Investments & Finance

New Culture Secures Investment for its Animal-Free Mozzarella

New Culture has announced an undisclosed investment from Korean food and biotech giant CJ CheilJedang to advance its animal-free mozzarella at scale.   

“New Culture’s animal-free mozzarella will usher in a new era of bio-based innovations in the dairy category”

New Culture — which plans to launch its “melty, stretchy mozzarella” at pizzerias in 2023 — explains that the new investment will go towards product development and scale-up.

Founded in New Zealand but now based in San Leandro, California, New Culture creates animal-free mozzarella using microbial caseins produced via precision fermentation. The company claims its cheese alternative, made without cows, tastes and functions exactly like traditional dairy.

animal free mozzarella cheese being grated by a woman
© New Culture

“Invaluable experience and connections”

A leading food and biotechnology company and the world’s leading fermentation-based bio-products supplier, CJ CheilJedang is also a 25% market-share holder in the US frozen pizza market. In 2019, the company acquired Schwan’s Company (makers of Red Baron Frozen Pizza), the second-largest company in the US frozen food market. 

Global sales for frozen pizza were more than $16 billion in 2020 and are projected to top $23 billion by 2027, New Culture notes.

“CJ CheilJedang has invaluable experience and connections in the food and pizza industries that will provide New Culture with pivotal scale-up momentum as we push forward our go-to-market strategy,” said Matt Gibson, New Culture’s co-founder and CEO. “This partnership brings New Culture one step closer to being America’s favorite cheese, animal-free or not.”

animal free mozzarella product made by new culture
© New Culture

Significant partnerships

In 2021, New Culture raised $25 million in an oversubscribed Series A round led by Ahren Innovation and CPT Capital. Earlier this year, the company also announced a strategic partnership with ADM to accelerate the commercialization of animal-free cheese. As mentioned, New Culture plans to launch its animal-free mozzarella for the US food service market by 2023. 

“Our partnership with New Culture reinforces CJ CheilJedang’s alternative protein investment strategy and underscores the overwhelming demand for animal-free ingredients across the industry. New Culture’s animal-free mozzarella will usher in a new era of bio-based innovations in the dairy category,” said Yunil Hwang, CEO and BIO Business Unit of CJ CheilJedang. 

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