Martin Habfast, cofounder of Umiami

Martin Habfast © Umiami

Interviews

Umiami: “We’re the First Company Worldwide That Can Create a True Whole-Muscle Chicken Breast at Scale”

Umiami‘s story is nothing short of a phenomenon, one that we have been following closely since its beginnings in 2020. Along with La Vie, Umiami is effecting a successful plant-based business ecosystem in its home country of France, continuing to go from strength to strength and creating 70+ jobs following the acquisition of a former Unilever production facility. Such is the popularity of Umiami’s unique plant-based chick*n whole cuts. Just this month, the startup secured €32.5 million in a Series A, bringing the overall capital raised to an impressive €100 million in just three years, with plans to further expand in France and accelerate the distribution of its products in Europe, and outlining an expansion into the US. We spoke with Co-founder Martin Habfast hot …

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Umiami has recently secured €32.5 million in funding in a Series A round, bringing its overall capital raised to an impressive €100 million in just three years.

© Umiami

Investments & Finance

Umiami Hits €100 Million Capital Milestone, Supporting Expansion into US Market

French startup Umiami, an innovator in the plant-based whole cut category, has recently secured €32.5 million in a Series A round, bringing its funding to €59 million and its overall capital raised to an impressive €100 million in just three years. With the new capital, Umiami aims to become a leader in the plant-based meat market with its whole cuts and clean-label alternatives. The company announced plans to further expand in France and accelerate the distribution of its products in Europe. Moreover, the company has outlined plans for a US market expansion, with the appointment of John Hatto, an experienced FMCG executive, as the new managing director. Renewed trust from investors The new round was led by Bpifrance-managed funds Sociétés de Projets Industriels Fund (SPI) and French Tech Seed. …

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Umiami whole cuts in pan

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Products & Launches

Umiami’s Plant-Based Fillets to Arrive in Swiss Stores Through FFF Fresh & Frozen Food Partnership

Umiami, the French plant-based food tech brand, is set to grace the shelves of 165 Coop stores across Switzerland with its 100% vegan chicken fillet. This milestone comes as a result of a strategic partnership with FFF Fresh & Frozen Food, a Swiss distribution specialist.  Umiami’s journey began in 2020, founded by Tristan Maurel, Martin Habfast, and Clémence Pedraza. The company’s cutting-edge umisation technology led to the creation of plant-based chicken fillets, and it is currently developing new recipes, which it plans to launch in 2024. This product has under ten ingredients and is free from texturing agents or methylcellulose, but the company claims it still perfectly mimics meat in taste, texture, and appearance. Founder and CEO of Umiami, Maurel, comments on the milestone, “It’s …

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Tristan & Martin, Umiami founders

Founders Tristan & Martin © Umiami

Company News

Plant-Based Thriving in France as Umiami Recruits 70+ Staff For Ex Unilever Facility

France’s Umiami, specialist in plant-based whole-cuts, acquired a former Unilever facility in the Alsace region of France last December. The 14,000 m2 site will be Umiami’s first commercial-scale plant, and will have production capabilities of up to 22,000 tonnes of meat and seafood alternatives per year to supply the food industry. Founded in 2020 by Tristan Maurel and Martin Habfast, Umiami manufactures 100% plant-based products with a focus on large, fibrous whole cuts. “Thanks to our unique technology, we can reproduce the texture, taste, and aspect of real meat and fish products, all in a 100% vegan version!” says Chief People Officer Rémy Delabays to vegconomist today. The heart of Europe The startup raised $30 million from investors including the French government last April, in …

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Umiami founders team

Founding team © Umiami

Manufacturing & Technology

Umiami Acquires Former Unilever Site to Produce Plant-Based Whole Cuts in France

French alt-meat producer Umiami, which specialises in whole cuts of plant-based meats, has acquired a former Unilever production facility in its home country. Located in Duppegheim, the 14,000 m2 site will be Umiami’s first commercial-scale plant, after the opening of its innovation centre (featuring a pilot production facility) in June. The factory will be able to produce up to 22,000 tonnes of meat and seafood alternatives per year. According to Umiami, the new facility will be the only one in the world capable of producing plant-based versions of any type of meat or fish fillet. Production will begin in the second half of next year. Proprietary production process Extrusion, the most common method of making meat alternatives, is only able to produce small chunks or …

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Umiami

Image Source: François Veron Social Media

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

Umiami Opens New Plant-Based Innovation Center in Europe’s Silicon Valley

French food-tech company Umiami has opened its new production facility to develop its plant-based whole cuts. The new Umiami Innovation Center is based on the Plateau de Saclay, also known as Europe’s Silicon Valley.  Umiami, the vegan chicken breast innovator, claims that already this year the plant will save 350,000 kg of CO2 and save 100,000 animals. When the dedicated plant reaches full capacity it will create up to 200 jobs and produce 15,000 tons of alt meat per year. This will serve its B2B customers globally in food manufacturing and foodservice.  After developing its proprietary technology to create what it says are the world’s first vegan whole-cuts, Umiami raised the largest ever Series A financing in Europe within the plant-based meat market, securing $30 …

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Umiami has recently secured €32.5 million in funding in a Series A round, bringing its overall capital raised to an impressive €100 million in just three years.

© Umiami

Investments & Finance

Umiami Raises “Largest Ever” $30M Funding Amid Whole Cut Chick*n Scale-Up

Umiami, the French food tech startup, has raised what it claims is the largest ever Series A financing in Europe within the plant-based meat market. Rasing $30 million from investors including the French government, Umiami has also announced the industrialization of its plant-based chicken breast production. After two years of R&D, Umiami has now finalized its first whole chicken breast based on 100% plant proteins and will open an industrial R&D center near Paris in May 2022, in order to accelerate scale-up and portfolio expansion. The $30 million fundraising included the French Tech Seed Fund, managed on behalf of the government by Bpifrance. Umiami has developed a proprietary technology to create what the company says are the world’s first vegan whole-cuts, such as plant-based chicken …

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plant-based whole cuts

©Umiami

Food & Beverage

Above Food Partners With Umiami to Develop Plant-Based Whole Cuts

Vertically integrated plant-based marketplace Above Food has announced it will be partnering with French food-tech company Umiami to research and develop plant-based whole cuts. Umiami has developed technology that allows for the production of larger cuts of plant-based meat than were previously possible. Commonly-used extrusion techniques allow for either a mince-like texture or small pieces of plant-based meat, but not whole cuts. As part of the collaboration, Umiami will benefit from Above Food’s proprietary protein ingredients and scaling production processes. This will allow for more rapid development of plant-based whole cuts — both of alt-meat and alt-seafood. “Seed to fork” Above Food spent a year acquiring brands in the plant-based sector — including Atlantic Natural Foods, owner of vegan tuna brand TUNO — before launching …

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Umiami founders team

Founding team © Umiami

Company News

What’s Ahead for 2022: Umiami

Paris based Umiami has developed a proprietary technology to create what the company says are the world’s first plant-based whole-cuts. Umiami says that its unique process is the first in the world that can create thick fibrous chicken breasts at scale. Exciting stuff – we asked the team what’s in store for 2022. Which milestones can your company reflect upon throughout the last year? Where should we even start? We raised 4M€ in capital, hired a world-class team (I’m every day amazed by the talented people that joined us on our journey), and solved some of the biggest technical challenges of the industry. But in the end, what matters most is that every milestone we reach eventually gets us closer to delivering amazing whole-cuts and …

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Left: a typical chicken substitute produced by high-moisture extrusion. Right: Umiami’s chicken breast made with their proprietary technology. ©Umiami

Food & Beverage

Forget Extrusion. Umiami is Here.

Ever wondered why whole chicken breasts, tenderloins, or large cuts of fish don’t usually have a plant-based counterpart? The answer is simply because most current technologies are too limiting to achieve such products. And that’s exactly where the French startup Umiami comes in. The company is only months away from producing the world’s first whole-cuts at scale. What’s more, its products are available to other brands through private labelling. Tristan Maurel, CEO, and co-founder of Umiami, explains: “Until now, there were only two options: dry extrusion to create minced products such as burger patties or sausages, and wet extrusion to create small chicken-like pieces. However, no technology allowed to create thick fibrous whole cuts of meat.” “We’re only months away from being the first company …

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XPrize

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 …

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Chicken breast Umiami

Chicken breast ©Umiami

Manufacturing & Technology

Umiami Raises €2.3M For Proprietary Technology That Produces “Thick and Fibrous Pieces” of Meat & Fish

Umiami, a French startup specializing in the production of plant-based meat and fish, today announces it has secured 1.5 million euros to finance its pilot production unit in France. According to the company, the manufacturing process developed by Umiami offers a novel alternative to the extrusion technique used by almost all plant-based meat producers today. “Until now, there was no technology available to create thick and fibrous pieces of meat” The raise, which saw participation from Newfund, Kima Ventures and business angels Laurent Cardinali (ex-Mondelez) and Jérémy Rocher (Yves Rocher), is completed by a debt financing of 800,000 euros, including 500,000 euros provided by Bpifrance. The objective of the fundraising is to develop the pilot production site, which should start in early 2022 in the …

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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 …

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