Henrik Hetzer, Loryma

Henrik Hetzer Managing Director Loryma GmbH ©Crepel&Deiters

Loryma: “It Continues to Inspire Me” – Interview With a Wheat Enthusiast

We talked to Henrik Hetzer about the future of plant-based food. As the managing director of Loryma, Hetzer says he is convinced that his company must continue to broaden the scope of its meat alternatives in order to maintain sustainability goals,  both for the business and the future of the planet. Loryma, a subsidiary of the Crespel & Deiters Group, specialises in the production of wheat proteins, wheat starches, extrudates and wheat-based functional blends, and is presently attending the IFT in Chicago for the first time, which takes place 10-13 July. Would you say that the food industry is in a state of great change? A predominantly plant-based diet was a fringe phenomenon just ten years ago. Back then, at a barbecue you’d be lucky …

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Matias Muchnick CEO - Notco

© NotCo

NotCo: “Our Dream as a Company is to Reinvent the Food Industry”

Neither NotCo, nor its young CEO Matías Muchnick will need much introduction for our readers in the plant-based business industry. NotCo has been causing a stir here since its very early days. And as our readers will know, this disruptor became the first Chilean Unicorn company last year in a funding round which included investors such as Lewis Hamilton and Roger Federer, valuing NotCo at $1.5 billion. Matías Muchnick went to Berkeley to learn entrepreneurship then also attended Stanford and Harvard to further his education in business leadership and innovation. During his studies, he recruited astrophysicist Karim Pichara, and Pablo Zamora, a researcher of genomic plants. Together the team created the famous AI platform Guisseppe and went on to establish The Not Company and secure …

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Neil Rankin © Symplicity Foods

Symplicity Foods: “Food Made by Nature is Always Better. Nature Does Things Better All Round”

Headed by Neil Rankin, the trained butcher and London steakhouse chef who switched to making 100% clean vegan meat; Symplicity Foods is a clean label food company that specialises in “helping chefs, home cooks, caterers and restaurants to reduce their reliance on meat”. Becoming increasingly concerned about sustainability, Rankin took the initial approach of trying to use every part of the animal when creating his food. Eventually became “disenchanted with the solution being meat-based” and turned his attention towards plant-based options, going on to form Symplicity Foods and supply products such as plant-based burgers, meatballs, mince and sauces with a focus on fermentation techniques. Just last month, Symplicity partnered with London’s Homeslice Pizza to open its very first vegan-only location, after the plant-based pizzas offered …

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Stephanie Michelsen

Stephanie Michelsen © Aqua Cultured Foods

Jellatech: Working to “Harness the Power of Cell Ag to Reduce the Dependency on Animal-Derived Proteins”

This Monday, New Carolina’s Jellatech announced a massive breakthrough, revealing what the company claims to be the “world’s first cell based collagen”. The news comes less than two years after Jellatech was born, and shortly follows the female-led team securing a strategic investment from Canada’s CULT Food Science. Founder and CEO Stephanie Michelsen and the Jellatech team gave us some deeper insights into the milestone and the next steps in the company’s journey ahead. What is the mission and vision of Jellatech? Our mission at Jellatech is to harness the power of cellular agriculture to reduce the dependency on animal-derived proteins. Our vision is to eliminate the world’s dependency on animal-derived ingredients – starting with collagen.  What differentiates collagen made by Jellatech from that of …

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Caroline Wilschut, Meatable

Caroline Wilschut © Meatable

Meatable: “Championing a New Way of Producing Meat Without Hurting Animals, People, or the Planet”

Netherlands-based Meatable is growing “real, tasty meat without harming animals or the planet,” stating, “It isn’t like meat, it is meat”. Last year the company raised $47 million in a Series A round, bringing the company’s total funding to $60 million, and this February hired cultivated meat industry leaders Hans Huistra as COO, Jef Pinxsteren as VP of Development, and Cees de Jong as Chairman of the Board. Caroline Wilschut, Director of Commerce & Strategy, is in charge of making sure that the finished products “are not only similar to the meat products that people already enjoy and know, they actually should taste better as our process is more sustainable and without harming any animals”. She is responsible for leading the commercial strategy for the …

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Aviv Wolff

Aviv Wolff ©Remilk

Remilk: “Driving Transformational Change Throughout the Dairy Industry”

Remilk has been hitting the headlines consistently in recent months: following a $120 million oversubscribed Series B round this January, the Israeli foodtech team announced plans to construct what will reportedly be the world’s largest full-scale precision fermentation facility in Denmark. If that wasn’t enough, just this month Remilk revealed a groundbreaking development in its journey, securing GRAS status and allowing the sale of its non-animal, real-dairy products in the USA. It was definitely time for us to catch up with CEO Aviv Wolff, who tells us all about plans for the future and why Remilk plans to work with dairy companies, not against them. Why did you start this company? I have always been enthralled with problem-solving, and distilling complex challenges into clear opportunities. …

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Chris & Sebastiano, ForGood

Chris Smalling & Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni

ForGood: “We Are Committed to Doing Everything in Our Power to End Animal Suffering”

When international footballer Chris Smalling, brand builder Rebecca Wheeler, and vegan investor Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni realized their values aligned, the three game-changers came together to launch ForGood, a new sustainability-focused VC consultancy with a global vision.  On the hunt for disruptive, high-growth business ideas working to address climate change, ForGood is a purpose-driven collective of investors committed to scaling ideas to build a better future. We spoke with all three ForGood founders to find out more about what drives them and what type of businesses catch their eye.  What is the original story behind ForGood VC consultancy? Rebecca: It all began when Chris and I met through my work at Library – working across campaigns for plant-based and purpose-driven food, drink, and lifestyle brands. We …

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Violife Le Rond Camembert

©Violife

Violife: “Continuing to Develop Flavors and Formats That Are First-of-their Kind in the Plant-Based Cheese Space”

Violife became part of the Upfield portfolio following the acquisition of Arivia in 2020, creating the largest plant-based consumer food products company in the world. Violife cheeses are available in more than 50 countries and are most widely available in the UK, US, and mainland Europe. We spoke with General Manager Andy Reichgut, who is responsible for building business in US retail and food service channels. Reichgut is a leader in the CPG industry joining Violife from Veggies Made Great®, bringing over twenty years of brand management experience from Mars, Reckitt Benckiser, and Pinnacle Foods.   What is the origin of Violife’s story and how has the brand evolved over the years? Violife was created as a dairy-free alternative to cheese by three friends in Greece …

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PLNT-tuna

© PLNT

PLNT: “We Believe That a Healthier Life and a Healthier Planet Are the Foundation For Our Future”

Developed and prepared by butchers in the Netherlands, PLNT is creating plant-based products especially for lovers of meat and fish. “Our butchers know exactly what we like in a good cut of meat or fish,” says the young brand, part of the Future Food Group. We caught up with the founders of PLNT, headed by Anton Bal, an experienced butcher and commercial director in the world of alt protein. Who is PLNT and what does the company stand for? PLNT is a relatively new brand with origin in the Netherlands. We offer delicious 100% plant-based successors for (future) flexitarians, who like meat & fish but consciously choose a day without it. Made of natural ingredients, full of the daily required nutrients, healthier and more sustainable. …

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Greg Erdei ©Lallemand Bio-ingredients

Lallemand Bio Ingredients: “We Provide High Value Yeast Ingredients to Key Players in the Plant-Based Marketplace”

Lallemand Bio-Ingredients, a yeast specialist based in Canada, follows a customer-centric strategy and strengthens its business relationships worldwide by visiting several expositions and summits. We spoke to Greg Erdei, Business Development Manager – Plant Based Nutrition, about customer relationships and yeast extracts that bring an umami taste profile to plant-based products. Who is Lallemand and what does the company stand for in the plant-based sector? Lallemand Bio-Ingredients (LBI) is first and foremost a customer orientated yeast company – we are a dedicated and loyal supporter of our customer base. Within the Savory segment, we provide high-value yeast-based ingredients to food and flavours producers – many of which are either key players or startups in the plant-based marketplace. What is Lallemand’s plant-based range? We develop, produce …

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Dear Bella Creamery founders

© Dear Bella Creamery

Dear Bella Creamery: “What We Hear Over and Over From Our Customers is, “I Cannot Believe This is Plant-Based!””

LA ice cream shop Dear Bella Creamery was founded by Taiwanese-Americans Alice Cherng and Belinda Wei in 2017 to “offer a limitless approach to plant-based ice cream and other frozen treats” and quickly became a hit in Hollywood amongst vegans and non-vegans alike, recently revealing expansion plans beginning with a new location in Costa Mesa. The best friend-founders recently announced that the entire line of plant-based ice cream, including flavors such as Mango Sticky Rice, Taiwanese Pineapple Cake, Sweet Red Bean, Passion Fruit Banana, and Matcha Soft Serve, is now available for US shipping nationwide as the business goes from strength to strength. It was time to catch up with Alica and Belinda to discuss all things vegan ice cream. Tell us about yourselves and …

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Let’s Plant Meat: “We Saw a 10X Jump in Daily Searches for “Vegan” and “Plant-Based Meat” in Thailand”

Thailand’s Let’s Plant Meat has been at the forefront of the burgeoning plant-based industry in the country since its inception, producing vegan meat alternatives such as burgers, mince, and katsu with locally grown ingredients.  A former winner of Future Food Asia’s Plant Protein award, Let’s Plant Meat products can be found in multiple retail locations across the country, at far lower prices than the imported alt meats of its rivals. With several multinationals now becoming prevalent in Thailand’s plant-based sector, vegconomist spoke with Smith Taweelerdniti, CEO of Let’s Plant Meat, to find out what comes next for the rapidly growing brand. Can you give us a brief background on your journey into the plant-based world? I am the Managing Director of Nithi Foods, a producer …

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Jan Bebber Ohly

Jan Bebber ©Ohly

Ohly: “We Aim to Delight Our Customers With Innovative & Functional Ingredients Solutions”

Ohly is one of the world’s leading suppliers of yeast-based ingredients and culinary powders for the global food, fermentation, human and animal health markets. Ohly offers a wide range of products such as yeast extracts, inactive dry yeast, yeast cell wall derivatives, probiotic yeast and autolysed yeast, based on baker’s, torula yeast and specialty powders.  We spoke with Jan Bebber, Global Platform Director – New Business, about the Hamburg-based ingredients specialist’s work in the plant-based sector. Please can you give us some background to the business? We are a part of the ABF Ingredients group, which focuses on high-value ingredients for food, pharmaceutical and industrial applications. Using state of the art research and application centres as well as factory linked pilot plants combined with a …

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björn_witte Blue Horizon

Bjöern Witte © Blue Horizon

Blue Horizon: “One of the Clear Leaders in Sustainable Food Investing”

Björn Witte is Managing Partner and CEO of Blue Horizon Corporation.  He was also a Co-Founder and acted as CEO of the LIVEKINDLY Collective. Björn talks to vegconomist about the future of protein and how Blue Horizon is on track to reach the 1 billion dollar mark in funding this year. Where does Blue Horizon currently stand, in terms of funding and number of investments etc? We had an intensive start to the new year. Especially in our seed portfolio we have been very active and have made some extremely exciting new seed investments. One of them, for example, is 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 …

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