Four people on stage at NFC

Image courtesy of ProVeg International

Fairs & Events

New Food Conference 2024 – Redefining the Food Industry

The New Food Conference (NFC) stands as one of Europe’s top events in the food industry, bringing together international food experts, scientists, innovative startups, retailers, and policymakers. The conference focuses on the latest advancements in the alternative protein sector, delving into the future of food through high-profile talks, networking opportunities, and live product tastings. Vegconomist is excited to return as the official media partner this year. Programme Highlights: NFC 2024, Startup Demo Day and Retailer Roundtable The NFC 2024 kicks off on September 3 with insightful sessions on the European market, featuring leading pioneers and top innovators from the food industry. Highlights include discussions on political goals, consumer narratives, and the evolving production landscape. A key event is the Demo Day, where startups from ProVeg …

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2M Group of Companies

© 2M Group of Companies

Packaging

2M Group Launches New Sustainable Packaging Unit Offering ‘Plug-and-Play’ Plastic Alternatives for Brands

The UK-based 2M Group of Companies announces the launch of Sustainable Packaging Technologies, a new business focusing on the development and commercialization of bio-based materials to eliminate unnecessary petroleum-based plastics from the supply chain. Leveraging its growing portfolio of biomaterial technologies and solutions, the new business aims to help brands meet the ever-increasing consumer demand for sustainability by offering’ plug-and-play’ plastic replacements across a wide range of consumer products. Industry expert James Nelson will lead the business from its headquarters in Milton Keynes, with support from Banner Chemicals, 2M Group’s leading materials sciences company. Nelson comments, “Our bio-based solutions will offer brands effective alternatives to plastic, delivering environmental responsibility without compromising on performance. We aim to act as a trusted partner between R&D material science …

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Confetti Snacks

© Confetti Snacks

Sweets & Snacks

Confetti Snacks Expands into Europe Through TJ Maxx and HomeSense

Confetti Snacks, a US-based brand known for its upcycled vegetable and fruit chips, has expanded its distribution to Europe. This move is in collaboration with TJ Maxx and HomeSense, and the products are now available in nearly 1,000 stores across the UK, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, and Poland. Confetti Snacks offers a variety of colorful, nutrient-dense chips made from imperfect produce. The top three products – Thai Green Curry Mushrooms, Black Truffle Mushrooms, and Just Half Moons Mandarin Chips – achieved a 65% sell-through rate in the first two weeks of availability in Europe. Tackling food waste The brand was founded by Singapore native Betty Lu with a mission to tackle food waste and provide a nutritious, minimally processed snack option. “We take ‘ugly’ or unsellable …

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vegan nutrition plant-based food

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Studies & Numbers

Research Finds That Almost Half the UK Plant-Based Population is Male

Research carried out by plant-based chef duo BOSH! has found that almost half the UK plant-based population (49%) is male. Based on a survey of 2,400 people, the results are somewhat surprising, since women have historically been more likely to choose a meat-free diet. Research published by the Vegan Society last year found that men face social pressure to conform to masculine expectations, including eating meat. Many men said that fears of experiencing stigma had prevented them from choosing a vegan diet. Furthermore, a recent study by researchers at the University of Zurich found that gender differences in meat consumption are more significant in countries with higher levels of gender equality and social and economic development. The researchers theorised that people in these countries have …

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© Myconeos Limited

Cheese Alternatives

Scientific Discovery in the UK Unlocks World of Possibilities for Vegan Brie & Camembert

UK’s Myconeos Limited, a biotech company developing new strains of fungi for food applications, announces a breakthrough that could lead to tastier vegan Brie, Camembert, and other cheeses as well as fermented meat products. The company, which has developed a breeding platform to cross fungal strains naturally, claims that it has unlocked the sexual cycle of Penicillium camemberti, the strain used in Brie and Camembert cheeses. This discovery, before considered impossible, allows Myconeos to produce new and improved Penicillium camemberti strains for the first time. Professor Paul Dyer, CTO of Myconeos, says this discovery will promote genetic diversity within the strain’s population, opening the door to a broader range of cheese options with new flavors, textures, and colors. More importantly, the breakthrough will help the company breed …

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Dr. Cornelius Lahme of BLUU GmbH

Dr. Cornelius Lahme © BLUU GmbH

Cultivated Seafood

Bluu Seafood: “The Technology Behind Cellular Agriculture is Still Too Abstract for Many Consumers. We Have to Take People With Us”

Bluu Seafood specialises in cultured fish. Fish fingers, fish balls and caviar have already been produced from the cells of Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout. The startup emerged from the Lübeck-based Fraunhofer Research Institution for Marine Biotechnology and Cell Technology (EMB), where co-founder Dr Sebastian Rakers was also employed for many years. Together with entrepreneur Simon Fabich, the cell and marine biologist founded Bluu Seafood (then known as Bluu Biosciences). A pilot plant has been in operation in Hamburg since 2024. Bluu Seafood has applied for authorisation for its products in Singapore and the USA. Dr Cornelius Lahme, responsible for marketing and communication at Bluu Seafood, talks to us in an interview about why the cultivation of fish is so important, what exactly the division …

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GoodMills Innovation Tower III 2024

© GoodMills Innovation

Manufacturing & Technology

GoodMills Innovation Unveils Multi-Million “Tower III” Facility to Increase Capacity for Plant-Based Ingredients

GoodMills Innovation, based in Hamburg, Germany, a company developing clean-label plant-based ingredients based on cereals and pulses for a wide range of applications, announces it has commenced operations at its latest project, featuring a newly completed production tower funded by a substantial multi-million euro investment. After three years of construction, the new facility now spans 2,500 square meters over seven levels. Dubbed “Tower III,” the expanded site aims to position GoodMills Innovation as an international center of excellence for the texturization of plant-based proteins, catering to the growing demand for vegetarian and vegan products as part of the company’s mission to advocate for dietary shifts towards more sustainable options. Katharina Haack, Head of Marketing Communications at GoodMills Innovation, says: “Plant-based nutrition is a building block …

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Planteneers salami pizza

© Planteneers

Company News

Planteneers Develops Buffet of 100% Plant-Based Italian Cuisine, Samplers Say “This is How the Future Will Taste”

After developing — all in the past few months — technology for marbled and fat-layered meat alternatives; a wide range of plant-based fermented dairy products; and solutions for plant-based desserts such as tiramisu and cheesecake; Germany’s Planteneers announces that it has created an entirely plant-based Italian buffet through its development platform. Part of the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe, Planteneers formulates high-quality, functional ingredients and compounds designed to mimic the taste, texture, and cooking properties of traditional animal-based products. Together with the Marriot Hotel kitchen team, Planteneers prepared an entirely plant-based Italian buffet for approximately 1450 trade show attendees, with plant-based Caesar salad, focaccia, pizza pieces, whitefish filet in tomato sauce, and plant-based tiramisu. The future tastes like this “The response was overwhelming. The idea of presenting our …

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© Onego Bio

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Onego Bio Secures $15.2M for Animal-Free Bio-Identical Egg Protein

US-Finnish precision fermentation company Onego Bio has secured $15.2 million in funding from the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator Program and other Series A investors. This takes the amount raised by the company in 2024 to $55 million, and its total funding to $70.8 million. Onego Bio produces Bioalbumen®, an animal-free bio-identical egg protein manufactured as an industrial food ingredient. Bioalbumen is said to have perfect protein quality, full functionality, and a neutral flavor; it could also alleviate the environmental burden of conventional egg production by as much as 90%, while providing a stable supply. This is likely to be very attractive to manufacturers, since chicken eggs have been plagued by supply chain issues in recent years. Commercialization Onego says it is focusing on commercializing …

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A bowl with algae oil

© Checkerspot

Studies & Numbers

Study Finds Switching From Animal Fats to Plant-based Fats Reduces Risk of Disease

Switching from a diet high in saturated animal fats to a diet rich in plant-based unsaturated fats influences the fat composition in the blood. This in turn influences the long-term risk of disease, finds a recent study. The study, published in Nature Medicine, conducted by a team of researchers from the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbrücke (DIfE), Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and several other universities, shows that it is possible to accurately measure diet-related fat changes in the blood. These can then be directly linked to the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. “Our study confirms with even greater certainty than before the health benefits of a diet with a high proportion of unsaturated vegetable fats, such as those …

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Image courtesy of Arda Biomaterials

Leather Alternatives

Animal-Free Snakeskin Handbag Marks Debut from Upcycled Arda Biomaterials & BEEN London in a Benchmark for Fashion

UK upcycled materials startup Arda Biomaterials and sustainable brand BEEN London announce the launch of their first product: a snakeskin-type handbag crafted with an animal- and plastic-free leather-like material called New Grain. Arda’s New Grain, described as an extraordinary next-generation material, is developed from spent grain from breweries, sourced locally from London’s Bermondsey Beer Mile — once a leather tanning district. This launch marks New Grain’s first use of an external product, paving the way for its commercial scalability. The handbag, a version of BEEN’s bestselling MILLAIS bag, will be part of a future collection that includes wallets, laptop cases, and more bag styles. Genia Mineeva, the founder of BEEN London, emphasised the partnership’s role in pioneering sustainable fashion. She added, “As a brand making premium …

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Meatly's cultivated chicken for pets approved for sale in the UK, first products to hit shelves this year.

Image courtesy of Meatly

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Meatly’s Cultivated Chicken for Pets Approved for Sale in the UK, First Products to Hit Shelves This Year

The UK’s Meatly, previously Good Dog Food, announces that it has received regulatory clearance from relevant UK Government departments to produce and sell cultivated meat for pet food, making it the first company in the country to obtain such authorization. The company explains that its cultivated chicken has undergone extensive testing and has been confirmed free from bacteria, viruses, GMOs, antibiotics, harmful pathogens, heavy metals, and other impurities. Its production facility has also been approved to produce and handle its cultivated chicken. Meatly has successfully developed and manufactured the UK’s first cultivated chicken product for cats, Omni Feast, with its first commercial partner, the plant-based pet food company Omni. With this approval, the first samples will be launched in the UK later this year, making …

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VFC Believe in Chickens campaign

© VFC

Marketing & Media

VFC Condemns Hypocrisy & Cruelty Inherent in KFC Campaign: “KFC Believes in Chicken, Whereas VFC Believes in Chickens”

Activist-led UK brand VFC has accused KFC of hypocrisy after the chain launched a major ad campaign encouraging consumers to “Believe in Chicken”. According to VFC, KFC’s representation of chicken cannot be trusted. Consequently, the brand has launched a social media campaign featuring a modified version of KFC’s billboard creative, altering the message to “Believe in Chickens”. By addressing chickens in the plural, VFC aims to highlight that they are living creatures that deserve to be treated with compassion. Unlike KFC’s campaign, which features images of fried chicken, VFC’s version shows how farmed chickens are treated. This is not the first time VFC has challenged the fast food chain — in 2022, the brand condemned a “misleading” KFC campaign where an influencer was invited to …

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Mycorena's product portfolio

© Mycorena

Company News

Mycorena Files for Bankruptcy, Seeks New Ownership to Continue Pioneering Mycoprotein Ingredients

In a sad turn of events, Sweden’s Mycorena, a producer of mycoprotein, has filed for bankruptcy after facing significant financial challenges. The company says it made considerable efforts to overcome these difficulties, including pausing the construction of a large-scale facility and pivoting to a strategic business model. The mycoprotein pioneer also announced that it aims to restructure under new ownership to preserve and build upon its innovations and market presence. According to the leadership statements, there’s optimism that the company can overcome its current challenges and continue its trajectory as a leader in the mycoprotein market. CEO and founder Ramkumar Nair states: “This was not an easy decision, but we believe it is a necessary step to restructure our business and protect the value that …

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Alex Crisp discusses eggs with Maija from Onego Bio

© Future of Foods

Egg Alternatives

Future of Foods Podcast: Maija Itkonen, CEO of Onego Bio Produces Bio-Identical Egg Proteins Without Chickens

Alex Crisp, host of Future of Foods Interviews, talks to Maija Itkonen, CEO and co-founder of Finnish precision fermentation company Onego Bio, about manufacturing real egg white protein, entirely without the use of chickens, which as Maija explains, are the most abused animal in the world. Onego Bio produces Bioalbumen, which the company says is bioidentical ovalbumin, the most important protein in egg white, delivering the nutritional and functional qualities of traditional eggs. The product was a winner in Fast Company’s 2023 World Changing Ideas Awards, with Bioalbumen named the Winner of the Food category and a Finalist in the Agriculture category. This April, the company raised $40 million in one of the largest Series A rounds in the Nordics, with the fresh funds being …

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Three men eating pizza

© Letrino Foods

Fermentation

Fooditive Partners With the World’s Largest Mozzarella Cheese Producer to Commercialize its Animal-Free Casein

The Netherlands’ Fooditive Group, a manufacturer of fermented ingredients, announces a partnership with the US dairy company Leprino Foods Company to commercialize its non-animal casein. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Leprino Foods is the world’s largest mozzarella cheese and lactose producer and a leading supplier of whey protein, micellar casein, and sweet whey. Under a long-term licensing agreement, Leprino Foods will have exclusive worldwide rights to produce animal-free casein using Fooditive’s precision fermentation technology. It will also have exclusive global rights to market and distribute the novel casein for cheese and non-exclusive rights for all other food applications. According to the companies, the partnership aims to promote sustainability while broadening the scope of innovative food products. Fooditive CEO Moayad Abushokhedim emphasized the company’s commitment to sustainability …

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© Boermarke

Food Service

Former Dairy Producer Boermarke Partners With Vivera to Launch Wide Range of ‘Vairy’ Plant-Based Alternatives

Dutch company Boermarke, a former dairy producer that now focuses exclusively on plant-based products, has announced the launch of a wide range of plant-based alternatives for food service under its Vairy brand. Vairy products have proven successful after launching at supermarkets in 24 European countries, and Boermarke has now formed a strategic partnership with Dutch meat alternatives producer Vivera to offer a wide range of savoury and sweet plant-based products for food service. These include meat and cheese alternatives, yogurt, ice cream, custard, and more. Boermarke says the products will help the hospitality, catering, and healthcare sectors make progress towards the protein transition. Boermarke goes plant-based After three decades in the dairy industry, Boermarke announced in September 2023 that it would become fully plant-based following …

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© HOWND

Pet Food

Vegan Dog Food Brand HOWND Announces Sale to Leading Manufacturer Pets Choice

UK-based company Power Pet Brands has announced the sale of its multi-award-winning vegan dog food brand, HOWND, to leading industry manufacturer Pets Choice. Established in 2015, HOWND offers a range of plant-based wet and dry food for dogs, along with wellness treats and cruelty-free pet care products. Pets Choice will assume responsibility for HOWND’s sales from August 5. Through the acquisition, HOWND will benefit from Pets Choice’s extensive distribution network, making its products significantly more accessible to customers. The brand joins the manufacturer’s existing portfolio, which includes Webbox, Bob Martin, Felight, TastyBone, and Vet’s Kitchen. “This is another fantastic acquisition for Pets Choice as we continue our drive into product premiumisation,” said Pets Choice CEO Tony Raeburn. “HOWND will give our company an entrance into …

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Dutch market report, ProVeg

Image courtesy of ProVeg International

Market & Trends

Unlocking the Dutch Plant-Based Market

With some of Europe’s most receptive consumer demographics to plant-based foods, it’s no wonder that the Netherlands’ market for alternative proteins is fast-growing. Through the National Protein Strategy (Nationale Eiwitstrategie), significant research and development funding, and a new tax initiative to support sustainable food consumption, the Dutch government demonstrates strong support for the country’s alternative protein industry. But to appeal to Dutch consumers, you should tailor your plant-based strategy. What do they want from their diet? How do they differ from other European consumers? Should you adjust your business and products, and if so, in what ways? These questions are essential for maximising sales and must be continuously monitored. In the latest New Food Hub article, ProVeg International summarises the key insights from its country-specific …

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Cultimate Foods

©Cultimate Foods

veg+ Interviews

Cultimate Foods: “Cultured Fat Can Immensely Improve the Quality and Flavour Experience of a Meat Alternative”

Founded in 2022, the Berlin startup Cultimate Foods specialises in the cultivation of animal fat. As an ingredient, the fat is intended to give plant-based meat products an authentic meat flavour and texture. The result is a hybrid product, i.e. a combination of plant-based protein and cell-based ingredients. At the end of April 2024, the company received   from leading biotech and foodtech investors. Eugenia Sagué, co-founder and MD, and Senior Scientist Dr Marline Kirsch explain why the company decided to cultivate fat cells, which nutrient solution is used for this and what the biggest challenges currently are for the startup. Cultimate Foods focuses on hybrid products in which plant-based products are combined with cultured animal cells. Why are you focussing on this hybrid form …

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