Meta Burger long sandwich with fries on purple background

© Meta Burger

Fast Food

Meta Burger Brings New Plant Meats by Umaro Foods, Fable, & Unreal Deli to Colorado

Colorado plant-based fast-casual restaurant chain Meta Burger recently added three new plant meats that (it claims) are unavailable to Coloradans in retail stores: Umaro Foods‘ Bacon, Fable Food Co‘s Shiitake Pulled Pork, and Mrs. Goldfarb’s Unreal Deli Sliced Turkey. Currently operating two restaurants in the state, a drop from three, Meta offers a range of fully vegan sandwiches, burgers, and hot dogs, with the existing lineup including the Meta “Beef” Patty made from Hungry Planet’s organic soybean base, Meta Crispy “Chicken” made from Hungry Planet’s organic soybean and wheat protein base, and a Lentil Patty created in-house. This February, bee-free honey produced by MeliBio was added to the specials menu, bringing the “last animal-free ingredient…to make delicious offerings fully from plants”. Now the new options …

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MycoTechnology launches Fermentation as a Service (FaaS) platform to help other companies produce bioproducts at a commercial scale.

© MycoTechnology

Fermentation

MycoTechnology Launches FaaS Platform to Address Commercial Scale Challenges in Bioproducts

US mycelial fermentation company MycoTechnology announces the launch of a Fermentation as a Service (FaaS) platform to help other companies produce bioproducts at a commercial scale, including proteins, enzymes, and probiotics.  “Fermentation is a critical process that underpins the production of a wide array of bioproducts,” says Ranjan Patnaik, CTO at MycoTechnology.   The new platform offers fermentation capacity services from 300 to 90,000 L. In addition, it provides companies with essential tools and expertise to address commercial production challenges such as product quality, yield, and cost management.  Furthermore, the FaaS platform complies with FDA 21 CFR Part 117 guidelines and holds a GFSI audit certification from BRCGS, guaranteeing a “robust and reliable facility for fermentation services,” explains the company. Accelerating innovations MycoTechnology states that this initiative will inspire …

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New research by MycoTechnology shows that many mainstream consumers purchase plant-based protein powders.

© MycoTechnology

Fungi, Mushrooms & Mycelium

MycoTechnology Research: Widespread Adoption of Plant-Based Protein Powder Among Non-Vegan Consumers

New research commissioned by MycoTechnology, a company specializing in mycelial fermentation to make protein powders, shows that a significant number of mainstream consumers, not only vegans and athletes, purchase plant-based protein powder.  According to the research conducted by Brightfield Group in Q1 2023, out of 725 users of plant protein powder, only 17% identified as vegans. Meanwhile, the survey found that 46% of participants identified as athletes, although 77% claimed to engage in physical activity at least three times per week.  With about a third of the plant-based protein powder consumers identifying as ‘early adopters’ and ‘early majority’ shoppers, the data suggests that using plant protein powder is becoming popular among the general population rather than just a niche market, says the company. Jonas Feliciano, Marketing Director at …

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A 3D printer lays down used coffee grounds to make a flower pot

© University of Colorado / Michael Rivera

Printed Technology

3D Printing with Used Coffee Grounds to Reduce Waste & Help Eliminate Plastic

In a novel initiative led by Michael Rivera, an Assistant Professor at the ATLAS Institute and the Department of Computer Science at the University of Colorado Boulder, researchers are working on leveraging coffee grounds to reduce waste in 3D printing. Rivera and his team have devised a method for 3D printing various objects using a paste comprising recycled coffee grounds, water, and other sustainable components. The project is perceived as an initial step towards the exploration of alternative eco-friendly 3D printing materials, which could potentially replace conventional plastics. Rivera expounded that the majority of consumer 3D printers in today’s market utilize thermoplastics, with polylactic acid (PLA) being the most prevalent. While PLA is theoretically compostable, only a limited number of composting facilities accept it. “If …

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Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter ©Meati

Celebrities

Meati Foods Welcomes Baseball Legend Derek Jeter to its Roster of Celebrity Investors

Colorado’s Meati Foods, a producer of animal-free meat made from mycelium, announces that baseball legend Derek Jeter has joined the company as an investor and advisor.  “When it came to considering an investment in this industry, I had three main priorities in evaluating the food: nutrition, sustainability, and taste,” comments Jeter.  Meati Foods made its retail debut at Sprouts in March 2023 after a year of DTC record sellouts. The brand’s alt meat, which claims to be clean-label, nutritious, and sustainable whole food, is made with 95% mushroom root providing complete protein, fiber, and minerals.  “An investment from Derek, one of the greatest athletes of all time, is a huge validation of our food. Very few people are as discriminating about the quality of food that …

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Plant-based Chic'ken Chopped Fajita

©RollinGreens

Products & Launches

RollinGreens Launches Chic’Ken Chopped Fajita to Expand Plant-Based Mexican Category

Colorado plant protein company RollinGreens announces the launch of its latest shelf-stable offering, Chic’Ken Chopped Fajita. Made with pea protein and and clean-label ingredients, each package of Chic’Ken can replace one pound of conventional chicken.  The new Chic’Ken Chopped Fajita features a special recipe by Co-Founder Chef Ko, and includes the brand’s texturized protein blend (fermented shiitake mushrooms, pea protein and rice) along with garlic, peppers and onion seasoning. The pre-seasoned product can be prepared in 10 minutes, and offers 56 grams of protein per pack.  In addition to being shelf-stable for up to two years, the product is also kosher-certified and free from gluten, soy, oils, nuts, and GMOs.  Shark Tank fame Originally founded as an organic food truck in Boulder, CO, RollinGreens previously sold …

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GrownAs* Foods-Kid-Approved, Adult-Adored Mac and Cheese!

© GrownAs* Foods

Retail & E-Commerce

GrownAs* Foods Rolls Out Gourmet Vegan Mac & Cheese Into 380 Sprouts Stores

Boulder Colorado-based GrownAs* Foods today announces a new listing for its Classic and Truffle-flavored mac & cheese at Sprouts Farmers Market locations across the USA. The product contains 25 grams of plant-based protein per serving, according to the brand, and is free from soy, cholesterol, dairy, sugar, GMOs, as well as plastic. The simple ingredient list includes nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, potato and coconut flour. As we reported last December, GrownAs*, a subsidiary of Seed Ranch Flavor Co, aims to revolutionize the mac and cheese category by producing clean ingredient, gourmet mac and cheese products for the modern market. “We are thrilled to join forces with Sprouts and bring our delicious, plant-based mac & cheese to families across the nation within the chain’s new Innovation …

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Nepra Foods canneloni

©Nepra Foods

Company News

Nepra Foods Partners with Scoular to Develop and Market Specialty Plant-Based Ingredients

Plant-based foods company Nepra Foods NPRFF (OTCMKTS) announces it has entered a manufacturing and distribution partnership with Scoular, a global agribusiness company. Together, the partners will collaborate on developing and marketing specialized plant-based ingredients. According to Nepra, the partnership will involve new product development that utilizes Nepra’s R&D team as well as specialty ingredients from both companies. The partnership will also provide for sales and marketing, with Scoular offering Nepra products through its global supply chain network, benefitting both companies.  “This partnership with Scoular represents a transformational step for Nepra and its ability to continue pushing the boundaries of novel food development and broadening market access,” said Chadwick White, CEO of Nepra Foods. “Scoular is a leader within the agricultural supply chain and a pioneer …

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david-chang-meati

David Chang ©Meati Foods

Food Service

Meati Foods Launches the “Meati Culinary Collective” Led by Celebrity Chefs

Meati Foods last week unveiled an evolving series of chef partnerships called the “Meati Culinary Collective,” in which its mycelium-based meat alternatives will be prepared by well-known and prominent chefs. This spring, Meati is collaborating with the following chefs: David Chang of world-renowned Momofuku and Majordomo Media; two-time BBQ World Champion Charlie McKenna, chef-owner of Lillie’s Q in Chicago; and chefs Tom Colicchio and Evan Funke. These chefs will showcase curated recipes, original content and meals featuring Meati products both in the restaurant and at home via Meati kits. “I’ve been following plant-based innovation closely for years,” says David Chang, chef and founder of Momofuku and Majordomo Media. “I can say without hesitation that the food Meati delivers is second to none in terms of …

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Smashburger Plant-Based Burger

©Smashburger

Gastronomy & Food Service

Smashburger Partners with jack & annie’s to Trial New Jackfruit-Based Burger Patty

Fast casual burger chain Smashburger announces it is partnering with jackfruit meat producer jack & annie’s to trial a new menu item: the Plant-Based Classic Smash Burger. For a limited time, the jackfruit-based burger is now available in select US Smashburger locations in Colorado, New York and New Jersey.  According to the chain, the new patty can be substituted for any traditional protein across its menu items. The Plant-Based Classic Smash Burger features lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, pickles, American cheese (non-vegan), Smash Sauce (non-vegan), and ketchup on a toasted bun.  1st plant-based patty According to jack & annie’s, this burger marks its first branded partnership with a fast-casual restaurant chain, though it has been supplying jackfruit products to other restaurants for several years, the company …

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Classic Cutlets and Steaks Grilling

Classic Cutlets and Steaks © Meati

Fungi, Mushrooms & Mycelium

Meati Foods Announces Huge ‘Mega Ranch’ Capable of Producing Millions of Pounds of Mycelium

Meati, the Colorado producer famous for its whole cuts made from mycelium, announces the opening of its biggest production facility yet, known as the Mega Ranch. The fully integrated operation is expected to cultivate Meati products at an annual rate of tens of millions of pounds by late 2023. At this rate, Meati says its production will match or exceed that of the largest individual animal-based ranches in the US.  According to Meati, its massive $150M Series C raise in 2022 helped to finance the Mega Ranch, which is designed to scale the company to an omnichannel, national footprint by the end of 2023. Along with a recent contribution by Rockefeller Capital, Meati says it is well-positioned to become a market leader with $1 billion …

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Meta Burger with MeliBio Honey

©Meta Burger

Gastronomy & Food Service

Colorado: Meta Burger Partners with MeliBio to Debut Bee-Free Honey on Special Menu

Meta Burger, Colorado’s leading plant-based burger chain, announces it is partnering with MeliBio to debut the world’s first bee-free honey on its menu.  Beginning in February, Meta Burger will offer a specially crafted dish made with MeliBio’s plant-based honey.  This month, customers have the chance to vote for which MeliBio honey-inspired dish they would like to see on the chain’s menu in February: Hot Honey Garlic Tender Basket, a Honey Sesame Burger, or a Honey BBQ Chicken Sandwich. According to Meta Burger, which operates three locations in Denver and Boulder, this is the first time MeliBio’s bee-free honey will be available in the state of Colorado. “Meta Burger is making delicious, sustainable food more accessible,” said Michael Reeves, co-founder of Meta Burger. “Partnering with a …

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scott-tassani-meati-president

Scott Tassani © Meati

Interviews

Meati: “Quickly Scaling to Become the US Market Share Leader in Plant-Based Meat by 2025”

Vegan whole-cut pioneer Meati has had an eventful time, to say the least, since we spoke with CEO Tyler Huggins back in March of this year. After raising $150M in Series C, launching fungi steaks and Carne Asada, and even being named in TIME’s Best Inventions of 2022, we just had to catch up with President Scott Tassani for another update from the masters of meaty mycelium. Can you give us a bit of background on your experience and how you landed at Meati? I worked in the food business through high school, and in my 30 years since graduating college. My career before Meati was spent with The Pillsbury Company and then General Mills – working in sales and brand development, spending my last …

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Meati Mushroom Chicken on Skewer

© Meati

Company News

Meati Hires New CFO Amid Plans to “Become the US Market Share Leader in Plant-Based Meat” by 2025

Following its Chipotle-backed $150M Series C this July, Colorado’s Meati Foods appoints Jody Macedonio as CFO. Ms Macedonio previously held the same role at Chobani as well as at Dean Foods, which was the largest dairy company in the United States. According to Meati, the new role will see Ms Macedonio overlooking Meati Foods’ financials and partner with the leadership team to drive growth as it rapidly upscales, stating its intention “to become the US market share leader in plant-based meat by 2025, achieving an omnichannel national footprint in more than 10,000 doors by late-2023.” Pivotal moment “We’re thrilled and lucky to welcome Jody to the Meati Foods team during such a pivotal moment in our growth as a company. Jody’s track record as a …

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Nepra Foods canneloni

©Nepra Foods

Gastronomy & Food Service

Nepra Foods Launches Hemp-Based Beef, Chicken, and Pork For Food Service

Nepra Foods of Colorado announces that its meat products made with its proprietary textured hemp protein (THP™) are now available to be purchased by restaurant chains, institutions, and private retailers. Nepra Foods plans to produce pasta, frozen meals, plant-based meat and dairy alternatives, snacks, spreads and baking mixes. The hemp-based meat CPGs will be the company’s first output created by its specialized equipment which it says can produce 800,000 lbs./year of the THP for the plant-based meat analogs. The company was listed on Canadian Securities Exchange last September, raising $7.5 million at an offering price of $0.47 CAD, and became listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange concurrently, before floating on the US market last November. In February of this year, Nepra announced the full operation …

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Mushroom MycoTechnology

© MycoTechnology

Fungi, Mushrooms & Mycelium

MycoTechnology Closes $85M Series E, Bringing Total Raise to $200M, in Preparation for IPO?

MycoTechnology, Inc., which describes itself as the world’s leading explorer of mushroom mycelia, announces it has closed a Series E round of $85 million bringing its total to over $200M. Notable returning investors in the round include Tyson Ventures and Maple Leaf Foods. IPO in late 2022? Tyson, Greenleaf Foods, and Kellogg’s were notable participants in the company’s August 2020 Series D, during which an IPO for late 2022 was discussed, with CEO Alan Hahn commenting to FoodNavigator at the time that there were some exciting projects coming up that may “trigger” the opportunity to become publicly listed. In the November of that same year, Mycotechnology was named winner, along with BlueNalu, of Syngenta’s Radicle Protein Challenge, an initiative to invest a total of $1.25 …

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Tyler Huggins, CEO and Co-founder Meati

CEO Tyler Huggins ©Meati

Interviews

Meati: “We Intend To Be the Final Frontier of Animal-Free Protein, Creating a Superfood Protein Category That Will Change the Way People Eat”

Boulder Colorado’s Meati is creating mycelium-based whole cuts of meat through fermentation – two trending categories in plant-based. One of the most funded companies in the sector, Meati recently launched preorders for two alt chicken SKUs which both sold out in less than 24 hours. “I think we are only scratching the surface of what’s possible,” Tyler Huggins Yesterday the Meati Chicken Cutlet and Crispy Cutlet finally launched in the US with help from chef and Momofuku founder David Chang. And with newly hired Meati president Scott Tassani, previously of General Mills, aiming for $1 billion in Sales by 2025, it’s safe to say this startup is one to keep an eye on and will be making big moves in vegan meat. It was definitely …

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Nepra Foods meatballs

© Nepra Foods

Company News

Nepra Foods, Producer of “Game-Changing” Hemp Protein, Projects Revenue Increase of $3.5M Following IPO

Nepra Foods, creator of hemp-based, gluten-free foods, announces the full operation of its first dedicated extrusion line, which was installed in their Colorado facility last November. This new addition is set to exponentially increase ingredient output and boost overall sales revenue, particularly for its textured hemp protein. Founded in 2016, Nepra Foods is a multi-category market leader in allergen-free and plant-based food ingredients. Following a successful IPO in Canada in September 2021, the alt-protein company also entered the US securities market two months afterwards. The company is best known as the developer of an innovative hemp protein that it describes as “game-changing” textured hemp protein, or THP. Conventional TVP is usually made with soy, wheat, or pea proteins, but as these are common allergens, they …

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planterra-new-factory

Image: Planterra Foods

Company News

Planterra Foods Opens Denver Factory to Expand OZO Plant-Based Meats

Planterra Foods opens larger factory to increase production of its plant-based meats Planterra Foods yesterday announced the opening of a brand new manufacturing facility in Denver, Colorado. Planterra, which is owned by global meat processor JBS, launched its first plant-based meat brand, OZO, in 2020. OZO offers a full range of Non-GMO, pea protein-based burgers, sausages, and meatballs, as well as upcoming chicken cutlets and shreds, to be released in early 2022.  The new 189,000 sq. ft. plant will greatly expand Planterra’s production capacity, allowing the brand to reach new customers and retailers, and provide valuable employment opportunities to the local community. Between corporate operations and manufacturing positions, it will create about 200 new jobs.  As a subsidiary of JBS, the world’s largest meat company, …

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meati-steak-new-president

©Meati

Company News

Meati’s New President Aims for $1 Billion in Sales by 2025

Meati has appointed former Pillsbury and General Mills exec Scott Tassani to grow the company into a market leader by 2025 Meati announced it has selected Scott Tassani, a CPG industry veteran, to lead the mushroom-based meat company, beginning December 6. Tassani joins the Boulder, Colorado startup, which makes whole cuts of animal-free meat from mushroom roots, as it prepares its first product launch in early 2022. Tassani brings 30 years of experience in the food industry, where he successfully served at The Pillsbury Company and General Mills, including roles as General Mills’ President and Chief Customer Officer. As the new head of Meati, Tassani aims to help it become a market-share leader for animal-free meat over the next three years. “Our goal is to …

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