Expo West 2022 Outdoor Event

©Natural Products Expo West

Food & Beverage

Expo West 2022 Recap – The Top 8 Plant-Based Innovations

Natural Products Expo West, the world’s largest natural and organic trade show, successfully held its first in-person event after a two-year hiatus last week, from March 8-12. The highly anticipated show attracted more than 2,700 exhibitors and 57,000 industry attendees to Anaheim, CA to make personal connections, attend keynote talks and discover the latest innovations in natural food, beverages and ingredients.  Vegconomist was on-site seeking out the most interesting, creative and groundbreaking animal-free products and brands. From realistic vegan bacon and sushi to indulgent pizzas and mochi ice cream, this year’s plant-rich offerings did not disappoint. Out of dozens of exciting new products, we’ve selected eight particularly noteworthy innovations, along with full photo galleries of our favorite finds.  1. Gluten-Free Breaded Chicken – Daring Daring, …



© Current Foods

Products & Launches

Kuleana Rebrands to Current Foods, Launches Sushi-Grade Vegan Seafood for D2C Market

Kuleana, the “Impossible Foods of seafood”, has revealed it is changing its name to Current Foods. The announcement has been made as the company launches its sushi-grade vegan seafood for the direct-to-consumer market. Current Foods has now opened its early access waitlist for consumers who are looking to buy its plant-based tuna and salmon. The products had previously only been available for foodservice, served at outlets such as Erewhon Market, Poké Bar, Blue Sushi Sake Grill, and Matthew Kenney Cuisine. The sushi-grade vegan seafood is made with ingredients such as radish, peas, bamboo, and algae. Current claims it is the first plant-based seafood to have comparable taste, texture, and nutritional value to the conventional variety. “Since we began our company journey 3 years ago, our …


Jacek Prus Kuleana

Jacek Prus ©Kuleana


Kuleana: “Alternative Seafood is a Sleeping Giant, and We Have the Product and the Team to Put it On the Map”

Next-gen seafood company Kuleana has enjoyed a wave of recent success as alt seafood continues at the forefront of consumer minds, investor interest, and innovation. The young San Francisco brand recently launched its plant-based tuna into Poké Bar restaurants across North America and was even named semifinalists of the XPRIZE Foundation Challenge. “We’re creating #thenewschooloffish” Kuleana takes its name from the Hawaiian word for taking responsibility for balancing what we give and take from the earth and honors it by producing sustainable, plant-based seafood in the US. It entered the US seafood market at the perfect time, just last September, with its debut product being a raw tuna, as part of its mission to “create next generation seafood with plants and biotechnology.” We were fascinated …



Image courtesy of XPrize

Startups, Accelerators & Incubators

Umiami and BlueNalu Announced Among Semifinalists of XPRIZE Foundation Challenge – Feed the Next Billion

28 alt protein innovators from 14 countries have been announced as semifinalists for the next XPRIZE Foundation Challenge – Feed the Next Billion. The multi-year $15 million competition is aimed at reinventing how humanity will feed future generations. The semifinalist list reads like a “who’s-who” of the plant-based, cell-based, and fermentation-based alt protein sphere, as the startups compete to create a winning structured chicken breast or fish fillet analog that replicates or outperforms their animal-based counterparts. Fresh after its €2.3 million funding raise, French private label plant-based meat and fish specialist Umiami was selected, hoping to use its proprietary technology to convince the competition’s panel of judges with its technical submission. Cell-cultured fish pioneer BlueNalu has also been selected, with plans to enter a cell-cultured …


Kuleana tuna

Plant-based Tuna/ Image courtesy of Kuleana

Gastronomy & Food Service

Kuleana Forms Alliance With Poké Bar to Expand Vegan Tuna Across the US

Following a $6M seed investment, US seafood company Kuleana announces the official launch of its plant-based tuna in Poké Bar restaurants across North America. Based in San Francisco, Kuleana is a food technology company with a mission to recreate nutrient-rich, tasty and sustainable seafood from plants. Investors include Astanor Ventures, Y-Combinator GoodSeedVentures and Cruise founder Kyle Vogt and Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian. Kuleana reports that the vegan tuna product is being served at several Michelin-rated restaurants throughout California, and is winning hundreds of blind taste tests in San Francisco and Los Angeles. “Our priority is to serve delicious, plant-based tuna that doesn’t sacrifice when it comes to environmental and social responsibility, and is, of course, an uncompromising dining experience,” says Jacek Prus, co-founder and CEO …


Future Food TP21

© Rethink Events Ltd

Fairs & Events

Meet the Current Crop of Alt Protein Talent at the Future Food-Tech Summit

Around 150 trailblazing alt protein companies will join the virtual audience at the Future Food-Tech Alternative Proteins summit on June 22-23. The summit aims to bring together food brands, retailers, ingredient manufacturers, tech providers, and investors for two days of online networking to accelerate the future of alt protein. “We’re delighted to showcase the most exciting emerging talent and fresh solutions within the alternative protein space” Here we list the exciting crop of talented alt protein early and mid-stage companies from around the globe featuring at the event, including numerous vegconomist favourites such as Umiami, NotCo, Next Meats, Planted, Zrou, and Because, Animals. Aqua Cultured Foods (USA)  Seafood fermentation specialist that has created the first whole-cut seafood alternative using its proprietary strain of fungi. Better …




Startups, Accelerators & Incubators

Kuleana: Impossible Foods of Seafood Enters $159B US Seafood Market With Plant-Based Raw Tuna

Plant-based seafood startup Kuleana enters the US seafood market, which is estimated at $159B according to Allied Market Research. The first product from the seafood specialist is raw tuna, which is the initial step for the company on its way to “create next generation seafood with plants and biotechnology.”