the opportunity to speak with CEO Maria Intscher-Owrang, whose 20+ year career as a fashion designer and director includes periods at leading fashion houses, including Vera Wang, Calvin Klein, and Alexander McQueen. What is …

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