Oobli and Grupo Bimbo have partnered to incorporate sweet proteins into baked goods.

© Oobli

Fermentation

Oobli’s Microbial Proteins to Sweeten Bimbo’s Baked Goods in a “Completely New Way”

California’s Oobli has partnered with Grupo Bimbo, a Mexican multinational food company touted as the largest bakery company in the United States and with a presence in 33+ countries, to introduce into baked goods its ultra-sweet proteins made with precision fermentation. This collaboration marks Oobli’s first global CPG partnership and Grupo Bimbo’s first time testing sweet proteins in products. Bimbo owns Oroweat, New York Bakery Co., and Entenmann’s, among other brands.  Oobli’s novel microbial proteins, which recently achieved GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status, are described as natural sweeteners that, unlike traditional sugar, do not lead to diabetes, obesity, or sugar cravings because they are digested as protein rather than carbohydrates.  Ali Wing, CEO of Oobli, commented, “Sweet proteins have the potential to revolutionize sweetness and are a completely new way to think about how we …

more

Celium cultivated cellulose

© Celium

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Polybion Creates “Entirely New Category” With Global Launch of Celium Cultivated Cellulose

Spanish biomaterials producer Polybion has announced that its cultivated cellulose, Celium, is now available worldwide. The company claims the material is more than a leather alternative, and will create an “entirely new category” due to its unique properties. Celium is grown by feeding bacteria with agroindustrial fruit waste; the cells then self-organize and create a cellulose structure as a metabolic by-product. This structure undergoes a sustainable stabilization process, and the resulting leather-like material can be dyed, embossed, and tanned with chromium-free formulations using existing infrastructure. The material’s properties can be tailored for applications such as fashion, sportswear, and the automotive industry — for example, the thickness of the material can be controlled as it grows. Celium is plastic-free and has a much lower environmental impact …

more

microTERRA has launched Flora, a duckweed-based ingredient to reduce sugar in F&B

© microTERRA

Ingredients

microTERRA Launches Super Sustainable Duckweed-Based Ingredient to Reduce Sugar in F&B

microTERRA, a Mexican startup creating plant-based functional ingredients for the food industry, has launched of a new development: Flora, a protein ingredient extracted from Lemna, an aquatic plant commonly known as duckweed.  microTERRA’s new ingredient enhances sweetness perception, reducing sugar in food and beverages without compromising taste and texture. “Flora helps improve people’s health by reducing the sugar content in their food while maintaining the same consumer experience,” shared Marissa Cuevas Flores, CEO and founder of microTERRA. The ingredient also offers other features depending on the application. It can enhance a particular flavor, unmask undesired ones, or improve the mouthfeel of products by providing better texture. According to the company, Flora enables F&B companies to produce healthier and more sustainable products, from ice cream to sugar-sweetened …

more

NotCo Not So Happy Animal Campaign

© NotCo

Marketing & Media

NotCo Launches Innovative AR Campaign to Challenge Perceptions of Animal-Based Food Logos

Food-tech company NotCo, recognized for its use of AI to craft plant-based alternatives, has launched an innovative campaign titled “Not So Happy Animals.” This initiative aims to challenge the presence of seemingly joyous animal logos in the fast-food industry, shedding light on the often overlooked realities behind these symbols. The campaign, debuting today across the United States and Mexico, employs Augmented Reality (AR) technology, creating an immersive and interactive experience for users. By visiting nothappy.com on their mobile devices, consumers can scan animal logos they encounter in various public spaces. The AR technology is designed to recognize and animate logos featuring animals, ranging from well-known brands like Chick-fil-A to smaller establishments such as Mr. C’s Fried Chicken and Waffles. Once scanned, these logos are transformed …

more

Birdman love animals eat plants

© Birdman

Facts & Figures

Mexican Plant Protein Company Birdman Surpasses $65M in Sales

Lever VC, a venture capital firm focused on the future of protein, has increased its equity stake in Birdman, a leading plant-based protein company in Mexico set to expand into the US, as the company experiences a significant surge in sales. This investment comes as Birdman demonstrates impressive sales performance, achieving a $65 million sales run rate amidst a challenging economic landscape. Founded in 2016 in Guadalajara, Mexico, Birdman rapidly bootstrapped to $15 million in sales by 2021, prior to attracting its first external funding. The company’s plant-based protein powders and supplements have gained popularity across Mexico, surpassing industry averages in the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) sector, with EBITDA margins exceeding 35%. According to Nick Cooney, managing partner at Lever VC, which expanded its equity …

more

Carolin Przibylla, innovation analyst at Fashion for Good and brothers Gómez Ortigoza

Carolin Przibylla, innovation analyst at Fashion for Good and brothers Gómez Ortigoza © Polybion

Leather Alternatives

Polybion and Fashion for Good Join Forces to Drive Circular Fashion with Bacterial Leather

Spanish biomaterial company Polybion has announced that the global platform for circular fashion, Fashion for Good, has become its official partner and investor.  The news comes after Polybion participated in the Fashion for Good 2023 Innovation Programme, an initiative that supports innovators and finds relevant industry partners to develop and launch products. Polybion pioneers microbial fermentation and food waste upcycling to grow the next generation of vegan materials. The company’s first development, Celium, is a premium alternative to animal leather and petroleum-derived synthetics.  Fashion for Good is building a global coalition of brands, producers, retailers, suppliers, non-profit organizations, innovators, and funders to address the environmental impact of the fashion industry, from sourcing raw materials to retail.  “As our official partner and investor, their credibility and impact are unparalleled, and together, we are shaping …

more

EVM

Rocio Cavazos. © EVM

Interviews

EVM: “Our Members’ Contracts for Meat Alternatives Will Spare the Lives of Over 770,000 Animals”

The Association of Vegan Entrepreneurs of Mexico (EVM) is a community of committed plant-based entrepreneurs on a mission to boost the growth and impact of plant-based businesses in Mexico. The organization is working to maximize consumers’ access to vegan products and empower them to adopt conscious, compassionate, and healthy lifestyles. EVM envisions a country where plant-based products are the default choice of the majority and are readily accessible to everyone. The Association is the organizer of Vegan Business Summit (VBS) — the most important business event for the plant-based industry and alternative proteins in Latin America — and is also collaborating with ProVeg to help Mexico’s most promising plant-based startups find success. Rocio Cavazos, Founder and President of EVM and Head of Incubadora ProVeg, told …

more

Propel Foods

© Propel Foods

Products & Launches

Mexico’s Propel Foods Launches for Retail, Will Be Available at Taylor Swift Concerts

Propel Foods, a Mexican startup using AI to create plant-based and hybrid proteins, has launched its products into retail stores in the country for the first time. The V-Label certified meat alternatives — Bistec (steak), Pastor (grilled pork), and Chorizo — said to be ideal for use in Mexican dishes such as tacos, were previously only available via the brand’s online store. Propel Foods has also reported that it will be present as a vendor at Taylor Swift’s upcoming Mexico City concerts, which will take place from August 24-27. The developments come after the company participated in the ProVeg Incubator earlier this year, where its tacos proved extremely popular and won the Demo Day Audience Award. Looking to the future, Propel Foods reports that it …

more

© Sushi Roll

Food Service

Mexico: Japanese Chain Sushi Roll Joins Forces With Better Balance for ‘Vegan Lab’ Menu

Sushi Roll, a Japanese-inspired restaurant chain in Mexico, has launched a new menu called Vegan Lab in collaboration with alt protein brand Better Balance. The menu features ten dishes, including starters, salads, soups, rolls, nigiri, and main courses. Meats such as pork and chicken have been replaced with Better Balance’s plant-based alternatives to achieve an authentic taste and texture. The launch comes in response to growing demand for plant-based food in Mexico; 65% of Mexicans now reportedly consume plant-based products on a regular basis, while 30% identify as flexitarian. “Innovation is part of Sushi Roll’s DNA and we are constantly renewing our menu to remain in the preference of diners. We know that more and more people expect to find plant-based options and, although Japanese …

more

vegan business summit logo

© VBS

Fairs & Events

The Vegan Business Summit Comes to Mexico City in October

Vegan Business Summit (VBS), the most important business event for the plant-based industry and alternative proteins in Latin America, will kick off its new edition on October 5 and 6 at the World Trade Center in Mexico City. Organized by the Association of Vegan Entrepreneurs of Mexico (AEVM) and with the collaboration of Proveg International, this event will have three spaces that will work in synergy to raise the profile and visibility of the sector and will have the participation of experts such as buyers, public agencies and the media, among others. The Vegan Business Summit will in turn have three events in one place: New Food Forum: Flagship event of ProVeg International for the first time in Spanish and on the American continent. Vegan …

more

Desserto Agave, a limited edition alt leather made from agave fibers

Image credit: Desserto

Leather Alternatives

Desserto Unveils ‘Desserto Agave’, Upcycling Tequila Waste Into Sustainable Leather

Cactus-based biomaterials company, Desserto, has revealed Desserto Agave, a limited edition alt leather made from agave fibers, a waste product of Mexico’s tequila industry.  Agave, a sweet succulent plant, matures in the field for six to seven years before it is harvested and distilled into the famous liquor. In the process, agave fibers result in a waste by-product that can be collected and transformed into sustainable materials. “Through this project, the agave-tequila production chain has the opportunity to join the fashion industry in a sustainable and responsible way,” says Desserto in the announcement. Sustainability principles According to Adriano Di Marti, the company behind the Desserto brand, involving the tequila chain in the biomaterial industry generates economic benefits and creates opportunities for economic growth while respecting the …

more

Better Balance 7-Eleven hot dog

© Better Balance

Company News

Better Balance Foods Partners With Solo de Croquetas in Spain and 7-Eleven in Mexico

Better Balance Foods recently joined forces with Solo de Croquetas to increase vegan croquette offerings in Spain. Concurrently, the brand, which belongs to the Sigma Group, increases its offering in Mexico through a deal with 7-Eleven to offer its vegan hot dog at 474 7-Eleven stores around the country. The agreement with Solo de Croquetas comes at an optimal time for both companies. On the one hand, Solo de Croquetas has closed a financing round of more than half a million euros, and on the other hand, Better Balance is already a leader in the vegetable sausage category. The two new flavors of croquette for foodservice and retail are Chili, made with vegetable protein meat, and plant-based Hot Dog. The ingredients for these new croquettes …

more

©Better Balance

Gastronomy & Food Service

Better Balance Launches Plant-Based “Veggiebradas” at Mexican Chain Gorditas Doña Tota

Spanish plant-based meat company Better Balance announces it is partnering with Mexican restaurant chain Gorditas Doña Tota to launch vegan Veggiebradas. Made with the brand’s shredded plant-based meat, the Veggiebradas are now available at 38 locations in Monterrey and San Pedro.  Mexican growth Described as the chain’s “first vegan gordita”, the new Veggiebradas feature shredded plant-based meat served with salsa verde. The item is initially available in several dozen Gorditas Doña Tota locations, and the company says it looks forward to expanding nationally to the chain’s 200+ restaurants.  A subsidiary of global food company Sigma, Better Balance launched in 2021 with a range of plant-based shreds, grounds, hot dogs, and dairy-free cheese. In Mexico, the brand has a strong and growing presence, where it recently …

more

A supermarket cart with vegan products

© Vegetarianos Hoy

Studies & Numbers

Ranking of Vegan Products in LATAM Supermarkets is Measured For First Time

The availability of vegan products in LATAM retail has been measured for the first time in a study carried out by the foundation Vegetarianos Hoy in collaboration with the Albert Schweitzer Foundation across five Latin American countries. Throughout 14 cities across Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru; 25 retailers were surveyed, which translates into almost 100 stores, to find out their availability of vegan products. According to Vegetarianos Hoy, Mexico stood out as the country with the most vegan products and Chile as the country with the most certified vegan products. Regarding the LATAM Ranking of certified vegan products, Chile took first place, Mexico second and Colombia third place. The ranking was based on three pillars: Availability of vegan products in the surveyed supermarkets. Number …

more

veganuary 2023

© Veganuary

Charity & Campaigns

Veganuary in Spain and LATAM: More Than 80 Promotions and Discounts Available

During the 2023 Veganuary campaign, more than 80 brands, restaurants and retailers from Spain, Mexico and South America are participating with discounts and a wide range of vegan offerings to motivate those who may be trying a vegan or plant-based lifestyle for the first time. In Spain: Subway, VeggiAnimals, Vegan Food Club and Revolu Green! are some of the brands with the biggest vegan offerings during January In Chile: NotCo, Jumbo, Papa Johns, Yoguen Fruz, Vilay and Vegusta, will be offering significant discounts In Mexico: Mr. Tofu will have discounts on its own brands as well as Daiya and Better Balance In Argentina: Hiper Changomas and Más Online Supermercado will offer more than 100 discounted products for Veganuary In Ecuador: Veggie Lover In Colombia: Cero …

more

Veganuary France

© Veganuary

Charity & Campaigns

A Hundred French Companies Are Already Mobilised to Promote Veganuary 2023

At time of writing, around a hundred companies have committed to participate in Veganuary 2023 in France. An impressive increase; in 2022 there were 85 in 2022 and in 2021 there were only 30. For the third consecutive year, the French animal rights organization L214, which has been defending animals used as food resources since 2008, is supporting the French edition of Veganuary. Last week, the association organised the official launch of the 2023 edition of this challenge, in the presence of numerous participating companies such as Monoprix, Planet Sushi, Eatic, TyK Affinage, Heura, Jay&Joy and many others. The 629,000 registered participants for the 2022 edition came from 193 different countries. In terms of participation, France came in 12th place, so L214’s goal is to …

more

MingsBings @ Mr. Tofu Store

© Mr. Tofu

Company News

MingBings Launches Plant-Based Pockets into Mexico via Retail Chain Mr. Tofu

Plant-based frozen food brand MingsBings announces it has launched in Mexico, marking the brand’s first international expansion. MingBings will now be available at Mr. Tofu, Mexico’s leading plant-based retail chain, both in-store and online.  Founded by Iron Chef Ming Tsai, MingBings offer a modern Asian take on ancient Chinese “bings” (flatbreads) in familiar flavors like Cheeseburger, Sausage and Peppers, Buffalo Cauliflower and Fiesta. The fully gluten-free and vegan pockets are currently offered in over 3,500 US grocery stores, including Sprouts, Wegmans, select Targets and Whole Foods. The brand can also be found at major concession locations such as Fenway Park and Hard Rock Stadium, as well as colleges, universities and prep schools.  In October, MingsBings partnered with JUST Egg to debut new breakfast pockets featuring …

more

A plant-based taco

© Propel Foods

Startups, Accelerators & Incubators

Propel Foods is Developing AI-Powered Plant Proteins Backed by Mexican Government

After winning the Hult Prize 2021, with a proposal to help local communities and the environment with alternative foods, Joel González, Sofía Hillman, and Jayat González received a US $150K prize which they used to fund their startup Propel Foods. Based in Mexico City, Propel Foods is an AI-powered startup that creates plant-based and hybrid-protein foods. The company says it combines the best of the vegetable and animal worlds in foods that are good for your health, delicious to eat, and good for the planet’s health.  Propel Foods commented in an interview: “Since we won the prize, we have continued turning our idea into a viable business. We were recognized in Mexico as a National Interest, were featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, and have entered into talks …

more

© Micro Meat

Startups, Accelerators & Incubators

Mexico’s First Cultured Meat Startup ‘Micro Meat’ Selected for Newchip Accelerator

Micro Meat, a startup funded by Y Combinator in the summer of 2021 and the first startup of its kind from Mexico, announces it has been accepted into Newchip’s renowned global accelerator program. Micro Meat is a “platform that helps businesses grow and thrive by providing them with the resources they need to produce cultivated meat,” co-founded by Anne-Sophie Mertgen, a tissue engineer, and Vincent Pribble, an ex-NASA and Blue Origin engineer. The company states its mission is to end animal suffering and prevent climate catastrophe by enabling businesses of any size to create and sell cultivated meat. Designed to help startups to rapidly fund, build and upscale, past cohorts at Newchip are said to have averaged more than 17.5 times the average funding amount. …

more

©NotCo

Gastronomy & Food Service

Mexican QSR Giant Alsea Signs New Plant-Based Partnership with NotCo 

Alsea, the Mexican multi-brand restaurant giant, has entered into a new partnership with NotCo to provide plant-based products across its outlets. Including Starbucks, Domino’s Pizza, Burger King, and TGI Friday’s among its operations across Mexico, Europe, and South America, Alsea becomes the latest partner of leading plant-based food tech NotCo.  Alsea has stated that the strategy was carried out with the aim of providing consumers with more dining options, especially given the growing number of people opting for plant-based products. NotBurger, NotChicken, and NotMilk will be the first products to be launched in August, all produced with NotCo’s AI algorithm that replicates animal products using only plants.  In a recent interview with vegconomist, NotCo CEO Matías Muchnick revealed the company’s plans to: “Continue expanding and …

more