VlyFoods is on a mission to accelerate the transition from animal to plant proteins. Developed in a university lab, the VLY milk has 50% more protein than cow’s milk, no saturated fats and no carbs or sugar. It’s the first milk alternative that truly beats dairy milk in terms of macronutrients.
The VlyFoods milk is just the beginning, with significant research already done on the fermentation of pea protein in order to create a real quark alternative – again aiming for the highest health standards.
Nicolas, tell us a little bit more about how you started?
As a former athlete, magerquark was staple. I ate it every day and I loved it. Health and getting the most out of my body were a priority for me. But only much later, I realized the truth about dairy. My family leases farmland to dairy farmers. Seeing it firsthand was a game changer for me and I haven’t consumed dairy since. The further I dived into this problem – from studies showing the association with dairy and diseases to its enormous environmental impact (for instance 1L milk needs 1000L water) to ethics where I think no one truly agrees with what happens at dairy farms that produce the milk you can buy in supermarkets – my conviction only grew stronger and stronger.
Moritz, Niklas and I met up and started in the lab researching plant proteins for the past year. It’s been a tremendous discovery journey and when it comes to using plant proteins for dairy, there’s really no limit. After creating the first prototypes of the quark, we quickly realized that launching a chilled, short-shelf life product was not feasible given the large MOQs of co-packers. Hence, we started with the upstream product of the quark – the VLY milk.
How do you compete in the crowded milk market with strong players such as Oatly or Danone (Alpro)?
We love Oatly. What they’ve done for people to question their dairy consumption is truly amazing. What we add to the landscape is our extreme focus on health. Our product has 50% more protein than any other milk including cow’s milk but also all plant milks. That’s more than 5x of oat-based milk alternatives. When it comes to the impact of your breakfast on your blood sugar for instance, adding VLY milk to your muesli makes a huge difference. Studies show how advantageous adding a high-quality plant-based protein source such as pea protein is to alleviate blood sugar spikes that causes you to crash.
What makes your brand different from all the other plant-based companies?
As we are founded by nutritionist and a chef, we want to stand for the food that you want to eat every day. We believe that people deep down want to consume healthy food. And that’s want we offer. The healthiest dairy for every day.
Where do you see VlyFoods going?
We believe that dairy milk is not something we should consume, and we create that something that we should consume. We will innovate the whole range of dairy alternatives focusing on the healthy everyday product lines. Milk first. Quark & Yogurt second. To-go Milk Drinks third. Geographically, we are European at heart and will expand across Europe quickly. From there, it will be all about where the dairy problem is the largest – China, India, US, I guess we will see.
Are you currently seeking partners or investors, and if so, of which type or in what areas?
We are currently finalizing our pre-seed financing round and always love to speak to partners that can accelerate our vision. Specifically, mission-driven investors as well as co-packers are of our highest interest.
What are your next steps?
We are expanding our team – hiring a communication designer and social media talent – as well as expanding our soft launches in Berlin. Recently, we’ve successfully tested on industry pilot plants and now aim to sign a deal with a co-packer to bring VLY milk onto the shelves.