© Novozymes

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Novozymes Launches New Clean-Label Biosolution for “Perfect Textures” in Plant-Based Meat

Novozymes (NASDAQ OMX: NZYM-B), one of the world’s largest providers of microbial technologies and enzymes, has launched Vertera®ProBite, a new clean-label product that the company claims delivers “perfect textures” in plant-based meat. The Danish company says that its new biosolution addresses consumers’ concerns about the texture and long ingredient lists of alt meat, ultimately encouraging more people to choose sustainable food options. A study conducted by the company shows that 95% of consumers think plant-based meat should improve. According to the 2023 Unmet Needs Discovery Survey by the Plant-Based Food Association, texture is the number one factor dissuading consumers from adopting plant-based alternatives. “Now’s the time to raise the (burger) bar and find perfect textures that consumers will love inside plants,” states Novozymes. Unlocking the potential …


Tuna steaks made from upcycled algae by Poseidona

Poseidona - Image courtesy of Eatable Adventures

Startups, Accelerators & Incubators

Spain Foodtech Startups Program Reveals 2023 Cohort of Agrifood Pioneers

Spain Foodtech Startups Program announces its 2023 cohort, with four Spanish startups leading the new agrifood revolution with innovative technologies, natural alternatives, and upcycled proteins. Backed by an impressive investment of €10 million, this program aims to support the selected startups over the next three years to make them capable of competing globally. Spain Foodtech, a collaboration between Eatable Adventures, ICEX Spain Export and Investments, and CNTA, seeks to position Spain as a technological leader. According to the data from an Eatable Adventures study, the food tech investment in Spain reached €268 million in 2022, marking a growth of 9.3% compared to the previous year. Four pioneers From over 120 applications, Spain Foodtech selected the following startups: Bio2coat: Develops natural coatings that extend the shelf life …


© European Vegan Summit

Fairs & Events

Top Highlights From the European Vegan Summit 2023

The European Vegan Summit took place online from September 19 to 23, hosted by the Polish vegan think tank Green REV Institute. Politicians, activists, and industry experts came together to explore how reforming the food system could mitigate the challenges of climate change, food poverty, animal suffering, biodiversity loss, and more. Highlights from this year’s event included a focus on: Food system transition — Speakers discussed sustainable agriculture, the environmental impact of various food choices, and policy proposals and strategies that could reform the European food system. “The EU is still a leader in climate action, but it doesn’t do enough (…) there will be a lot of conservatism until the end of the mandate,” said MEP Francisco Guereirro. Effective and inclusive activism — Activists …


UK-born charity Veganuary has opened its eighth country chapter in Spain.

© Veganuary

Charity & Campaigns

Veganuary Opens Office in Spain to Continue the Campaign’s Global Expansion, Vegan Actor Dani Rovira Becomes Supporter

UK-born charity Veganuary, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, announces it has opened its eighth country chapter in Spain. Moreover, the Spanish actor Dani Rovira recently joined Veganuary as a supporter to spread the message and importance of veganism. With the climate crisis making headlines almost daily, the organization says it is intensifying its efforts to promote planet-friendly vegan diets worldwide. Besides the new office in Spain, the charity has chapters in seven countries: the UK, USA, Germany, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and India. In addition, it has partner organizations in Mexico, Italy, France, Switzerland, South Africa, Australia, and Singapore to run official campaigns and make veganism mainstream. Amanda Romero, the new director for Veganuary Spain, shares that more than five million people, representing 13% of the …


Xampla has launched a consumer brand, Morro, to commercialize its highly innovative, vegan, and eco-friendly alternatives to single-use plastics.

© Xampla

Products & Launches

Xampla Launches Morro Brand for Vegan and Biodegradable Alternatives to Single-Use Plastics

Xampla, a natural material company based in the UK, has launched a new brand, Morro, to commercialize its highly innovative, vegan, and eco-friendly alternatives to single-use plastics. The company, a University of Cambridge spin-off, has developed a technology that uses plant proteins or sustainable feedstocks to create a material that behaves like plastic, providing protection and extending the shelf-life of ingredients and products.  However, since Xampla’s natural material is not chemically modified, it “does things that plastic never could,” such as being soluble, edible, cookable, and completely biodegradable in any environment, including home compost, explains the company.  “Our technology is a world-first, capable of replacing the most polluting plastics at scale and delivering performance parity,” says Xampla. Switching away from single-use plastics Morro’s portfolio includes …


The Old Bookshop vegan pub in Bristol

© The Old Bookshop

Food Service

These Ten Pubs in the UK Are 100% Vegan and We 100% Approve

Pubs are a cornerstone of British culture, but they typically feature meat-heavy menus and drinks that contain ingredients of animal origin. However, this is beginning to change, with a growing number of British pubs keeping the traditional experience while beginning to offer vegan options as consumer demand continues to grow. And there are (at least) ten locations across the UK that are now fully vegan including food and drinks too. Harp & Crown Located near Corsham in Wiltshire, the Harp & Crown offers a range of homemade and seasonal vegan food, along with a selection of vegan ales, wines, and ciders. The menu features dishes such as curried jackfruit, seitan wings, and mushroom and lentil lasagne. Accommodation is also available. The Queen Inn This traditional …


La Vie exceeds crowdfunding target

© La Vie


La Vie Hits €1M Crowdfunding Target in Just Over an Hour

La Vie, the French producer of plant-based pork products, has exceeded its €1 million crowdfunding target within just over an hour of launching the campaign. The company is now overfunding, with the general public able to participate alongside expert investors. The news is the latest in a long line of successes for La Vie, which has achieved 379% year-on-year growth and sold 2.5 million products over the past 18 months. The campaign will run until October 3. “We are so thrilled to have hit our target of raising €1 million in just over one hour since we went live with our crowdfunding campaign,” said Nicolas Schweitzer, CEO and co-founder of La Vie. “It reinforces the promising future for the plant-based category and it is brilliant …


CDMO Extracellular has opened what it claims is Europe's largest contract pilot plant for cultivated meat and seafood in Bristol, the UK.

Image courtesy of Extracellular

Cultivated Meat

Extracellular Unveils Europe’s Largest Contract Pilot Facility for Cultivated Meat & Seafood

CDMO Extracellular announces it has opened what it claims is Europe’s largest contract pilot plant for cultivated meat and seafood in Bristol, the UK.  The facility, established for food-grade operations, will provide essential scale-up and manufacturing services to assist cultivated meat companies in achieving their production goals and mitigating the expense and time associated with building new sites. According to Extracellular, its pilot plant currently has an operational capacity of 200 L and is expected to reach 2,000 L by December 2023. It can produce up to 50t of cultivated meat annually; however, the facility is expected to reach 100t per year. The facility will hold multiple bioreactors from 50 L to 5,000 L and has a planned capacity to hold 10,000 liters. Great consumer products at achievable …


Cathedral City extra mature cheddar

© Cathedral City

Cheese Alternatives

Cathedral City Expands Plant-Based Range With Extra Mature Block & Cheddar Spread

The UK’s bestselling cheese brand, Cathedral City, is expanding its plant-based range with two new products — the Extra Mature Block and the Cheddar Flavour Spread. Cathedral City first entered the plant-based market last year with the launch of its original plant-based cheddar, available in block, sliced, and grated formats. The products quickly proved to be extremely popular, seeing high repeat purchase rates. According to Kantar figures, the cheese alternatives are bringing 68,000 new buyers into the plant-based category per month, and are contributing to 44% of the category’s shopper growth. The new Extra Mature Block has been launched in response to customer requests for a stronger flavour profile, while the Cheddar Flavour Spread provides a cheesy taste in a convenient spreadable format. The launches …


Branston to open potato protein facility

© Branston

Manufacturing & Technology

UK Potato Supplier Branston Prepares to Open “Pioneering” Potato Protein Facility

Branston, one of the UK’s largest potato suppliers, will begin production at its new “pioneering” potato protein extraction facility in early 2024. The company is currently best known for its fresh potatoes, along with products such as French fries. But as demand for plant-based foods continues to grow, Branston plans to expand by producing protein for the food industry. The construction of the site, which is described as the first of its kind in the UK, was first announced in 2021. At the time, Branston reported that it would invest around £6 million in the project, which will exclusively use potatoes grown in the UK. Ahead of the opening, Branston has hired a general manager, Tom Seagrief, to head up the facility. He returns to …


The Raging Pig Company has launched the Raging Weißwurst, a plant-based Bavarian white sausage alternative.

Image courtesy of The Raging Pig Company

Products & Launches

The Raging Pig Company Launches Vegan Bavarian White Sausage for Oktoberfest

Food tech startup The Raging Pig Company has launched the Raging Weißwurst, a plant-based Bavarian white sausage, in partnership with SIGGIS, a restaurant chain based in Munich, to coincide with the 188th edition of Oktoberfest. The innovative product, made with high-quality plant-based ingredients such as peas and mushrooms, will be available as a traditional breakfast served with sweet mustard, pretzels, and white beer.  “Our Raging Weisswurst is the result of intensive research & development and passion for plant-based products. We are convinced that this innovation will not only appeal to convinced vegans, but will also encourage meat lovers to try plant-based alternatives,” says Dr. Arne Ewerbeck, co-founder of The Raging Pig Company. Oktoberfest is taking place in Munich until the 3rd of October, offering many plant-based dishes, including Planteneers’ Bavarian veal …


Food tech leader TiNDLE Foods, formerly Next Gen Foods, announces an expansion into new categories (including milks, ice creams, and sausages) and a new brand identity

© TiNDLE Foods

Market & Trends

Singaporean Plant-Based Brands Expand Into Europe, Capitalizing on Growing Demand

Singaporean plant-based brands are increasingly taking advantage of rising demand elsewhere in the world to expand internationally, with a particular focus on Europe. The number of alt protein companies in Singapore has reportedly skyrocketed in recent years, as the country becomes increasingly concerned about food security and actively recruits scientists in the field. While the Singaporean alt protein market provides considerable opportunities, some companies are opting to make their success global. Among the most notable is plant-based chicken brand TiNDLE, which launched at hundreds of UK restaurants last year before rolling out at retail stores in the country this April. The brand is also available at thousands of EDEKA supermarkets in Germany. Another Singaporean brand, Growthwell Foods’ HAPPIEE! (which mostly focuses on seafood alternatives) arrived …


THIS founders

Pete Sharman (L) and Andy Shovel, founders of THIS © THIS

Investments & Acquisitions

THIS Receives Investment from Television Broadcaster ITV, Announces Pieminister Collaboration

British alt meat brand THIS has announced two new developments — an investment from the UK’s largest commercial television broadcaster, ITV, and a collaboration with pie brand Pieminister. As part of its Media for Equity programme, ITV will subscribe for £1.5 million of shares in THIS, with the option to subscribe for two additional tranches of £1.5 million each. In return, the plant-based meat brand will receive advertising inventory on the broadcaster’s channels and streaming service. It marks the first time ITV has ever invested in a food company. The news follows a string of successes for THIS in 2023, including an international launch in the Netherlands, listings at Boots and WHSmith, and the recent launch of plant-based roast chicken for the holiday season. Earlier …


Kern Tec raises funding for alt dairy made from upcycled fruit pits

Kern Tec founders. © Chris Landl

Investments & Acquisitions

Kern Tec Raises €12M to Scale Up Alt Dairy Products Made From Upcycled Fruit Pits

Austrian company Kern Tec, which uses upcycled fruit pits to produce sustainable plant-based foods, has raised €12 million in funding. Claimed to be the largest ever Series A raise for an Austrian food tech company, the capital will allow Kern Tec to further scale up the production and commercialisation of its plant-based milk alternatives and confectionery. The round was led by Telos Impact, with participation from the PeakBridge Growth 2 fund and the European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund. Kern Tec’s products are made by extracting oils from the seeds within upcycled apricot, plum, and cherry pits, of which 500,000 metric tonnes are currently sent to landfill each year. These oils can then be formed into a base compound for plant-based alternatives to dairy products such …


Queen Margaret University develops alternative to palm oil

© Queen Margaret University


Scottish University Develops Sustainable & Clean Label Alternative to Palm Oil

Scientists at Scotland’s Queen Margaret University have developed a healthier and more sustainable alternative to palm oil. Called PALM-ALT, the ingredient is fully plant-based, made from a byproduct of the linseed industry along with fibre and rapeseed oil. Palm oil is considered problematic due to its environmental impact, with palm plantations a key driver of deforestation and habitat destruction in Malaysia and Indonesia. Despite this, the ingredient is still widely used in the food industry and elsewhere, as a replacement with the same properties is currently not available at a competitive cost. The development of a more sustainable alternative has the potential to reduce transport emissions as well as deforestation; PALM-ALT can be made exclusively with ingredients sourced from within the UK and the EU, …


Svenja Fritz, Oatly

Svenja Fritz © Oatly

veg+ Interviews

Oatly: “Our Food System Still Clearly Favors Products of Animal Origin”

Swedish oat specialist Oatly offers a wide portfolio of plant-based dairy alternatives, including alternatives to milk, ice cream, yogurt, cooking creams, spreads, and on-the-go drinks. The company has been campaigning for equal treatment of plant-based alternatives and animal products at the political level for some time and, together with various partners, is making concrete demands on politicians. We spoke in an interview with Svenja Fritz, Head of Communication & Public Affairs at Oatly for Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Poland. Since 2021, Fritz has been committed to driving change towards a more sustainable food system. She previously held senior positions in the House of Representatives in Berlin, in the Ministry for Integration in Baden-Württemberg, and in the German Bundestag. She previously worked as press spokesperson for …


Sausalitos Beyond Burger

© Sausalitos

Food Service

Germany: Beyond Meat’s Steak, Burger, & Meatballs Now on Menus at SAUSALITOS

German gastronomy chain SAUSALITOS is launching new dishes with Beyond Burger, Beyond Steak, and Beyond Meatballs. SAUSALITOS is bringing three new plant-based dishes to the menu featuring Beyond Burger, the Beyond Meatballs and the award-winning Beyond Steak at over 40 SAUSALITOS locations in Germany. The new offerings come in response to the increasing number of German consumers consciously refraining from eating animal meat. According to a survey by GFI Europe, one in two Germans has reduced their meat consumption in the last five years. Instead, 41% of Germans eat plant-based meat at least once a week. “The wishes of our customers change, so we constantly adapt our offering and keep up with the times,” says Eiko Scharfenberger, food product manager at SAUSALITOS. “Beyond Meat’s plant-based …


Boermarke vegan cheese

© Boermarke

Company News

Leading Dutch Dairy Company Boermarke Announces it Will Become 100% Plant-Based

Boermarke, a leading Dutch dairy company, announces that after three decades in the dairy industry, it will now focus entirely on the production and development of plant-based dairy products, with the goal of making these products available in all European supermarkets within three years. Following a reported 800 percent growth in its vegan dairy production over the past three years, the company announces it will transfer its animal dairy operations to another Dutch dairy firm, De Zuivelhoeve, and gradually transition the Boermarke range to 100 percent vegan products under its own brand Vairy or via private label. Boermarke’s plant-based cheese is offered at a competitive price and according to the company it is listed at 80 percent of Dutch supermarkets and a large part of …


Mycorena partners with Atria Sweden to commercialise mycoprotein-based products

© Mycorena

Fungi, Mushrooms & Mycelium

Mycorena Partners With Leading Meat Company to Commercialise Mycoprotein-Based Products

Swedish mycoprotein producer Mycorena has announced it is partnering with leading animal meat supplier Atria Sweden to launch a range of mycoprotein-based products. The meat alternatives will be made with Mycorena’s mycoprotein ingredient, Promyc, which is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids. The protein is made using a proprietary fungal fermentation process. Atria Sweden — a leading producer of sausages, hamburgers, cold cuts, and other meat products for the retail and food service sectors — has entered into the collaboration with the aim of reducing its carbon footprint. As part of the partnership, Mycorena will scale up its production of Promyc, while Atria will use its product development capabilities to create a range of meat alternatives. “Mycoprotein is an exciting new Swedish …


Hen running on grass

© stevew_photo-stock.adobe.com


These Italian Researchers Are Developing Chicken Meat From a Feather

Researchers from an Italian university are studying how to obtain chicken meat from a feather. The project taking place via professors Luciano Conti and Stefano Maria Biressi at the University of Trento was assigned and financed by the Italian Save the Chickens Foundation, which contacts vegconomist with the news. Researcher Nike Schiavo, MSc Biotechnology, is overseeing the experiments for the project and is currently completing the draft report, according to the foundation’s representative. She explains that cells are obtained from “feathers obtained through petting the chick” rather than from feathers that have fallen to the ground spontaneously. “The cells that we manage to extract from the feathers grow well and so far we have managed to expand them for a few months, obtaining tens of …