MYCO, Producer of Mushroom Protein Hooba, Appoints David Wood of VBites as New CEO Ahead of Expansion

Yorkshire, England-based MYCO, producer of a mushroom protein called Hooba, has appointed David Wood — most recently MD of VBites which sadly called in administrators last week — as new CEO as it enters its next stage of growth predicted to create 70 jobs in the region over the next three years.

“This company has huge potential, and extraordinary work is being done”

In his new role, Wood will oversee the launch of MYCO’s new sustainable food strategy at a new 20,000sq foot purpose-built site in North Yorkshire as the company ramps up production. “I’m thrilled to be joining MYCO, especially at such an exciting time in the company’s expansion,” comments Woods.

Hooba indistinguishable from meat in taste tests

Founded in 2016, the company was originally Hooba in its early iteration and now MYCO Holdings, specialising in protein from oyster mushrooms which the company says provide a distinct meaty flavour and texture.

“Unlike other plant-based proteins, oyster mushrooms are a complete protein, containing all nine amino acids. In fact, the quality of protein found in oyster mushrooms exceeds that of soy and rivals the protein content of real meat. But the protein power of mushrooms isn’t Hooba’s only nutritional benefit; oyster mushrooms are typically high in antioxidants, niacin, vitamin D, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, and folic acid,” MYCO explains on its website.

Walls vegan sausage roll

Hooba ingredient is leveraged by various producers of vegan and vegetarian alternatives “who use our mince to make delicious meat-free bangers, burgers, sausage rolls, bolognaise, lasagne and more”. For example, food giant Wall’s uses Hooba in its vegan snacks such as its vegan sausage roll. “With its meatier taste, it’s ideal for a healthier take on the sausage roll,” says MYCO, which claims that Hooba has been demonstrated as indistinguishable from animal meat in taste tests.

Huge potential

“This company has huge potential, and extraordinary work is being done here every single day to make a new generation of mouthwatering and sustainable plant-based products that make swapping out meat that bit easier for consumers,” says Wood, who brings 25 years of leadership experience from across the food industry to the new role.

Hooba protein burger by MYCO

“I was blown away by the vision and ethos at MYCO, and I couldn’t be more excited about the future and where the company is headed,” he adds.

The vertically farmed production unit that he will oversee is said to be the first of its kind in the UK. MYCO’s co-founder and chairman, John Shepherd, enthuses, “This is an exciting time for MYCO, and we know David is the right person to help us grow the business.

“His track record speaks for itself, and with decades of experience in the food sector – including sustainable food producers – he’s a perfect fit for what is a key role for MYCO. “We are all delighted he’s joined the business, and we can’t wait to see just how far we go in 2024.”

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