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Alt-Dairy Startup New Culture Appoints ‘Hu’ Chocolate CEO Mark Ramadan to Board of Directors

Animal-free cheese startup New Culture announces it is appointing Mark Ramadan, the CEO of leading chocolate brand Hu, to its Board of Directors. 

According to New Culture, Ramadan’s appointment marks the company’s next step as it prepares for its first public tastings of animal-free mozzarella, in preparation for a US launch in 2024. 

“Mark’s experience in successfully launching and building iconic and mission-driven food companies makes him a perfect fit”

Ramadan is currently the CEO of Hu (pronounced “hue”), which is said to be America’s leading better-for-you chocolate brand. Imploring consumers to “Get Back to Human”,  Hu sells a range of dairy-free chocolate bars made from a strict list of simple ingredients. Many of Hu’s chocolates are vegan as well as paleo and refined sugar-free. 

Prior to Hu,  Mark was the co-founder and CEO of Sir Kensington’s, which produces a line of award-winning, elegantly-designed condiments, including several varieties of vegan mayo.

Hu Vegan Chocolate

“I’ve spent the past 12 years building brands and businesses that aim to improve the world through food, and I couldn’t be more energized by New Culture’s approach to doing just this,” said Ramadan. “My experience in food has taught me that the best way to help people make better choices for themselves and the planet is to ask for no sacrifice in the actual tasting experience. What New Culture is doing – making cow cheese without the cow – seems to be the best possible solution for giving all of us the delicious, melty cheese we want, while creating significantly less impact to our planet.”

Revolutionizing cheese

Founded in New Zealand, New Culture is making real cheese without cows through the process of precision fermentation. In 2021, the company raised $25M in an oversubscribed Series A round to develop the first animal-free cheese to melt and stretch like the real thing. 

A year later, New Culture revealed it was forming a strategic alliance with agribusiness giant ADM to accelerate the commercialization of alt-dairy foods. According to ADM, the partnership would include joint product development and scaling of New Culture’s animal-free casein and dairy.

new cultures's mozzarella cheese melting in an oven baked pizza on a plate
© New Culture

This year, New Culture is planning its first public tastings before launching into US pizzerias in 2024. 

“Proven track record”

“Mark’s experience in successfully launching and building iconic and mission-driven food companies makes him a perfect fit for our board, especially since we’re now gearing up for our own launch,” said Matt Gibson, co-founder and CEO of New Culture. “Our mission is to lead the global change to an animal-free dairy future and it is a testament to the team and what we have achieved so far that Mark is joining us to accelerate this mission.”

“Mark has a proven track record as a founder and entrepreneur, having scaled multiple innovative food businesses through to successful exits to global food enterprises,” said David Delfassy of Ahren Innovation Capital, one of New Culture’s board members.

New Culture Mozzarella Pizza
©New Culture

He continued, “Mark brings excellent experience in company building, early-stage financing, and commercialization through both food service and retail. I am delighted that Mark is joining the New Culture Board of Directors and I look forward to his contributions.”

>> Click here to go to Cultivated X where you will see a familiar layout and a focus solely on content regarding cellular agriculture, including fermentation-enabled products, and with more granular categories.

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