Umami United

© Umami United

Investments & Finance

Japanese Government Backs Alt Protein Innovators with Millions for Plant-Based Eggs and Cultivated Meat

The Japanese government has awarded $27.7 million in funding to two alternative protein startups: Umami United, a producer of plant-based eggs, and IntegriCulture, a cultivated meat biotechnology company, to support the nation’s economy and enhance food security. The Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Innovation Promotion Fund Project organized by Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries selected the startups. Since 2020, the Ministry of Agriculture has established a plan to diversify protein sources, labeling alternative proteins an important sector, which includes cultivated meat. Japan ranks as the second-largest market size for meat alternatives, valued at USD 247.5 million, according to the latest Food Frontier report on alternative proteins in Asia. However, its projected growth rate of 9% (CAGR 2022–27) is relatively low. This slower growth is driven by …


karana-japan launch


Market & Trends

Japan: Demand for Healthy Alternatives to Animal Products Fuels Vegan Food Market

While still considered a niche market compared to European countries, growing awareness of health and wellness and sustainability concerns are driving the growth of the vegan food market in Japan. The Japanese vegan food market is projected to exhibit a growth rate (CAGR) of 11.2% during 2023-2028, according to the IMARC Group, a leading US market research company. Although Japanese cuisine is already considered healthy, Japanese consumers seek healthier options for animal products to improve their well-being and prevent lifestyle-related health issues, according to IMARC Group. Plant-based diets are associated with various health benefits, including reduced risk of chronic diseases, weight management, and slowing the aging process. To cater to these consumers, long-established companies, such as the miso producer Marukome and the brown rice company …


Umami United has partnered with KENKO to co-develop a new plant-based egg salad.


Egg Alternatives

Umami United Partners with Japanese Giant KENKO Mayonnaise to Introduce Plant-Based Egg Salad

Plant-based egg producer Umami United has partnered with one of Japan’s biggest food manufacturers, KENKO Mayonnaise Co Ltd (KENKO), to co-develop a new plant-based egg salad for the ready-to-eat category — the Marude Tamago Salad.  The salad is the latest launch of KENKO’s new plant-based food brand, HAPPY!! with VEGE. Entirely vegan, it features Umami United’s realistic plant-based eggs and egg-free mayonnaise. It is described as a delicious and versatile plant-based option that can be paired with bread or vegetables. KENKO, known in the country for its mayonnaises, dressings, sauces, processed egg products, and long-life salads for food service, has expanded into the plant-based category in response to the “changing needs and expectations of the times.” With HAPPY!! with VEGE, the company offers meat, dairy, and egg alternatives and plant-based salads. Eggs that everyone …


Konscious Plant-Based Sushi

© Konscious Foods

Market & Trends

Navigating Turbulence: 8 Plant-Based Brands Riding the Crest, Not Weathering the Storm

While some brands are struggling in the current economic climate (both plant-based and conventional), many are not just surviving but thriving, expanding into new markets and raising large sums of funding. Here, we take a look at some of the biggest industry success stories of 2023. Konscious Foods Canada’s Konscious Foods raised $26 million in seed funding at the beginning of this month, with the aim of making its plant-based seafood more widely accessible. The company now plans to launch at over 4,500 more stores across North America by the end of the year, while also expanding into more food service locations. The seafood alternatives are already available at all Whole Foods locations US-wide, and one investor says it expects Konscious Foods to “transform plant-based …


Umami United raises funds to develop an egg white replacer for bakery and confectionary applications

Image courtesy of Umami United

Investments & Finance

Umami United Secures Funds to Develop Egg White Replacer, Bringing Total Raised to JPY 240M

Japanese food tech company Umami United announces the closure of a Pre-Series A round as Japanese interest in egg alternatives continues to thrive. The round was led by Beyond Next Ventures, a VC supporting early-stage entrepreneurs across Japan and India. Genesia Ventures, a Tokyo-based investor focusing on sustainability, also backed the food tech in this round. The total investment that Umami United has received to date is JPY 240 million. Headquartered in Singapore, Umami United develops plant-based eggs for the food industry. The company claims its product replicates the sensory attributes and functionalities of eggs, offering multiple applications for prepared foods and confectionery goods. With the new capital, the company will increase its R&D capabilities to develop an egg white replacer for the bakery and confectionery …