Footprint Coalition X Motif Foodworks

© Motif Foodworks

Robert Downey Jr.’s FootPrint Coalition Invests in Motif Foodworks For “New-to-the-World” Plant-Based Foods

Robert Downey Jr.’s FootPrint Coalition Ventures invests in Boston’s Motif Foodworks to create next gen plant-based foods “moving beyond animal mimicry” into new product categories, as the company simultaneously announces its launch into foodservice with its alt beef, pork and chicken. Motif states that the two companies will partner on the development of “new-to-the-world” plant-based food format, stating: “This includes moving beyond animal mimicry to create new product categories that provide consumers with healthier, better tasting plant-based options”. “If plant-based foods are going to make a real impact on sustainability, we need an approach that’s both delicious and nutritious,” said Robert Downey Jr., founder of FootPrint Coalition Ventures. “By focusing on both better tasting and healthier options, Motif is not only making a difference in …

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Mind Blown Seafood + Tom Colicchio

©Mind Blown Seafood Co.

Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio Joins Mind Blown Seafood as New Investor

Alt-seafood company Mind Blown Plant-Based Seafood announces TV host and celebrity chef Tom Colicchio is the company’s newest investor. An eight-time James Beard award recipient, restaurateur and host of Bravo’s Top Chef, Colicchio joins Chef Spike Mendelsohn in backing the fast-growing plant-based brand.  Founded and operated by women, Mind Blown is reinventing favorite seafood classics like shrimp, scallops, oysters, lobster and crab using natural ingredients without GMOs, soy, gluten, or palm oil. Its products are currently available in retail and foodservice across the US, including Publix Greenwise Markets.  In February, restaurateur and PLNT Burger co-founder Spike Mendelsohn made an investment in Mind Blown following a collaboration at a New Orleans pop-up, stating that the brand’s strong “focus on flavor” convinced him to become an investor.  …

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Fenty_Rihanna_Africa

© Fenty

Rihanna Announces Launch of Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin Across Africa

Fenty Beauty, the vegan cosmetics brand launched by music star Robyn Rihanna Fenty, debuted in 2017 across 17 countries to help “everyone feel beautiful and recognized, no matter their race, ethnicity, culture or personal style,” offers a wide range of products for all skin tones and skin types. In 2020, Rihanna launched Fenty Skin, another 100% vegan and cruelty-free line, bringing in a reported $100 million in sales in its first few weeks, as well as her first vegan leather fashion range called the ‘faux leather capsule’. Today the icon announces her plans to expand the Fenty brands into the African continent. Rihanna comments: “Every launch is exciting— we’re all about being reachable to everyone, everywhere. But launching across Africa in eight countries not only …

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James Cromwell Starbucks Protest NYC

©PETA

James Cromwell’s Starbucks Protest Sparks Global Conversation on Chain’s Plant-Based Milk Fees

In a widely publicized event, actor James Cromwell protested Starbucks on May 10 by supergluing his hand to a counter in one of the coffee chain’s NYC stores. Wearing an animal rights T-shirt, Cromwell and other activists demanded Starbucks end its long-standing practice of charging extra for plant-based milk options. The PETA-organized demonstration received worldwide media coverage, and provoked lively social media conversations about the fairness of Stabucks’ extra fees for non-dairy milk. The protest marks an escalation in pressure tactics by PETA, which has actively campaigned against Starbucks’ vegan milk policies in recent years. In April, music icon and PETA supporter Sir Paul McCartney wrote an open letter urging former Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson to drop the dairy-free surcharge at the company’s US locations. …

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©Gucci

VitroLabs Cultivated Leather Raises $46M from Fashion Giant Kering & Leonardo DiCaprio 

Luxury giant Kering has backed VitroLabs, a San Francisco startup developing cell-cultivated leather. The French fashion company, whose brands include Gucci and Saint Laurent, has participated in a $46 million funding round to accelerate VitroLabs’ commercialization. The Series A funding was led by Agronomics, the UK cellular agriculture investment group headed by billionaire philanthropist Jim Mellon, and also received funding from environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio amongst others. VitroLabs is a Bay-Area-based biotech company leading the development of a new scientific process to grow what it claims is the world’s first cellular cultivated animal leather. The funds will be used to accelerate commercialization for the biotech startup, including the building and scaling of pilot production. Global luxury group Kering, with assets of over €27 billion, will continue …

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Neat Food Co/ Burger Leonardo DiCaprio Invests

©Neat Burger

Leonardo DiCaprio Now an Investor in Lewis Hamilton’s Neat Food Co

The NEAT Food Co, the UK vegan fast food chain backed by Lewis Hamilton, reveals actor Leonardo DiCaprio has joined the group as a strategic investor. Bloomberg reports that NEAT’s most recent valuation is $100 million. Today, Thursday April 28th, NEAT is also initiating a $30M Series B funding round to accelerate its growth, according to the company’s press release. The news is part of an omnibus of major developments as the group embarks on an international expansion. According to NEAT, the Series B will primarily involve US investors, and funds will be used toward strengthening its CPG pipeline, new products, and expanding team hires.  Other company news: NEAT’s US expansion will begin in New York City, with its flagship Neat Burger store opening in …

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Hey Humans Personal Care Products

©Hey Humans

Jada Pinkett Smith’s “Hey Humans” Eco-Conscious Personal Care Line Debuts at Walgreens

Hey Humans, a 99% plastic-free personal care brand co-created by Jada Pinkett Smith, is expanding to 6,000 US Walgreens stores and will also ship nationwide on walgreens.com. Hey Humans sells a curated line of natural body washes, deodorants, and toothpaste made without parabens, phthalates or silicones.  Retailing between $6.99 for deodorant and $7.99 for body wash, the vegan and cruelty-free brand says entering Walgreens is an important part of the company’s vision to make clean-label personal care affordable for everyone. All of Hey Humans’ packaging is designed with easily recyclable materials, such as infinitely recyclable aluminum and FSC paper, that minimize the use of plastic. Its aluminum-free deodorant and body washes contain upcycled ingredients and are scented with oil blends such as Cedarwood Sage, Rosewater …

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Thomas Muller GREENFORCE

© GREENFORCE

Germany’s National Soccer Player Thomas Müller Invests in GREENFORCE

Germany’s GREENFORCE has brought another prominent investor on board. At the end of 2021, presenter Joko Winterscheidt and delicatessen king Michael Käfer were onboarded, as well as vegan strongman Patrik Baboumian who represents the brand in the UK. The startup now announces an investment from footballer Thomas Müller. Müller’s investment will predominantly serve to promote the growth of the climate-neutral company as well as to strengthen the future-oriented research and development centre in Munich. The soccer player, who like GREENFORCE is a native of Bavaria, states: “My favourite products are the Easy To Mix spreadable sausage and the fresh mini meatball, the taste is absolutely authentic,” he says. A trial supply of GREENFORCE products, ranging from meat, fish and egg to dairy alternatives, has been …

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OmniPork Luncheon meat

David Yeung ©OmniFoods

OmniFoods Celebrating Earth Day with Month of Planet-Friendly Partnerships

OmniFoods, makers of plant-based OmniPork products, is honoring Earth Day on April 22 with a month-long series of promotions and partnerships intended to bring awareness to climate change and food insecurity.  Providing free food Throughout April, the company will help donate plant-based meals through Support + Feed, an organization founded by Maggie Baird, mother of music stars Billie Eilish and Finneas. Support + Feed partners with local restaurants in US cities to provide communities in need with healthy vegan meals. OmniFoods will also continue to donate Omnipork products to Rethink Food, a nonprofit that serves Omnipork in culturally-relevant plant-based meals. At last week’s Vegan Women Summit, OmniPork and OmniSeafood were also featured on the event menu, with dishes prepared by Chef Whitt from the Voodoo …

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VWS Audience

©VWS

Vegan Women Summit 2022 Returns to Inspire Rising Women Leaders

The Vegan Women Summit (VWS) is returning to Los Angeles on April 8 for a full-day conference with top women business leaders, scientists and activists working to build a more compassionate and sustainable world. The sold-out event’s hosts will include vegan artist and entrepreneur Dominique Side, founder and CEO of multiple innovative ventures such as Vgn Bae Music Studios and The Luxury Vegan.   Empowering rising leaders Founded by Jennifer Stojkovic, VWS is an organization that seeks to educate, inspire and empower women to bring greater compassion to their industry and careers. Through media and popular events, VWS says it is building a strong and inclusive community of ambitious female leaders. The organization’s work is supported by a diverse array of founders, investors, CEO’s, athletes, and …

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Jennifer Stojkovic - VWS

©VWS/ Shan Hasan

Jennifer Stojkovic Launches First Book on Women in Food Tech: “The Future of Food is Female”

Jennifer Stojkovic, executive leader and founder of the Vegan Women Summit, announces the launch and tour of her new book, “The Future of Food is Female – Reinventing the Food System to Save the Planet.” The book is said to be the first to highlight the role of women CEOs, venture capitalists, scientists and entrepreneurs in the modern food tech industry.  Available April 5th in print and ebook versions, the book can be purchased worldwide through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers.  “The Future of Food” features a collection of insightful stories from 15 women leaders in animal-free food tech, including Heather Mills, Miyoko Schinner (Miyoko’s Creamery CEO), Suzy Amis Cameron (Author and investor), Pinky Cole (Slutty Vegan CEO), among many more.  Women changing …

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Christian and Sean 'O Sullivan Taste the Future

©SOSV

Leading Startups Gather at “Taste the Future” to Showcase the Best in Alt-Protein

On March 24th, over 100 guests from journalism, finance and the alt-protein industry gathered at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills for Taste the Future: an exclusive culinary experience showcasing some of the best innovations in animal-free protein. Organized by SOSV and Apeiron Investment Group, the event featured host appearances by Paul Wesley, Liam Payne and The Good Food Institute.  Eight food companies – Abbot’s Butcher, Grounded, Perfect Day, The Every Company, NotCo, Impossible Foods, Formo and California Cultured – representing plant-based, cultivated and fermented proteins, were present to offer unique dishes prepared by famed chef Matthew Kenney.  The menu’s signature entrees included:  Grounded Grilled Cheese on Sourdough Perfect Day Animal-Free Soft Cheese Ravioli Abbot’s Butcher Beef & Chorizo Tacos  Questlove’s Impossible Cheesesteak NotCo NotBurger …

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shoe startup Hylo

© Hylo

Ex Pro Footballer Raises £2.5M to “Change the Future of Sportswear” With New Brand Hylo

UK-based shoe startup Hylo has secured £2.5 million ($3.2 million) in a Series A funding round for low carbon, vegan sports shoes which are sold DTC to consumers in the UK and USA. According to Hylo, its vegan-friendly sneakers have a 52% lower carbon footprint than regular running shoes. The sneakers are made entirely with renewable, recyclable ingredients such as natural rubber, cotton, algae, and corn fibre. Hylo was co-founded by Michael Doughty — a former professional soccer player who played for Queens Park Rangers and Swindon — alongside Jacob Green and John Prescott. The round was led by Eka Ventures with participation from Redrice Ventures and angel investors including England footballer Patrick Bamford, and the fresh funds will be invested in the development of …

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Plant Pub burger

©PlantPub

PlantPub and Matthew Kenney to Open World’s Largest Vegan Sports Bar in Boston

PlantPub, a 100% plant-based sports bar, is to open a new 8,000 sq. ft. location in Boston, MA this spring, as a collaboration between celebrity chef Matthew Kenney and PlantPub’s co-owners, including prolific vegan investor Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni. Speaking to vegconomist today, Cossia Castiglioni commented: “We created PlantPub with Pat McAuley back in 2019. Based on a pop-up concept he had tested, we agreed that serving excellent vegan pub food in Boston would be a great idea. Then we were lucky to sign up Wonder Chef Mary Dumont. We opened in Cambridge, and immediately after Matthew Kenney (we are partners in all of his ventures) asked me to join us and expand. And here we are!” The Boston Globe states that, upon opening, the 250+ …

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Oxfordshire to host vegan council meetings

Councillor Ian Middleton. Image: Facebook

Oxfordshire to Host All-Vegan Council Meetings Despite Jeremy Clarkson Protest

Oxfordshire is to become the first county in the UK to host entirely vegan council meetings and events. The county council voted in favour of the measure, which was proposed for sustainability reasons. Plant-based options will also be added to the menu at 14% of schools in the county on some days of the week, though conventional meals will remain available. The initiative is timely — a recent study found that 69% of UK parents are in favour of offering more vegan options in schools. Research also suggests that a huge percentage of younger people in the country are limiting their meat consumption. Backlash from farmers TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson, who runs a local farm as featured on his show Clarkson’s Farm, joined other farmers …

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