Leslie Ewing PBFA Canada

Supplied by PBFA Canada

Interviews

Plant-Based Foods of Canada: “Canada is in a Position of Strength in Plant-Based Foods”

Plant-Based Foods of Canada (PBFC) is a Canadian industry association focused on promoting the growth and awareness of plant-based foods in the country, acting as a collective voice for companies that produce and sell plant-based food products. The association works to raise public awareness about the benefits and options available in plant-based foods and advocates for policies and regulations that support their development and accessibility in Canada. Notable members of the PBFC include Daiya, Califia Farms, Gardein, Oatly, NotCo, and Yves. Leslie Ewing is the executive director of PBFC and a recognized leader in the Canadian plant-based food industry. In this interview, Leslie discusses the dynamic trends in consumer behaviour and market growth, noting the industry’s resilience amidst economic challenges and consumers’ evolving demands. She …

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©Beyond Meat

Products & Launches

Canadians Are Dubious About Plant Alternatives. Beyond Brings Beyond Steak to Canada to Prove Them Wrong

Beyond Meat, Inc. (NASDAQ: BYND) recently commissioned a survey in order to understand the attitudes of Canadian consumers towards red meat. The findings indicate that many Canadians are skeptical about plant-based meat and despite a willingness to reduce meat consumption, the overall sentiment is that such products would not offer the same quality of taste. The results of the Beyond survey were as follows. 67% of participants would consider reducing their red meat consumption A third of those who would like to reduce red meat feel that plant-based meat products do not taste good 49% would rather give up social media for a month than forego red meat Two-thirds of respondents believed steak to be the hardest meat to replicate in a plant-based alternative 55% …

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Wide Open Agriculture lupin

© Wide Open Agriculture

Investments & Finance

Protein Industries Canada and Partners Invest $6.2M to Expand Lupin Industry in Canada

Protein Industries Canada has announced a collaborative initiative with Lupin Platform, the first commercially grown lupin in North America, PURIS Holdings, and YOSO Canada to bolster the lupin value chain in Canada. The project aims to enhance opportunities for farmers and ingredient processors while introducing new plant-based protein products to the market. Lupin, a high-protein legume containing all nine essential amino acids, is gaining attention for its versatility in plant-based products. It can be processed into flour or extracted for protein to create dairy alternatives such as yogurt, cheese, and ice cream. Additionally, lupin protein serves as a fat substitute in products like dressings and mayonnaise. Current market applications Companies currently utilizing lupin ingredients include Wicked Kitchen with its lupin-based ice cream, Wide Open Agriculture’s enriched …

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Laughing cow plant-based

© Bel Group Canada

Products & Launches

The Laughing Cow Plant-Based Debuts in Canada Following UK & US Launches

Bel Group Canada,  a subsidiary of the Bel Group, has announced the launch of The Laughing Cow Plant-Based on the Canadian market, adding to its growing lineup of plant-based products. This introduction follows the successful earlier releases of other dairy-free cheese products, including plant-based versions of Boursin and Babybel. While the Bel Group announced the plant-based Laughing Cow cheese back in 2022, it held off on the release to spend more time perfecting the recipe. Finally, after further development, The Laughing Cow’s plant-based offering launched in the UK in late 2023 and hit the shelves at Whole Foods in the US this January.  The Laughing Cow Plant-Based is made with almonds sourced from a sustainable supplier in Spain. It retains the familiar triangular format of …

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Canadian plant-based seafood startup Save Da Sea has secured CAD 650,000 in a seed II financing round to accelerate its US expansion and hire additional team members in Victoria.

© Save da Sea

Investments & Finance

Save Da Sea Secures Funds for Expansion, Proving that “Profit with Purpose” is Possible

Canadian plant-based seafood startup Save Da Sea recently secured CAD 650,000 in a seed II financing round to accelerate the US expansion of its salmon and tuna alternatives and hire additional team members at its headquarters in Victoria. The startup made its US debut at Market of Choice, a retail chain with 11 locations throughout Oregon, last week, as reported by Betakit. Meanwhile, its US expansion plans include other listings following a strategy to concentrate on natural foods retailers in the Pacific Northwest. Last year, CEO and founder Aki Kaltenbach reported that the company’s revenue in the Canadian market had tripled year over year, encouraging a US launch of its fresh refrigerated smoked salmon and tuna products. The round was led by the Business Development Bank …

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Lactalis Canada launches plant-based brand 'Enjoy'

© Lactalis Canada

Milk- and Dairy Alternatives

The World’s Leading Dairy Company Launches a Plant-Based Brand Called ‘Enjoy!’

Lactalis Canada, a subsidiary of Lactalis Group — the world’s leading dairy company, headquartered in Laval, France — has launched a plant-based brand called Enjoy!. Lactalis Canada is known for household names in dairy including Cracker Barrel, Black Diamond, Balderson, Astro, and Lactantia. The brand is already on the Canadian market and has debuted with a line of high protein, unsweetened, plant-based beverages, featuring six SKUs: Unsweetened Oat, Unsweetened Oat Vanilla, Unsweetened Almond, Unsweetened Almond Vanilla, Unsweetened Hazelnut, and Unsweetened Hazelnut & Oat. The brand’s new website states that the drinks are certified non-GMO, with paper-based packaging certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), and that the products offer 8 grams of pea protein per 250 mL. ESG goals With meat and dairy representing one …

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A drawing of a happy dog under the sun by Noochies!

© Noochies!

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

CULT Food Science Secures Funds to Expand Noochies! Line of Cultured Yeast Pet Food

CULT Food Science Corp. announces it has raised CAD$800,000 to expand the portfolio of Noochies! and solidify its position as a fast-growing, sustainable pet food brand. According to the announcement, CULT Food Science completed a private placement by selling 16,000,000 units for CAD$0.05 per unit. Each unit consists of one common share and one common share purchase warrant. The warrant allows the holder to purchase additional shares at a specified price within two years. PowerOne Capital Markets Limited acted as a finder in the private placement transaction and received $36,750 in cash finder’s fees and 735,000 finder’s units (Finder Warrants) as compensation. Each Finder Warrant can be exercised into one unit for $0.05 within two years from closing. Mitchell Scott, CEO of CULT Food Science, comments, …

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Odd Burger Corporation-Odd Burger Set to Open Record Number of locations

Famous Burger by Odd Burger (CNW Group/Odd Burger Corporation)

Company News

Odd Burger Announces Opening of 3 New Canadian Restaurants Bringing Total to 16 Locations

Vegan fast food chain Odd Burger reveals it is poised to enhance its market presence with the upcoming launch of three new restaurant locations within the next month. Additionally, the company announces it has signed a consulting agreement with Ahimsa Foundation, one of the most prominent investors in the vegan industry, notably including a recent investment of USD $16 Million in JUST Egg. As part of the consulting agreement, Odd Burger will issue Ahimsa Foundation 1,500,000 stock options at a price of $0.15. This latest expansion marks the largest number of openings the company has achieved in a single month, elevating the total to 16 operational sites. The initial opening will take place at 336A Mayfield Common Northwest in Edmonton, anticipated around May 11th, representing …

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Planted Expo

© Planted Expo

Fairs & Events

Planted Expo, North America’s Largest Plant-Based Event, Celebrates 10th Consecutive Year

Planted Expo, North America’s largest plant-based event, is set to return to Vancouver this summer for its 10th consecutive year. Scheduled to take place from June 1st to June 2nd at the Vancouver Convention Centre, the expo aims to celebrate and promote plant-based living and sustainability. With over 200 exhibitors, Planted Expo offers attendees the opportunity to explore a wide array of plant-based, vegan, and sustainable products. Among the notable exhibitors are bettermoo(d), OmniFoods, Save Da Sea, The Better Butchers, WOOP4, and Azuma Foods. Insights from industry experts The event will feature informative talks from leading experts in the plant-based movement on various topics, including the health benefits of plant-based diets, culinary demonstrations, and emerging trends in sustainable living. Dr. Michael Greger, American physician and …

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Tacos filled with mycoprotein meat

© Maia Farms x The Better Butchers

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Maia Farms Secures $2.3M to Advance Climate Positive Food with Highly Nutritious Mycoprotein

Vancouver-based Maia Farms, a B2B producer of the mycoprotein and winner of the Deep Space Food Challenge Grand Prize with its ingredient CanPro, announces it has secured $2.3 million in a pre-seed funding round.  CanPro, a textured protein ingredient made with mycelium, is said to “dramatically” improve the taste and texture of food products while providing nutritional and sustainability benefits. It is rich in proteins, contains fiber, calcium, and 5.5 times more iron than beef, and requires only a tenth of the land needed to produce an equivalent amount of beef. With the newly raised capital, the Canadian innovator will accelerate its R&D activities, scale up operations, and grow its market reach.  A climate-positive food system The Californian VC Joyful Ventures, PIC Investing Group from Saskatchewan, and …

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Yumasoy Gina Arsens

Gina Arsens - Courtesy of Yumasoy

Interviews

Yumasoy: “I Embarked on a Mission to Put the Plant Back in Plant-Based Food”

Yumasoy is a Vancouver-based startup specializing in plant-based chicken alternatives called Om Noms. Led by founder Gina Arsens, previously CFO at Digital Supercluster, Yumasoy was established to improve the plant-based meal experience with products that are nutritious, convenient, and taste good. The company’s flagship product, Om Noms, is a line of chicken-style strips made with whole soybeans. In this interview with vegconomist, Arsens details the founding principles of Yumasoy, the development of Om Noms, and the company’s commitment to sustainability. She also discusses partnerships in the foodservice industry, and plans for expansion and product development. Can you give us an intro to Yumasoy and what inspired the company’s creation? When my family decided to increase the number of plant-based meals, I found the experience of …

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outlier protein wamame foods

© Wamame Foods

Protein

Wamame Foods Unveils “World’s Highest Protein Content” Meat Alternative, Outlier Protein

Wamame Foods, a company recognized for its plant-based product line Waygu, has launched a new protein alternative called Outlier Protein. This product, made using only seven ingredients, boasts a protein content that the company claims is 64% higher than that of cooked ground beef. The launch of Outlier Protein was announced in a press conference today, with Blair Bullus, president of Wamame Foods, commenting, “This is a complete protein, and it uses only seven ingredients. […] It uses the same protein isolates that you’d find in protein bars and protein shakes, but we’re now able to create them into meat products, which allows us to actually create new products that have a significant nutritional advantage over other animal-based proteins.” The product is formulated from natural, …

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Plant Based Food Week Canada

© Plant-Based Foods of Canada

Fairs & Events

Canada’s Third Annual Plant Based Food Week to Showcase Innovation in Plant-Based Sector

Canada is gearing up for its third annual Plant Based Food Week, slated for April 15-29, 2024, a joint initiative by Plant-Based Foods of Canada (PBFC) and Protein Industries Canada. The event is designed to draw attention to the growth, variety, and ecological benefits of plant-based food products. Studies highlight a growing interest in plant-based products in Canada, with Dalhousie University reporting that one in five Canadians buy plant-based alternatives. Although a large proportion of Canadians may be unwilling to give up meat entirely, as revealed in a recent survey from Sodexo, nearly half of consumers are interested in reducing their intake. The upcoming Plant Based Food Week seeks to support this trend by motivating Canadians to try more plant-based foods, encouraging the incorporation of …

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Plantbased Business Hour

What You Need To Know Before You IPO: George Khalife of Toronto Stock Exchange

George Khalife, VP of US Capital Formation on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) at TMX Group joins Elysabeth on The Plantbased Business Hour With Elysabeth Alfano to discuss taking Plant-based Innovation brands public on the exchange. Here, they break down what you need to know before you IPO. Specifically, they discuss: What is the TSX history with taking plant-based brands public? What have been the TSX successes and trouble spots with that? What is your view on taking plant-based brands public on TSX going forward? What is your view on the sector as a whole: past, present and future? What do companies need to know before they IPO? Below is a highlight clip and transcription from their long-form conversation. Podcast link here. Display content from …

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Four cows in a field

© AF -stock.adobe.com

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Toronto Startups AuX Labs & Genuine Taste Join BioCreate Accelerator to Create Alternatives to Cheese and Beef

Two cutting-edge biotech startups from Ontario, Canada — AuX Labs and Genuine Taste — have been selected to join BioCreate, an accelerator program that supports innovative companies in the health, food, agriculture, and cleantech sectors. AuX Lab was founded in 2021 by Ted Jin to create affordable bioidentical animal proteins using precision fermentation and engineered yeasts. The company is working to develop yeast strains with high protein-yielding capabilities and a bioprocess fueled by low-cost feedstocks established in “capital-light” fermentation facilities.  AuX Lab’s first protein — milk casein — is used to create animal-free cheese with the same taste and melting and stretching functionalities as dairy cheese. The startup has raised $3 million in a seed round from investors Bluestein Ventures, Congruent Ventures, and Flying Fish Partners. Meanwhile, Genuine …

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The Cultivated B Canada, a subsidiary of Germany’s The Cultivated B, has been renamed as n!Biomachines.

© n!Biomachines

Company News

The Cultivated B Canada Rebrands to n!Biomachines, Pioneering Fit-for-Purpose Bioreactors

The German biotech The Cultivated B. announces that its subsidiary The Cultivated B Canada has been rebranded to n!Biomachines to reflect its mission in bioreactor engineering for successful biomanufacturing. (The notation ‘n!’ represents ‘factorial’, hence the name can be read as ‘factorial biomachines.’) n!Biomachines, located in Burlington, Ontario, develops and manufactures fit-for-purpose, affordable, and automated bioreactors, to enable the commercial scalability of cellular agriculture-derived ingredients for for food, dietary supplements, cosmetics, and more. The Cultivated B. opened its bioreactor facility in 2022, as part of a strategic partnership with Ontario Genomics, a government-funded non-profit, to develop the economic potential of the cell ag industry.  Hamid Noori, CEO of n!Biomachines and The Cultivated B., comments: “The mathematical term, ‘n!’, or n factorial, acknowledges the core of our mission: scalability and …

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Two Opalia product mockups

© Opalia

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Opalia Receives Investment from Dairy Supplier Hoogwegt Group for “Cow-Free” Cell-Based Milk

Opalia, previously BetterMilk, reportedly the only company developing cell-based milk in Canada, has secured CAD$2 million to accelerate the development of its first milk product and establish a commercial strategy. The financial round was led by the Netherlands-based Hoogwegt Group, the world’s largest independent supplier of dairy products and ingredients, operating since 1965 and with a presence in over 130 countries. Other investors including Ahimsa Foundation, Box One Ventures, Cycle Momentum, Kale United, and the Québec government’s Impulsion PME program, also backed the cell-based milk startup. Opalia has received additional funding from Natural Products Canada through its Proof of Concept Program. Jennifer Côté, Opalia’s CEO, shared: “With Hoogwegt leading our round, we’ve not only gained essential customer validation but also tapped into their extensive network and global market expertise, setting …

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The Kraft Heinz Not Company KD mac & cheese

© The Kraft Heinz Not Company

Products & Launches

Daiya and The Kraft Heinz NotCompany Both Launch Vegan Mac & Cheese in Canada

Two major, noteworthy brands in the alternative foods space have launched vegan mac & cheese products this week in Canada, a country known for its love of the traditionally dairy-heavy dish. The Kraft Heinz Not Company, a joint venture between Kraft Heinz — the name most closely associated with packet mac and cheese — and Chile’s NotCo, has today debuted KD NotMacandCheese in Canada, marking the first plant-based addition to its Canadian product line. Concurrently, Daiya, known for its dairy-free cheese alternatives, announced the introduction of a new line of Dry Powdered Mac & Cheese. Canada as biggest market for mac & cheese In November of last year, The Kraft Heinz Not Company debuted the plant-based Mac & Cheese in the United States. However, the …

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hemp

©cendeced - stock.adobe.com

Protein

Protein Industries Canada Announces $6.9M Project for Novel Hemp and Sunflower Protein Ingredients

Protein Industries Canada unveils a new initiative aimed at bolstering the nation’s supply of protein-rich ingredients derived from hemp and sunflower. This venture, backed by a collaboration with Burcon NutraScience, HPS Food & Ingredients, and Puratos Canada, aims to bolster the supply of plant-based protein ingredients in Canada and offer food manufacturers an expanded array of protein alternatives focused on both functionality and taste. This project is notable in its approach to acknowledging the applications of hemp and sunflower flour, through which Burcon seeks to extract hemp protein isolate, sunflower protein isolate, and sunflower protein concentrate. These ingredients, novel to the market, are anticipated to cater to the needs of food and beverage manufacturers striving to provide Canadian consumers with nutritious, sustainable, and flavor-neutral protein …

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Future of Foods podcast with Celeste Trujillo of Better Butchers

© Future of Foods

Cultivated Meat

Future of Foods Podcast: Celeste Trujillo, Food Science, Product Development at The Better Butchers

Alex Crisp of the Future of Foods podcast here interviews The Better Butchers, a Canadian company headed by Mitchell Scott previously of The Better Food Company, which intends to create hybrid cultivated meat products. The interview with Celeste Trujillo from The Better Butchers was carried out in September 2023. Since then the following updates have taken place and are reported by the company. We have launched a new line of products to start generating revenue and build our brand: three mycelium-based crumble SKUs, an original unflavoured, a chorizo and an Italian. We launched just two weeks ago and we have sold out and are scaling to grow and meet demand. We have a minimal ingredient list, we season with spices and herbs and don’t add …

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