Marc Coloma, CEO and co-founder of Heura Foods at the Heura Lab

Marc Coloma, CEO and co-founder of Heura Foods at the Heura Lab, image supplied

Company News

Following €40M Investment, Upfield & Heura Reveal Plans to Fast-Track Innovation in Plant-Based Foods  

Last week, Spain’s Heura announced it had secured €40 million in what it claimed to be the largest plant-based financing round of 2023. The investors in the Series B round are to form a strategic coalition aiming to fast-track innovation in plant-based foods. Heura and Upfield today explain what this will entail. The work between Heura and Upfield aims to rapidly accelerate the protein transition towards a sustainable food system. Aside from the animal suffering and environmental damage caused by animal agriculture, one of the problems in our food system is its inefficiencies: plant-based crops feed more people while occupying less land. Today, plant-based food occupies only 23% of global agricultural land, yet provides 82% of our calories[1]. Data shows that cutting meat and dairy …


Flora plant butter with paper packaging

© Upfield

Company News

Upfield Introduces “World’s First” Plastic-Free, Recyclable Tub for Plant Butters & Spreads

Upfield, owner of multiple brands of butters and spreads such as Flora, has revealed what it claims to be the world’s first plastic-free, recyclable tub for its plant butters and spreads, stating that the move marks the beginning of its transition to a paper solution across its portfolio, as part of its ambition to reduce plastic content by 80% by 2030. The Amsterdam-based group says that the development is the result of four years of innovation in collaboration with Footprint, MCC and Pagès Group. The paper tubs are made from compressed wet paper fibres and are waterproof, oil-proof, and recyclable in local paper waste streams, according to the company. “Innovating out plastic tubs was our moon-shot” David Haines, Group CEO for Upfield, commented, “As a …


Elmlea plant-based brandy cream

© Elmlea/Upfield

Milk- and Dairy Alternatives

Elmlea Launches Plant-Based Brandy Flavoured Cream for the Festive Season

Elmlea, a UK brand of cream alternatives owned by Upfield, is expanding its dairy-free range with a new product for the festive season — plant-based brandy flavoured cream. Like Elmlea’s existing dairy-free double cream alternative, the product is made from lentil protein and vegetable oils. It is free of alcohol, soy, oats, and gluten, and is said to “deliver all the indulgence and flavour notes of traditional brandy cream”. The cream alternative can be poured or whipped, and is said to be ideal for topping festive desserts. Elmlea was founded in 1984, offering cream alternatives made from vegetable oils and buttermilk. The aim was to provide a product with a longer shelf life that would not split when used in cooking. The brand is now …


Flora Plant Cream

© Flora

Milk- and Dairy Alternatives

Upfield Launches Whippable Flora Plant Cream in Australia, Aims to Become 100% Plant-Based

Plant-based dairy leader Upfield has launched Flora Plant Cream, an alternative to thickened cream, for the Australian retail market. The product is whippable and is said to perform just as well as dairy cream in all applications. Like the plant-based cream offered by Upfield under the Elmlea brand in the UK, it uses lentils as a base and is free of palm oil. Upfield has previously offered Flora cream for food service, both in Australia and in other markets such as the UK and the US. However, this is the first time the product has been available in Australian retail stores. Sold in 500ml cartons, the cream has now launched at all major supermarkets across the country. “For Flora, we recognised a real gap in …


New Food Forum 2023 Upfield

©ProVeg International

Retail & E-Commerce

At New Food Forum Conference, Czech Retailers Agree to Innovate and Promote Plant-Based Foods

At the New Food Forum Conference 2023, recently held in Prague, retailers throughout the Czech Republic pledged to boost their plant-based product ranges, in response to increased consumer demand for more plant-based meat and dairy alternatives. In addition, delegates from Tesco and Upfield renewed commitments to boost their plant-based offerings, with Upfield reportedly pledging to make all of its products plant-based within the next three years (vegconomist has contacted Upfield for further information and confirmation.) Organized by ProVeg Czechia, this year’s Conference hosted retailers and food manufacturers from across the Czech Republic, who discussed the need for better availability, quality, and more affordably-priced plant-based alternatives to animal products. Among major topics, participants discussed how innovations and new technologies are key to developing the plant-based sector …


Modern Milkman

© Modern Milkman

Politics & Law

UK Government Urged to Reject Alt Dairy Labelling Restrictions as Survey Says Consumers Aren’t Confused

After the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released draft guidance confirming that plant-based dairy alternatives can use the word “milk” on their packaging, the UK government has been urged to do the same. Plant-based brands are currently banned from using dairy-like terms in the UK due to an EU law from 1987. But following Brexit, the UK government could choose to remove the labelling restrictions. Unfortunately, the country’s Food Standards and Information Focus Group (FSIFG) is currently attempting to do the opposite, lobbying for labelling laws to be tightened. The proposed restrictions would ban phrases such as “alternative to milk”, along with terms like “mylk” and “cheeze”. While many have protested that the ban would serve no useful purpose — including Member of Parliament …


Violife Vegan Cheese Caribbean

©The Price Club Supermarket

Products & Launches

Upfield and Vemco Launch Violife Dairy-Free Products in Trinidad and Tobago

Dairy-free giant Upfield announces it has partnered with Vemco, the leading distributor of consumer packaged goods in the Caribbean, to bring Violife plant-based products to the Trinidad and Tobago market.  According to Shelly Ann Simon, divisional manager of Vemco, Violife’s range of cheeses and spreads launched in the country’s supermarkets in July, including Price Club Supermarket, and the company highly “underestimated” the demand.  “The reason why we had the launch this month is because we sold out our products quickly,” Simon told the Trinidad Express.  “We underestimated the response from retailers and consumers. Therefore, we had to wait for more products to come in. The feedback has been fantastic from vegans and non-vegans, who have tried it.” Simon adds the partnership came about when Unilever …


Violife celebration platter

© Violife

Cheese Alternatives

Violife’s Celebration Platter With “New to Market” Vegan Blue Cheese for Christmas

Violife reveals its Christmas vegan cheese offering for the UK market with the launch of its Celebration Platter which includes “new to market” Vegan Blue cheese and Le Rond Camembert. The new Plant-Based Celebration Platter, retailing around £6, rolls out into Sainsbury’s, Tesco, and Waitrose including Vegan Blue, a crumbly block with added spirulina “veins” for an authentic look. Vegan Blue can also be found as an isolated product in Tesco for £3.25. The platter also features best-selling flavours Le Rond Camembert flavour, Mature Cheddar Flavour and EPIC Smoked Cheddar Flavour. Earlier this month, Violife parent company Upfield rebranded its food service business from Upfield Professional to Violife Professional, to reflect the company’s dedication to encouraging and supporting the hospitality industry’s increasing demand for plant-based …


Country Crock Decadent Plant Cream

©Country Crock

Products & Launches

Country Crock Adds New Plant Cream Heavy Whipping Cream to Dairy-Free Line

Country Crock, an Upfield food brand known for its buttery spreads, is launching Plant Cream – a plant-based alternative to traditional heavy whipping cream. The product, which Country Crock says provides a “no-sacrifice” dairy replacement, is now available nationwide in the US at Kroger, and will be coming soon to Publix and regional retailers Albertsons, Safeway, Price Chopper, and United Supermarkets. Elevating recipes According to the brand, the new Plant Cream offers a versatile substitute that can be swapped 1:1 with dairy cream in any cooking or baking recipe. Made to add richness and depth to a wide variety of foods, the Plant Cream has 29% less saturated fat than dairy whipping cream, is soy-free, and certified plant-based by The Plant-Based Foods Association. The innovation …


Violife Le Rond Camembert



Violife: “Continuing to Develop Flavors and Formats That Are First-of-their Kind in the Plant-Based Cheese Space”

Violife became part of the Upfield portfolio following the acquisition of Arivia in 2020, creating the largest plant-based consumer food products company in the world. Violife cheeses are available in more than 50 countries and are most widely available in the UK, US, and mainland Europe. We spoke with General Manager Andy Reichgut, who is responsible for building business in US retail and food service channels. Reichgut is a leader in the CPG industry joining Violife from Veggies Made Great®, bringing over twenty years of brand management experience from Mars, Reckitt Benckiser, and Pinnacle Foods.   What is the origin of Violife’s story and how has the brand evolved over the years? Violife was created as a dairy-free alternative to cheese by three friends in Greece …


make it plant campaign logo


Company News

Upfield’s Global #makeitplant Campaign Will Educate & Encourage Chefs to Focus on Plant-Based

Upfield is to announce the launch of its #makeitplant campaign, at this year’s Worldchefs Congress & Expo 2022 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from May 30 to June 2. Along with its portfolio brand Violife, Upfield intends to encourage and support the hospitality industry with the increasing demand for plant-based food with the new campaign. The #makeitplant campaign aims to ensure consumers have tasty and nutritious food options inside and outside the home, as well as to support and encourage chefs to focus on sustainable and dairy-free alternatives. As part of the campaign, Upfield will provide chefs with an “expansive” range of plant-based options for their menus and there will be dedication for junior and aspiring head chefs on the importance of using …


Change Foods raises $15.3 million

© Change Foods

Investments & Finance

Change Foods Raises $15.3 Million in Record-Breaking Seed Funding Round

Change Foods raises $15.3 million to develop animal-free dairy proteins. US-Australian company Change Foods has raised $12 million in its seed extension funding round, bringing its total seed investment to $15.3 million. This sum is the largest ever seed raise for a precision fermentation company. The round was led by Route 66 Ventures, with participation from Upfield, Blue Horizon, Sigma, British soccer player Chris Smalling, and more. Additionally, Change Foods has signed strategic collaboration agreements with both Upfield and Sigma. Transforming the cheese business Upfield is the world’s largest plant-based foods producer, with a focus on dairy alternatives, while Sigma is a global food company with over $6.7 billion in annual revenues. These collaborations will allow for more rapid product development and scaling up, as …


OGGS cake vegan egg


Investments & Finance

Upfield Unveils Strategic Partnership with UK Vegan Egg Leader OGGS 

Upfield to enter into strategic partnership with OGGS, with minority stake in the UK-based egg alternative and vegan bakery Upfield, the world’s largest producer of plant-based spreads and owner of brands including Flora and Violife, has partnered with OGGS – one of the UK’s first and largest alt egg brands. The move looks to solidify Upfield’s position as a global leader in sustainable plant-based alternatives and includes Upfield taking a minority stake in Alternative Foods, the OGGS parent company.  Alternative Foods launched in 2019, offering a range of bakery products and liquid egg alternatives including OGGS Aquafaba, a patented liquid egg alternative, as well as Scrambled OGGS. The company calculates that it has saved over 2.2 million eggs being used in cooking and baking so …


Plant Based Food Alliance UK Logo_TW + LI

©Plant Based Food Alliance UK


Plant-Based Food Alliance Launches to Help Make UK a Global Plant-Based Leader

A new coalition of companies, charities, and civil groups called the Plant-Based Food Alliance, with founding members Alpro, Oatly, ProVeg UK, Upfield, and The Vegan Society, has launched in the UK to provide a voice for the growing plant-based sector. The Alliance says its aim is to “help make the UK a global leader in plant-based food and drink”. The organisation will be developing a UK Plant-based Food Charter, which will enable businesses to collaborate with the UK government to promote the transition to a plant-based diet. The Alliance will campaign for policies such as: Public health campaigns informing people of the benefits of a plant-based diet. Labels on food packaging to show the environmental impact of plant-based versus animal-based products. Support to help farmers …


Violife Upfield

Violife Upfield

Agriculture / Agribusiness

Upfield to Support 140,000 African Smallholder Farmers in Commitment to Reduce World Hunger

Upfield, the largest producer of plant-based butters, margarines, creams and cheeses and owner of brands including Flora and Violife, has announced a commitment to support 140,000 smallholder farmers and plant-based entrepreneurs, by becoming a signatory of the Zero Hunger Pledge, led by the Global Alliance for Improve Nutrition (GAIN). Last month The Rotterdam based company said it had calculated the greenhouse gas emissions its customers have prevented over the past year by purchasing its plant-based products over dairy, claiming the savings are equivalent to around six million metric tonnes of CO2, the same as planting 100 million trees. Now the global player announces it is investing in two projects in rural Kenya: one focusing on supporting farmers to grow high-quality peanuts, and the second on …


RZA X Violife CREDIT Mike Relm



RZA to Promote Plant-Based Eating in Black Community With Upfield’s New Plant Grants Program

Upfield US today announced a new grant program, Plant Grants, aimed at promoting plant-based eating through charitable funding, education, and mentorship. This first year is being sponsored by Upfield’s plant-based cheese brand Violife, in collaboration with legendary hip-hop artist and long-time vegan RZA, who in 2018 launched a line of vegan lipstick for Milk Makeup. “I’m partnering with Violife because we share a similar philosophy about eating plant-based, and we want to make plant-based eating more accessible, affordable and sustainable to all” – RZA The focus of the 2021 Plant Grants program reflects the disproportionate challenges faced by Black-owned community businesses by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the economic recovery of these businesses, in particular restaurants.       The grant program consists of $20,000 in funding to each recipient; coaching and guidance on plant-based menus and recipes …


chef arranging food on plates

© DDRockstar –

Gastronomy & Food Service

49% of Chefs Cooking More Plant-Based Dishes as Part of “Wellbeing Revolution”

A new study by Upfield Professional on emerging trends within the restaurant industry, finds that chefs have become more aware of ingredients and their impact since COVID. “As chefs, we are no longer simply serving up a plate of culinary entertainment, but we are also responsible for delivering a little slice of our future well-being.”