John Hopkins College Studnents Alt Protein

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Fairs & Events

APAC Students Invited to Submit Ideas for Plant-Based Innovations for $10K Cash Prize

University students hailing from various corners of Asia are being presented with an incentive of $10,000 to devise novel, plant-based food solutions. The innovations are intended to both foster the expansion of the regional market for environmentally sustainable foods and contribute to the advancement of climate-conscious dietary choices. The competition, titled the ProVeg Food Innovation Challenge, is currently in its fourth consecutive year. Participating students are encouraged to channel their imagination through addressing some of the most pressing global predicaments of our time. “We really encourage as many university students as possible, from all disciplines, to take part in the Food Innovation Challenge 2023. Not only could they end up creating a great new food for the supermarket shelves and win a lot of money, …


CellX secures funds to start running its cultivated meat pilot plant

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Studies & Numbers

Report Reveals the Five Asian Countries With the Greatest Alt Protein Market Potential

A report by Food Frontier has revealed the five Asian countries with the biggest alt protein market potential, and the opportunities this could bring for Australian and New Zealand manufacturers. In order of opportunity, the countries are: China — Currently has an alt meat market worth $2.13 billion, with a 20% CAGR predicted to 2027. International companies are establishing facilities in the country, while homegrown startups continue to see success. A quarter of consumers in the country identify as flexitarian, while a third intend to reduce their consumption of at least one type of meat. Singapore — Per capita alt meat revenue reached $2.34 last year, which is considered high. 39% of consumers say they would be willing to consume cultivated meat — which is …


Beyond Meat launches at Metro China

© Beyond Meat

Market & Trends

The Chinese Plant-Based Meat Industry is “Faltering”, Claims Publication. Is This Really the Case?

Earlier this week, Sixth Tone, a digital platform covering Chinese current affairs, claimed that plant-based brands both domestic and imported are struggling in China, in a now-familiar rhetoric that is being churned out globally making vegan products as well as veganism itself an easy target. “Once the darlings of both foreign and domestic investors, Chinese plant-based startups are folding amid a downturn for the industry globally,” the platform denounces, citing Chinese brands Hey Maet and Zhenmeat which were amongst those swept up in the post-Beyond IPO hype around 2019. The bigger picture Is alt protein actually faltering in the second most populous country in the world? Just in the past few months, we have seen news emerging regarding China’s first alt dairy products made with …


Japanese dairy giant Megmilk forms JV with Agrocorp to build pea protein facility in Malaysia

Image credit: Agrocorp International


Japanese Dairy Giant Megmilk and Agrocorp Partner to Open Pea Protein Plant in Malaysia

Japan’s dairy giant Megmilk Snow Brand has partnered with Agrocorp International, a Singapore-based global agrifood supplier, to produce and distribute plant-based ingredients to accelerate the shift toward sustainable food production in Asia.  The two APAC companies established a joint venture (JV) to open a factory in Malaysia to produce pea protein and starch isolates for the region’s plant-based F&B manufacturing sector. Agrocorp will contribute 51% and Megmilk 49% in the total $21 million investment in the JV.  “We are excited to partner with Megmilk Snow Brand, one of the largest dairy companies in Japan, to further our capabilities downstream in the plant protein extraction business,” commented Vishal Vijay, director of strategic investments at Agrocorp International. Growing demand in Asia The partnership will leverage the strengths of both …


Paleo founders

© Paleo

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Paleo Considers Legal Action Against Vow Regarding the Mammoth Meatball

Belgian precision fermentation firm Paleo announces it is considering legal action against Vow, an Australian cultivated meat company, for claiming that mammoth myoglobin protein is Vow’s invention, “while knowing that the technology (mammoth myoglobin) was already developed two years ago by Paleo, with patent applications ongoing.” Paleo develops animal-free heme proteins as ingredients for the alt meat sector. It focuses on producing myoglobin, a heme protein found in animal muscles. In July 2022,  the company released six new non-GM proteins: chicken, beef, pork, lamb, and tuna proteins and new variations of its mammoth protein, as part of the species extinct in the wild. “Our breakthrough in creating myoglobin for mammoth – and also beef, lamb, tuna, chicken, and pork — was significant and took hard work to bring about,” states …


Hart House Girl Holding Vegan Burger

©Hart House

Studies & Numbers

GFI: Majority of Alt-Protein Investors Remain Optimistic About Industry’s Long-Term Growth

The Good Food Institute (GFI) has released a new analysis showing that, despite challenging macroeconomic and market conditions, investment interest in the alternative proteins sector remains strong, with 99% of investors surveyed showing optimism for its long-term potential.  Observing the rapid growth of alt-protein investments in the past decade, which has doubled YOY and now totals about $14.2Bn globally, GFI noted the marked slowdown and deceleration of investments last year, which decreased from $5.1Bn in 2021 to $2.9Bn in 2022.  This trend aligned with a 35% decline in overall global venture funding that occurred over the same time period. Despite these slowdowns, GFI points out that the world’s largest protein producers are increasingly involved in the alt-protein industry: of the 60 largest global meat, dairy, …


© DOG by Dr Lisa

Products & Launches

Luxury Skincare For the Discerning Doggo: Vegan Brand DOG by Dr Lisa Arrives in USA

Australian luxury pet skincare brand DOG by Dr Lisa today makes its entrance into the US with a range of natural products to help with a variety of pet skincare needs. Founded in 2020, the brand’s entry into the US this week comes after a year of “momentous” growth for the startup which states it has raised $AUD3.25M to date with an increase of 124% in annual sales. DOG by Dr Lisa, the rate of success in its home country signalled that international expansion was a natural next step. The products were created by Dr. Lisa Chimes, a veterinarian who works in the emergency and critical care department at a Small Animal Specialist Hospital. Dr Lisa has starred in popular TV shows Bondi Vet and …


MILKLAB almond barista plant based beverage


Milk- and Dairy Alternatives

Aussie Plant-Based Brand MILKLAB Seeks Growth Opportunities in SEA Markets

MILKLAB, an Australian barista plant-based milk brand currently available in 19 countries across Asia, the Middle East, and South Africa, says it has further expansion plans in Southeast Asia (SEA). Last December, as part of its first regional marketing campaign in Southeast Asia, the global alternative milk brand kicked off a series of pop-ups in Singapore called MILKLAB Oat Float for consumers to taste coffee blended with its MILKLAB Oat Milk. In addition, the company implemented MILKLAB Coffee Run, a month-long promotional event to create brand awareness that offered one-for-one beverages at 16 prominent cafes in the city. Peter Brown, Regional Sales Director for Asia, Middle East, told FoodNavigator-Asia: “By combining brand activations targeting both trade partners and consumers, we aim to increase brand awareness and …


Cultivated meat made with serum-free cell growth media

© Eat Just

Cultivated Meat

“Regulatory Milestone” as GOOD Meat Receives Approval for Serum-Free Cell Growth Media

GOOD Meat, Eat Just’s cultivated meat division, has become the first producer worldwide to receive regulatory approval for the use of serum-free cell growth media in cultivated products. To date, most cultivated meat producers have used fetal bovine serum to grow their cells. However, the serum is expensive, of inconsistent quality, and comes with ethical issues. GOOD Meat believes that the use of serum-free media will make cultivated meat production more scalable, efficient, and sustainable, along with reducing costs. Regulatory approval has been granted by the Singapore Food Agency, which previously made history when it approved GOOD Meat’s cultivated chicken nuggets for sale in late 2020. A year later, cultivated chicken breasts were also approved. For the time being, GOOD Meat remains the only brand …


jimi biotech's company banner

Image courtesy of Jimi Biotech

Investments & Finance

Jimi Biotech: Producer of First Cultivated Beef in China Closes Angel Round, Has Sights on Unicorn Status?

Jimi Biotech, a company that states that it unveiled the first cultivated beef in China four months after it was founded, announces the completion of an angel round of RMB20 million (around $3 million) to accelerate cultivated meat production in the country. The round was led by Plum Ventures, and Fanqie Capital, and included Green Leaf Ventures and Joyvio Capital. Former Alibaba engineer and founder of NYSE-listed company Mogujie, Chen Qi, invested in the company’s seed round. According to the company, the fresh funds will be invested in its R&D and HR departments. Leadership position Plum Ventures co-founder, Shichun Wu, commented: “In the fast-moving cultivated meat industry, Jimi has established its leadership position in cultivated meat technologies. With its strong capabilities in R&D and commercialization, …


OmniPork boiled dumplings by BaFang YunJi, biggest QSR in Taiwan


Politics & Law

Taiwan Passes Climate Bill Mandating the Promotion of Plant-Based Foods

Taiwan has approved a groundbreaking climate bill requiring its government to promote low-carbon diets. The legislation, which passed its third reading on January 10, specifically references plant-based foods. Article 8 of the bill says that the Council of Agriculture must promote waste reduction and low-carbon diets, with the latter category including plant-based and locally-produced foods. Article 42 adds that all levels of government should promote these foods, and mandates support for civil society organisations working towards low-carbon diets. The legislation makes Taiwan one of only a small number of regions to reference plant-based foods in their climate laws. The government’s target of net zero emissions by 2050 has also been made legally binding, with government agencies required to implement plans to reduce emissions. Addressing excessive …


Alvyn Severien. © Algama Foods

Investments & Acquisitions

Seafood Giant Thai Union Invests in French Microalgae Producer Algama Foods

The corporate venture capital fund of global seafood company Thai Union has announced an investment in Paris-based microalgae producer Algama Foods. Through the investment, Thai Union is looking to grow its alternative proteins business, with the aim of becoming more sustainable. The company has been working towards this goal for some time, last year forming an alliance with Chicken of the Sea and The ISH Food Company to invest in sustainable seafood alternatives. Thai Union has also invested in another algae ingredients producer, Mara Renewables, and has signed a memorandum of understanding with Aleph Farms with the goal of bringing cultivated meat to the APAC region. Strong tech and commercial capabilities “At Thai Union, we are committed to ‘Healthy Living, Healthy Oceans’, and algae, as …


lotteria's ria miracle burger ad


Food Service

LOTTERIA Launches New Ria Miracle Burger Across 1,300 Locations in South Korea 

South Korea’s biggest fast food burger chain, LOTTERIA, has announced the launch of a new version of its plant-based burger Ria Miracle Burger across its 1,300 locations in South Korea. The new offering is a renewal of its plant-based burger Ria Miracle Burger I, which the company introduced in 2020, featuring alternative meat burger patties made of wheat proteins. The burger chain says the refreshed Ria Miracle Burger II features 100% vegetarian patties made with soy to achieve a texture and mouthfeel similar to animal beef, adding that it comes served with tomatoes, lettuce, and a garlic soy onion sauce for “full flavour.” LOTTERIA is run by LOTTE GRS, a global service restaurant company that opened LOTTERIA’s first branch back in 1979, “South Korea’s first-ever …


phool's women employees sitting on the grown working with colourful flowers

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Leather Alternatives

Fleather: Vegan Leather from Upcycled Temple Flowers

Phool is an Indian biomaterial company based in Kanpur that has developed a vegan leather alternative to animal skin using discarded temple flowers. The animal-free material, called Fleather, is a versatile textile containing chitin, a protein that gives it the same delicate and smooth touch as skin leather, explains the upcycling company. Phool was founded in 2017 by Ankit Agarwal and Prateek Kumar to offer a sustainable solution to the toxic floral waste dumped in the Ganges river. Since its establishment, the company has converted flower waste into charcoal-free incense and oily fragrances. The company upcycles tons of floral waste annually and creates valuable employment opportunities for families and female ‘flowercyclers” from the area. In 2021, Fleather won PETA India’s Best Innovation in Vegan Fashion Award, and recently, …


Allen Zelden headshot
Market & Trends

Allen Zelden: My 4 Trend Predictions for 2023

APAC expert Allen Zelden, co-founder of FUTUREVVORLD and PlantForm Partners, shares his predictions for 2023, spanning alt seafood; ESG; the Australian market; and private labels. They say adversity doesn’t build character, it reveals it. That was certainly the case for the plant-based foods industry in 2022. In the face of stagnant sales growth, rising costs and diminished investment appetite, this last year revealed a strong sense of community, an epicentre for collaboration, and an unrelenting message of urgency and purpose. Whilst there is clearly competition amongst the increasing number of plant-based food businesses and service providers, we are all ultimately driven by a mission beyond just turning a profit. Whether that mission is health, animal welfare or the environment, 2022 revealed that our industry truly has a …


Beyond Meat launches at Metro China

© Beyond Meat

Retail & E-Commerce

Beyond Meat Expands to 100 METRO China Locations in 60+ Cities

Beyond Meat has rolled out its plant-based burgers and pork patties at all 100 METRO China stores, spread across more than 60 cities. METRO China is one of the country’s largest international wholesalers, and the launch marks the first time that Beyond’s pork patties have been available for retail. METRO members will be able to enjoy value packs of the two products at special members-only prices — RMB 62.9 ($9.05) for six Beyond Burgers and RMB 29.9 ($4.30) for eight pork patties. In 2020, the Beyond Burger was offered at three METRO China locations in Shanghai for a limited time. The new collaboration will see Beyond products available in Hangzhou, Xiamen, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Nanjing, and many more cities. “Narrowing the price gap between plant-based and …


Steak MeaTech

© Steakholder Foods

Printed Technology

New Plant-Based Ink Could Reduce Cost of 3D Printing Cultivated Meat

Scientists in China and Singapore have developed a plant-based ink that can be used when 3D printing cultivated meat. 3D printing is often used to create the scaffolds that cultivated meat cells grow on, which ensure that the resulting meat has the right texture and structure. To date, animal products such as gelatine and collagen have often been used to print scaffolds, or sometimes synthetic alternatives. But these materials are expensive, prompting scientists to search for a more affordable option. Made from food waste such as cereal husks, the newly-developed sustainable ink can be produced cheaply, is readily absorbed, and has the potential to significantly reduce the cost of cultivated meat. Once the meat has been produced, beets can be used to give it an …


Onlyeg sunny side up on a plate, Float Foods

© Float Foods

Egg Alternatives

Float Foods’ Plant-Based Egg to Arrive in Hong Kong Via DayDayCook’s Meal Kits

Singapore’s Float Foods has announced a distribution agreement that will include its plant-based egg, OnlyEg, in the ready-to-cook meal kits that DayDayCook, a Chinese online meal delivery service, sells across China. This new partnership will see Float Foods’ OnlyEg integrated into DayDayCook’s Ready-to-Cook Meal Kits, which will be distributed in Hong Kong through an omnichannel sales strategy, including e-commerce and B2B segments, explains the plant-based eggs brand. Uniquely positioned partnership  DayDayCook is a DTC company that focuses on innovative and healthy meal solutions providing customers with meal kits containing fresh ingredients and recipes for dishes that can be cooked in under 15 minutes. The online meal delivery service offers ready-to-heat (RTH), ready-to-cook (RTC), and plant-based food products through its omnichannel sales network. Vinita Choolani, CEO of …


harvest b co-founders Alfred Lo and Kristi Riordan holding a bag of plant-based proteins with Ed Husic, australia's federal minister for industry and science

Image: Harvest B Twitter


Harvest B Opens “Australia’s First” Plant-Based Meat Ingredient Facility 

Harvest B, an Australian B2B alt protein company, announces the opening of its plant-based meat ingredient facility, which the company claims is Australia’s first plant protein factory. Located in Penrith, Western Sydney, the facility will produce a range of proteins — using locally sourced ingredients — for consumer-facing food brands, manufacturers, and food service companies that develop alternative meat products. According to Harvest B, the federal government’s Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) co-invested $1 million in the manufacturing plant, which will initially produce up to 1000 metric tonnes of plant-based proteins. Harvest B’s CEO Matt Shillito said: “We are excited to be launching Australia’s first plant-based meat ingredient facility. This is an important step forward in our mission to create a world where food is …


black vegan leather featured in huawei's mate 50 pro phone

© Huawei

Leather Alternatives

Huawei Announces Global Launch of Mate 50 Pro Featuring Vegan Leather Finish

Chinese multinational technology corporation Huawei announces it is soon to launch its flagship smartphone Huawei Mate 50 Pro Carbon Black Vegan Leather, on the global market. This marks the first time Huawei places this mobile phone version out of China, where was introduced after the Huawei Mate 50 Pro orange vegan leather version. The choice of vegan leather, according to Huawei, reaffirms the company’s interest in integrating next-gen materials into its designs. The communications giant has been introducing smartphones with alternative materials, such as its HUAWEI Mate 30 and 40 flagships that offered vegan leather green and yellow options. Huawei Mate 50 Pro Carbon Black Vegan Leather comes protected with a new Kunlun Glass material that, according to the company, protects the phone’s screen from …