Plant-based short ribs


Products & Launches

NEXT MEATS to Debut Marinated BBQ Product “Next Short Rib 2.1” at All Costco Japan Locations

Japanese food tech company NEXT MEATS (OTC: NXMH) announces it will launch its latest alt-protein innovation, Next Short Rib 2.1, at all 31 Costco Wholesale locations in Japan beginning in March.  Described as marinated Japanese BBQ, Next Short Rib 2.1 is made from non-GMO soybeans, and will be sold in two 200g sets in a larger package designed exclusively for Costco Japan. The 100% plant-based product is made without any additives, preservatives and artificial flavors, NEXT MEATS says, and has a refrigerator shelf life of up to 90 days. The company will also offer live cooking demonstrations and tastings at select Costco Japan locations.  New markets Based in Tokyo, NEXT MEATS is a subsidiary of NEXT MEATS Holdings, which is devoted to the research, development …


plant based seafood

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

Japanese Ham Manufacturer Develops Plant-Based Seafood Ahead of Global Food Crisis

Japanese Ham Manufacturer NH Foods (日本ハム株式会社), known as Nippon Ham, has developed two plant-based seafood products — fish fries and popcorn shrimp. The Japanese firm, preparing for a shortage of marine resources that could trigger a global food crisis, spent a year developing the alt products using soy protein, seaweed extracts, and other vegetable ingredients to recreate seafood’s texture and flavours, reports Euronews, adding that the products will launch in March 2023. Founded in 1949, Nippon Ham is a global firm with companies worldwide, including China and the US. The company began with the manufacturing of hams and sausage products. Over the years, it has expanded from being Japan’s biggest protein supplier to developing products such as non-allergenic foods and plant-based alternatives. Its products encompass fresh …


integriculture's project for cultivated meat in japan

© IntegriCulture

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Japanese PM Kishida Announces Intention to Develop Japan’s Cultivated Meat Industry

During a House of Representatives Budget Committee hearing, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced his intention to develop Japan’s cultivated meat industry, reports Nikkei. At the meeting, he stated that he would foster Japanese food tech businesses by promoting the sector and improving the market, including safety assurance measures and developing labelling rules. Responding to Mr. Nobuhiro Nakayama of the Liberal Democratic Party, who was also at the Budget Committee, the Prime Minister stressed that “food tech, including cellular food, is an important technology from the perspective of realising a sustainable food supply.” “We must encourage initiatives that contribute to solving the world’s food problems,” he added. Safety of cultivated meat Speaking about cultivated meat safety, Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Katsunobu Kato pointed …


Daiz Miracle Meat logo

© Daiz


Japan’s Daiz to Expand its “Miracle Meat” Internationally Through Roquette Deal

Plant protein leader Roquette announces an investment and business partnership with the Japanese plant-based meat ingredients company Daiz, referred to as the Impossible Foods of Japan. Through the business alliance, the companies will produce the pea-based Miracle Meat  — a texturized vegetable protein originally developed using soy — as part of Roquette’s pea protein portfolio development and Daiz’s market expansion goals. Pierre Courduroux, CEO of Roquette, said: “Our objective is to be the best partner for our customers as they develop delicious products that will encourage more consumers to enjoy plant-based food more often. This investment in Daiz reflects our commitment to developing plant-based ingredients to meet those expectations.” The Impossible Foods of Japan Daiz’s proprietary technology, Ochiai Germination Method, uses plant seed germination and extrusion process …


Next Meats Debuts Steak in California

©Next Meats North America

Products & Launches

Japan’s Next Meats and Dr. Foods Will Launch Plant-Based Foie Gras, Caviar, and More in US in 2023

Tokyo-based startup Next Meats and spinoff company Dr. Foods Inc. (OTC: DRFS)  announce they will launch Vegan Fois Gras, Vegan Caviar and shelf-stable Next Meats products in North America in 2023.  Exclusive debut To debut the new offerings, Next Meats held an exclusive launch on Dec. 14th at the Los Angeles Cooking School and JETRO in Culver City, CA. The event featured the world-renowned Chef Reina, who prepared Next Meat’s offerings in a variety of global dishes, including Beef Stroganoff, Korean BBQ, and Bistek. Subsidiary Dr. Foods Inc. is the inventor of Vegan Foie Gras, described as the first vegetable-based foie gras. Next Meats says Dr. Foods will commence its business in Singapore, the global capital of cell-based food technologies.  Extensive range Next Meats has …


soy meat Japanese cafe

@Ned Snowman -

Market & Trends

Report Says Meat Alternatives in Japan Have Entered Mainstream

A recent market report finds that meat alternatives in Japan have become increasingly mainstream, driven partly by a shift in consciousness since the pandemic, as well as a high acceptance of soy-based meat. The GlobalData report projects the Japanese market to reach JPY36.3 billion ($373.5 million) by 2026, with a CAGR of 5%. High affinity for soy The upswing is reportedly led by the country’s tendency towards soy-based products, which as we earlier reported, have witnessed a boom over the past two years. Soy-based foods such as soy sauce and miso are deeply ingrained in traditional Japanese culture, as such, meats created from soy are trusted by the Japanese consumer. Nikkei Asia reported in September that despite a 1.5X price increase on soybean crops since …


Japan Airlines Vegan Tuna


Tourism & Travel

Japan Airlines Now Offering BettaF!sh Plant-Based Tuna on Select Flights

German alt-seafood brand BettaF!sh announces its plant-based tuna will now be served aboard Japan’s second-largest airline company, Japan Airlines. Available for business and first class passengers, the TU-NAH Sandwich Wrap will be offered on flights from Tokyo to London.  Featuring BettaF!sh’s TU-NAH Creamy, the new sandwich wrap offers passengers a sustainable alternative to nostalgic tuna mayo. Japan Airlines will initially serve the snack on JL 42 and JL44 flights between London Heathrow and Tokyo Haneda, with plans to increase those routes’ frequency over the coming months.  “What delighted us most about working with Japan Airlines was the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received from day one,” said Jacob von Manteuffel, co-founder of BettaF!sh. “It was a huge honor to have the authenticity and deliciousness of TU-NAH …


Next Food Ecosystem

© Next Meats

Company News

Japan’s Next Food Ecosystem Announces Expansion Across Asia

Japanese food tech group Next Food Ecosystem has announced plans to expand its innovative products across Asia. The group consists of plant-based meat brand Next Meats, vegan foie gras producer Dr. Foods (which is a spinoff of the former), and international partner Wayback Burgers. Together, the companies will work to expand beyond Japan, using Singapore as a springboard to launch across Asia. Wayback collaboration Next Meats first announced a collaboration with Wayback Burgers last year, when the US-based chain trialled plant-based sliders made with Next’s short rib. Wayback recently opened a flagship restaurant in Tokyo, and is now searching for Asian franchise partners. Wayback Burgers Asia is also set to launch a new business venture called Next Restaurant, which will offer bento boxes containing Next …


vegan and vegetarian meal served in ana flights

© All Nippon Airways

Tourism & Travel

Japanese Airline ANA to Offer New Vegan and Vegetarian Meals

All Nippon Airways (ANA) announces a new vegan and vegetarian meal offer on all international routes from Japan. The company explains that the expansion comes in response to consumer demand for alternative meals on international flights. The new menu has been created by ANA chefs in collaboration with Chef Hideki Takayama, a world-renowned French chef who has won the Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition in Asia-Pacific twice. The vegan in-flight offering features green curry with rice as a main dish and a cauliflower and tofu mousse with a spring roll with Tonburi dressing as a side dish. The chefs created a celeriac mouse served over a tortilla and a tofu lasagna as the main plate for vegetarians. The new menu includes a gluten-free option that …


vegan leather cars in a porsche

© Porsche


Rising Trend Towards Vegan Friendly Cars

“There is not a completely vegan car on the market,” the Vegan Society says in its Vegan Vehicles: The Future of Cars Report 2022. However, car manufacturers have been offering non-leather interiors for a while, with many pledging to use alternative materials in their new and existing models in coming years.  Animal leather has traditionally been the standard option for premium car seats and interiors, but current luxury trends do not involve the slaughter of animals. Demand for alternative materials is making the automobile industry incorporate more vegan options for its models, adding to the rise in the global synthetic leather market which is on track to reach $67.2 billion by 2030, according to Straits Research. Growing trend towards animal-free interiors In 2020, PETA published its …


new vegan leather seat head covers made by Toray

© Toray

Tourism & Travel

Japanese Airline ANA to Adopt Toray’s Ultrasuede Alt Leather

Eco-materials manufacturer Toray recently revealed that its new upgraded vegan leather Ultrasuede will be used to make the headrest covers of Japanese airline All Nippon Airways’ Green Jet seats. Toray is a general materials manufacturer focusing on developing 100% plant-derived polyesters to achieve a carbon-neutral, circular economy not dependent on fossil resources. In 2015, the company launched the first commercial production of its Ultrasuede vegan leather made using plant-based recycled resources as part of its raw materials. Starting this November, the modern version of  Ultrasuede will debut in ANA’s Green Jets interior cabins in green colour. ANA claims to be the first Japanese airline to use vegan leather for seat headrest covers as a sustainable material. ANA chose to work with Toray’s Ultrasuede because the …


Beyond Mince

©Beyond Meat

Retail & E-Commerce

Beyond Meat Finally Arrives in Japanese Market Through USMH Partnership

Beyond Meat announces it is finally entering Japan through a new partnership with United Super Market Holdings (USMH), one of the country’s largest grocery stores, after seeking to expand into the Japanese market for the past two years. The two parties made public the agreement in an event at the SKS Japan conference, where they explained they have agreed on a deal whereby USMH has the exclusive distribution rights of Beyond Meat labeled products and also the possibility of developing products using Beyond Meat meats.  Innovation for co-development USMH launched an open innovation initiative called “AKIBA-Runway” in March 2022 which the new partnership will leverage to create new products tailored to specific formats and tastes of Japanese consumers.  USMH will use its brand “Green Growers” …


Vegan Consulting Japan

Nadia McKechnie and Saori Kondo. © Vegan Consulting Japan

Fairs & Events

Vegan Consulting Japan to Launch Country’s First Vegan Business Meetup

On September 9, Vegan Consulting Japan will host what is believed to be Japan’s first vegan business meetup. The meetup will be a casual networking event for anyone engaged in, interested in, or offering support services to vegan businesses. It has been organised by Saori Kondo and Nadia McKechnie, founders of Vegan Consulting Japan and Tokyo Vegan Meetup. Kondo and McKechnie were inspired to create the event after noticing the lack of vertical connections between the vegan business community in Japan. They also found that those interested in vegan business were struggling to find the information and support they needed, while there was no space for those offering vegan business support services to connect with potential clients. The pair believe that this is contributing to …


Umami egg sandwich

© Umami United

Egg Alternatives

Japan’s Umami United Develops Plant-Based Egg Made With Konjac

Japanese foodtech company Umami United has revealed that it has developed plant-based eggs. The egg alternatives are made by combining Japanese ingredients such as konjac with a unique enzyme technology that enhances their flavour. Umami says it is already “gaining good traction from the domestic Japanese market”, emphasising that consumer needs are becoming more diverse due to concerns about sustainability, health, allergies, and other factors. The company aims to “unite all at one table” by providing options for everyone, especially children with allergies. Umami says foodservice is where it expects to see the most growth, with the potential to provide both ingredients and preprepared meals to catering companies. However, the company also plans to launch at supermarkets. Speaking to vegconomist, founder and CEO Hiroto Yamazaki …


Next Meats skirt steak bowl

©Next Meats

Food & Beverage

Japan Sees Soybean Boom in Plant-Based Food & Drink Production

Soy and tofu have been staples in Japan for around 1,300 years, traditionally consumed by Buddhists and initially introduced to the country by Chinese monks. Asia News reports today that use of the soybean in food and drink production has increased significantly over the past two years, and additionally, Japan Times states this week that “soy-based alternatives to animal-based sources of protein appear to be growing on Japan”. Aside from its traditional soy-based food items such as tofu, soy milk, soy sauce, and soy-based condiments; many of Japan’s meat-processing companies are starting to develop soy-based meat alternatives. This is attributed to increasing demand for healthier food options post-pandemic as well as  and the government’s drive for net-zero carbon emissions. The rise of soy milk Despite …