Cedric Verstraeten revyve CEO

Cedric Verstraeten © revyve

revyve: “Our Animal-Free Ingredients Are All-Natural, Helping to Create the Delicious Food Experiences Consumers Crave”

revyve is a foodtech company that is unlocking the full potential of yeast, a timeless natural super ingredient, to produce high-performing texturizing ingredients. With sustainability as its norm, revyve is on a mission to reinvent the food industry with future-proof ingredients that deliver the delicious food experiences consumers crave. Clean-label revyve products mimic dairy and egg functionality in traditional and plant-based foods. “The secret to unlocking the perfect texture in food can be as simple and sustainable as upcycling brewer’s yeast. And we can help humanity in the process,” says the Netherlands-based ingredient innovator. We had a quick catch-up with CEO Cedric Verstraeten about the company, its purpose, and impressive capacity: “We will reach a production capacity of 300 tons by the end of this …


Insa Mohr, CEO of Mooji Meats

Insa Mohr, courtesy of Mooji Meats

Mooji Meats: “As Ribeyes Are Arguably the Most Popular Yet Intricate Meats, We Chose Them as Our Flagship Product”

Mooji Meats, a Harvard spinoff that has developed a premium plant-based ribeye steak with the aim of bringing meat alternatives to fine dining, was founded in 2022 and quickly saw success after participating in the Y Combinator accelerator program. Previously utilizing a 3d printing methodology, the startup has now developed a more natural process whereby its proprietary platform replicates muscle structure with plant fibers, claiming to offer the firmest texture and most authentic mouthfeel available. The plant-based steak is described as juicy with real marbling and connective tissues that mimic animal meat when cut. We spoke with CEO and founder Insa Mohr, who explains that European consumers are more open than Americans to trying plant-based meats, and that, in many ways, Mooji “is bridging the …


Daphna Heffetz, CEO, Wanda Fish

Daphna Heffetz CEO. Image credit Chen Galili

Wanda Fish: “Our Mission is to Supply a Delicious and Healthy Product That Will Also Do Good to Our Planet”

Wanda Fish Technologies is an Israeli food-tech startup producing cultivated fish products. Less than three years after it was founded, the company has just announced the successful development of its first whole-cut cultivated bluefin tuna prototype, toro sashimi. This progress has partly been made possible by Wanda Fish’s collaboration with Tufts University, which began in 2022 with the aim of accelerating the development of cultivated fish. The startup also raised $7 million in seed funding last year to scale the production of its cultivated bluefin tuna. CEO and co-founder Daphna Heffetz spoke to us about the challenges and benefits of cultivated seafood production, as well as the future potential of the technology. Can you introduce us to Wanda Fish? What was your motivation to start …


Robert Alber, Creavitalis

© Alzchem Group AG

Alzchem Group: “Creavitalis as a Versatile Ingredient Opens Many Options for the Plant-Based Food Industry”

Alzchem Group AG is the producer of Creavitalis®, the benchmark for a versatile ingredient called creatine monohydrate. Creavitalis® is a fine, tasteless powder that can be incorporated into food products such as meat and fish alternatives. If just 0.5 grams of the powder is added to 100 grams of plant-based meat, the creatine content will be equivalent to that of animal meat, according to the company. “The recommended daily dose for creatine is 3 grams a day, which corresponds approximately to a 700g steak! So, creatine supplementation makes a lot of sense for all low or no meat diets,” explains Robert Alber VP of Alzchem’s human nutrition unit. Creatine monohydrate is not classified as a novel food, as confirmed by the European Commission. As such, …


Rachel Dreskin, CEO of PBFA

Rachel Dreskin ©PBFA

PBFA: “The Plant-Based Foods Industry Represents an Opportunity to Re-Envision How We Feed the World”

The Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) is a pivotal organization in the plant-based food industry, founded with the mission to promote the expansion and acceptance of plant-based foods. Established in the United States, PBFA advocates for its members, which include plant-based food companies and affiliate organizations. Its primary goals are to improve conditions for plant-based food companies by working on policy initiatives, promoting plant-based products, and addressing regulatory issues that could impact the industry. PBFA also focuses on engagement with retailers and foodservice providers to enhance the distribution and availability of plant-based products, aiming to make them more accessible to consumers. This involves educational efforts and collaborations to improve the understanding of the benefits and potentials of plant-based diets. Rachel Dreskin, CEO of the PBFA …


Lukas Frei

Lukas Frei © Bühler

Bühler: “We Work Together to Create Solutions for Customers That Otherwise Wouldn’t Have Been Possible”

Bühler Group is a prominent Swiss company known for its advanced technology solutions for food processing and manufacturing. Founded in 1860 by Adolf Bühler in Uzwil, Switzerland, the company has grown to become a global leader in providing technologies for processing grains, rice, pasta, chocolate, and other foods. With its global presence, Bühler operates research and development centers and manufacturing sites around the world, serving customers in over 140 countries. We spoke with Lukas Frei who leads the market segment Alternative Proteins and Food Ingredients at Bühler. He is based at the headquarters in Uzwil, Switzerland. In what ways is Bühler innovating in the field of meat alternative processing technology? One of the main challenges in the industry has been the texture of the products. …


Alex Podcast episode 1

Investment Climate Podcast: Tim Fronzek of Nosh.bio Reveals the Secrets to Fundraising Success

In this new podcast series, co-produced by vegconomist, Alex Shandrovksy interviews investors about benchmarks for funding alt proteins in 2024 and uncovers the investment playbooks of successful Climate Tech CEOs and Leading VCs. Podcast Host Alex Shandrovksy is a strategic advisor to numerous global food tech accelerators and companies, including leaders in alternative proteins and cellular agriculture. His focus is on investor relations and post-raise scale for agrifood tech companies. Episode 01: Tim Fronzek, Nosh bio’s fundraising playbook In this first episode, Alex talks to Tim Fronzek from Nosh.bio to unlock the secrets to weathering the storm of fundraising in a tumultuous investment climate. As our esteemed guest, he unveils the narrative of his company’s gripping quest for seed funding against a backdrop of spiraling …


Doug Grant, CEO of Atlantic Fish Co

CEO Doug Grant © Atlantic Fish Co

Atlantic Fish Co: “We Want to Have Our Products in Restaurants All Over the United States and Beyond”

Based in North Carolina, Atlantic Fish Co has developed a proprietary technology to cultivate fish cells that can thrive in liquid suspension, focusing on high-performing cell lines of wild-caught species, such as halibut and sea bass, and using genetic engineering technology to grow the cells in bioreactors and providing them with nutrients for growth. Founded in 2020, the Atlantic Fish Co. recently unveiled what it claims is the world’s first cultivated black sea bass product, during a tasting at the North Carolina Food Innovation Lab. Speaking at the time, Doug Grant, CEO of Atlantic Fish Co. stated: “Developing the world’s first cultivated black sea bass is a win for our company and consumers who want sustainable, ethical seafood. We will provide seafood that is also …


Handtmann Steak 2.0

© Handtmann

Handtmann: “Interest in the Steak Was Overwhelming. We Hadn’t Expected Such Strong Demand”

Handtmann Maschinenfabrik GbH specialises in innovative filling and portioning systems. These technologies are widely used in the food industry, including in the production of plant-based sausage and meat products and other alternative products. Handtmann focuses on innovation in order to realise new product ideas as well as classic recipes with state-of-the-art technology. At Anuga FoodTec in Cologne, Handtmann presented its new moulding system, a new option for the production of formed and filled products. The moulding system offers flexibility both for free forming and for forming and separating vegetarian and vegan alternative products, among others. With the “Steak 2.0”, Handtmann also presented its latest product innovation in the area of plant-based meat alternatives at the trade fair. In his role as industry manager for alternative …


Yumasoy Gina Arsens

Gina Arsens - Courtesy of Yumasoy

Yumasoy: “I Embarked on a Mission to Put the Plant Back in Plant-Based Food”

Yumasoy is a Vancouver-based startup specializing in plant-based chicken alternatives called Om Noms. Led by founder Gina Arsens, previously CFO at Digital Supercluster, Yumasoy was established to improve the plant-based meal experience with products that are nutritious, convenient, and taste good. The company’s flagship product, Om Noms, is a line of chicken-style strips made with whole soybeans. In this interview with vegconomist, Arsens details the founding principles of Yumasoy, the development of Om Noms, and the company’s commitment to sustainability. She also discusses partnerships in the foodservice industry, and plans for expansion and product development. Can you give us an intro to Yumasoy and what inspired the company’s creation? When my family decided to increase the number of plant-based meals, I found the experience of …


Dr. Wolfgang Kühnl, CEO & owner, InFamily Foods Holding & co-founder of The Cultivated B

Dr. Wolfgang Kühnl, Co-founder ©The Cultivated B

The Cultivated B: “There Will Be No Sustainable Protein Future Without a Sustainable Business Model”

Dr Wolfgang Kühnl is the managing partner of Germany’s InFamily Foods Holding GmbH & Co. KG. The son of an entrepreneurial family, Dr Kühnl studied food technology and biotechnology at the Technical University of Munich and completed his doctorate at the Chair of Food Process Engineering and Dairy Technology. In 2011, Dr Wolfgang Kühnl joined his parents’ company H. Kemper GmbH & Co. KG, which he has managed as a managing partner since 2015. Since 2020, Dr Wolfgang Kühnl has been one of two Managing Partners of InFamily Foods Holding, which was formed from the merger with Reinert. The group of companies consists of The Family Butchers (animal protein products), The Plantly Butchers (plant-based protein products), and The Cultivated B (alternative protein sources). With The …


© Kern Tec

How Bauer and Kern Tec Turn Apricot Kernels into Plant-Based Milk

The private dairy Bauer launched a range of plant-based drinks, yogurt alternatives and puddings at the beginning of 2024 under the ZUM GLÜCK! brand. The products are based on ingredients made from apricot kernels, an upcycled product from fruit farming. Here, Privatmolkerei Bauer is cooperating with the Austrian startup Kern Tec, which has created an innovative ready-to-use solution for the food industry from previously unused fruit kernels. We spoke to Frank Mayerhofer (Director of Marketing & Innovation) and Sascha Leiser (Sales Director Brand) from Privatmolkerei Bauer as well as Michael Beitl (founder of Kern Tec) about the new brand, product development, and the successful collaboration. Why did Privatmolkerei Bauer decide to launch a vegan brand? How does this fit into the company’s long-term strategy in …


Dr Charli Kruse

Dr Charli Kruse © CellTec Systems

CellTec Systems: “Whether it is Slaughtered or Cultured Meat Will Probably Make No Difference to the Consumer in Terms of Sensory Experience”

The Lübeck-based company CellTec Systems sees itself as the first German full-service provider for industrial cell production. Anyone wanting to get into cellular agriculture can obtain all the building blocks for production here: Cells, nutrient solution, bioreactors, and even training and consultancy services. What makes the company, which is a spin-off of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the University of Lübeck, so special is its 25 years of expertise in cell cultivation. CellTec Systems has also developed a special bioreactor with hydrogel capsules designed to cover the immense space requirements of dividing cells. Professor Dr Charli Kruse, co-founder and scientific director of CellTec Systems, talks to us in an interview about why he describes his colleagues and himself as cell whisperers, how the patented reactor with hydrogel …


Birgit Dekkers & Willem Spigt of Rival Foods

Birgit Dekkers & Willem Spigt © Rival Foods

Rival Foods: “We Believe the Whole Cut Segment Will See a Similar Evolution as the Processed Plant-Based Meat Segment”

Rival Foods develops and uses new technologies to create next-generation plant-based whole-cuts with “unprecedented” size, texture, and juiciness. We speak with the Netherlands based company which has very recently signed a lease for its first production location and is preparing to begin production by June this year. Birgit Dekkers, co-founder and CEO of Rival Foods, graduated as a food scientist and undertook PhD research on Shear Cell technology at Wageningen University, before founding Rival Foods. Willem Spigt, CCO of Rival Foods, graduated with a degree in Law and before joining Rival Foods he brought Beyond Meat to Europe for his previous employer Zandbergen WFM. Could you elaborate on the Shear Cell technology developed by Rival Foods, and how it sets your plant-based whole-cuts apart in …


Marissa Bronfman Future Ocean Foods

Marissa Bronfman © Future Ocean Foods

Future Ocean Foods: “We See Innovation and Entrepreneurship as Main Drivers of Meaningful Change for Our Oceans”

Future Ocean Foods (FOF) was launched in November 2023 by Marissa Bronfman, serial entrepreneur and business advisor within the plant-based food space, with the aim of supporting and accelerating the alternative seafood industry worldwide. The organization currently represents a coalition of 36 pioneering companies from 14 countries, encompassing a range of technologies including plant-based, fermentation, and cultivated food and technology, united in a mission to promote food security, human health, environmental sustainability, and ocean conservation. It was a pleasure to catch up again with Marissa, who outlines some of the key areas in which FOF is working to create meaningful change. Change that we urgently need as our population increases to a catastrophic number of human beings while the population of our oceans hits crisis …


Michael Newton of Qorium

Michael Newton. © Qorium

Qorium: “Our Product Creates Consistent, Beautiful, and Easily Workable Leather”

Founded in 2014, Dutch biotech startup Qorium is developing cultivated leather to provide an ethical and sustainable alternative to animal leather with no compromises on performance. The company’s technology enables the development of leather alternatives with consistent quality and adjustable properties. The result is a premium material with dramatically reduced carbon emissions and waste compared to conventional leather. In 2021, Qorium raised €2.6 million to scale up its technology. The company then announced earlier this year that it had secured further funding as part of its journey towards commercial scale, and revealed it had appointed former Nike senior executive Michael Newton as CEO. We spoke to Newton to find out more about Qorium’s technology and its benefits. What challenges does Qorium face in terms of …


Sandy De Houwer, Cargill

Sandy De Houwer, image courtesy of Cargill

Cargill: “We Take the View That We Need All Forms of Protein on the Table”

Minneapolis headquartered agribusiness giant Cargill, the largest privately held company in the United States in terms of revenue, has been active in the plant-based and alternative protein space for several years. As a platform concerned solely with the plant- and cell- based business niche (not to say we are unconcerned as a team about well-documented issues of ethics or sustainability, but these are not the focus areas of this publication), that encourages the entrance of conventional protein producers into the production of plant-based meat, we are interested in reporting on such a company’s work in the space to keep our readers informed of the activities of key players. Some of said activities undertaken by Cargill in recent years include, in reverse chronological order: Signs commercial …


Roland Griesebner and Svenja Fritz of Oatly

Roland Griesebner and Svenja Fritz © Oatly

Oatly: “We Measure Ourselves as a Company by How Many Litres of Cow’s Milk We Can Replace with Oat Drink”

With the appointment of Roland Griesebner and Svenja Fritz as new managing directors for DACH & Poland, Oatly aims to continue its success story and drive both growth and innovation. Together, Griesebner and Fritz aim to accelerate the company’s expansion, strengthen relationships with retail partners, expand food service and out-of-home partnerships, and further strengthen the brand in DACH and Poland. Oatly is focusing on a sustainable growth strategy to strengthen its leading position in the DACH markets and Poland. Under the new management of Griesebner and Fritz, the company plans to further expand its presence in the region and develop new product categories. A special focus will also be placed on integrating the core business and sustainability goals in order to advance not only the …


Kirsten Strey, marketing director, Nomad Foods

© Nomad Foods

Nomad Foods: “The Development of the Plant-Based Area is Already in the Next Phase”

Nomad Foods (NOMD), Europe’s leading frozen food company and one of the largest in the world, holds a strong portfolio of leading and heritage brands, most prominently Birds Eye in the UK and Ireland, Iglo in Germany and other parts of Europe (having acquired the Iglo Group in 2015), and Findus in Switzerland, Italy, France, Sweden, and other Northern European countries. Kirsten Strey, Marketing Director, DACH, at Nomad Foods previously worked in various top FMCG brand companies and says that with having a family with two children she understands from personal experience the everyday challenge at the family dinner table. Here, Kirsten shares some interesting insights into the positioning of plant-based foods for the mainstream consumer; “The current discussion about plant-based nutrition is extremely linked …


Isabella Aldridge of Neat

Isabella Aldridge. Image supplied.

Neat: “We Aim to Make Neat a Globally Recognized Name Synonymous With Quality, Convenience, and Innovation in Plant-Based Dining”

Plant-based fast food chain Neat Burger has recently announced a rebrand, dropping “Burger” from its name to become simply Neat. The change heralds a new era for the brand, which will now shift its focus towards fresher, healthier dishes in line with evolving consumer demands. Launched in 2019, Neat has four locations in London along with international locations in Milan and New York City. Following the opening of the NYC restaurant last year, Neat reported that sales had beaten expectations, and the company subsequently raised $18 million in Series B funding. Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton is a long-time backer, and the chain has also previously received investment from Leonardo DiCaprio. Isabella Aldridge, Head of Brand & Marketing at Neat, told us more about the …