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 …


Austrian startup Revo Foods introduces THE FILET, a mycoprotein-based salmon filet.

Image courtesy of Revo Foods

Products & Launches

Revo Foods’ Mycoprotein-Based Salmon Filet Becomes First 3D-Printed Alternative to Hit Supermarket Shelves

Austrian startup Revo Foods introduces THE FILET, a mycoprotein-based salmon filet that will be available from the 14th of September at REWE’s famous vegan superstore, the 200-metre square Billa Pflanzilla. According to Revo Foods, it is the first-ever 3D-printed product available in supermarkets worldwide. Revo Foods and Swedish startup Mycorena collaborated to develop the 3D-printable mycoprotein, utilizing Mycorena’s Promyc ingredient. The project received €1.5 million from Swedish innovation agency Vinnova, the Austrian Research Promotion Agency, and the cross-border EU funding program Eurostars. With its primary ingredient being mycoprotein, THE FILET is a clean-label product that is said to offer remarkable nutritional values, such as high protein content and Omega-3. The product has received a Nutriscore of A in recognition of its nutritional benefits. Founded in 2020, Revo Foods is pioneering large-volume 3D food …


veggie bbq grill

© Greenpeace / Mitja Kobal

Market & Trends

Wide Range of Veggie Grills Available in Austrian Retail

A new Greenpeace market check has checked what the supermarkets in Austria have to offer in terms of meatless grilled products in time for the grilling season. The result is very positive: whether vegetarian sausage, vegan steak, or tofu – on average ten of the 15 meatless products surveyed can be found on the supermarket shelf. In order to ensure climate-friendly nutrition, Greenpeace has long been calling for VAT to be dropped on plant-based foods. Interspar wins the market check, followed by Billa Plus and Hofer. “As the Greenpeace market check shows, the barbecue can also work without meat. Austrian supermarkets now offer a wide range of plant-based products,” says Melanie Ebner, spokeswoman for agriculture at Greenpeace in Austria. “Those who rely on veggie products …


Fermify and Bilfinger collaboration

© Fermify


Fermify Fuels Animal-Free Cheese Growth with New Strategic Partners, Extends Seed Round

Austrian biotech company Fermify has extended a previously closed Seed round and has announced new industry partnerships with multinational companies CREMER and Interfood. According to the company, the new collaborations will fuel its growth and accelerate the development of animal-free cheese and their market entry. Founded in November 2021 by Eva Sommer and Christoph Herwig, Fermify claims to have developed a fully automated platform to produce precision fermentation-derived casein to make animal-free cheese at scale. Becoming a world leader In May, in a round led by Dörte Hirschberg from Article 9 climate tech fund and Climentum Capital, the company secured $5 million to accelerate and digitalize its precision fermentation process to disrupt the dairy industry. Now, with the new partnerships, the biotech company is extending the Seed round. Eva Sommer, CEO …


Arkeon Biotechnologies opens pilot facility

© Arkeon Biotechnologies

Company News

Arkeon Biotechnologies Opens Pilot Production Facility to Bring CO2 Proteins to Market

Arkeon Biotechnologies, an Austrian startup converting CO2 into functional protein ingredients, announces it has achieved a significant milestone in its production process after successfully setting up a new pilot production plant. Located in Vienna’s Seestadt Innovation Hub, the new facility expands the company’s infrastructure with a 150L bioreactor system that, according to Arkeon, will improve its process and lay the biotechnological foundation for future large-scale production. Last year, Arkeon Biotechnologies unveiled its revolutionary new tech, which is capable of transforming CO2 into proteins. Its advanced process requires 99% less land and only 0.01% of the amount of water needed by traditional agriculture. Moreover, the microorganism fed with the gas fermentation technique is able to generate all 20 essential amino acids, explains the startup. The pilot plant …


BioCraft Pet Nutrition introduces cultivated chicken ingredient for pet food manufacturers

CEO Shannon Falconer with Nori and Gaia © Kezia Jauron

Pet Food

BioCraft Pet Nutrition Introduces Cultivated Chicken for Manufacturers Seeking Conventional Meat

BioCraft Pet Nutrition, formerly Because, Animals, known for its cultivated mouse meat ingredient, announces it has developed a new ingredient for cat and dog food: cultivated chicken.  BioCraft Pet Nutrition is a cultivated meat ingredients supplier for pet food manufacturers. It was founded in 2016 by Shannon Falconer to create sustainable, slaughter-free pet food. “More than 25 percent of the environmental impact of animal agriculture is attributed to feeding pets in the US alone: if cats and dogs occupied their own country, they would be the world’s fifth largest meat-consuming nation,” argues BioCraft Pet Nutrition. Conventional meat According to the company, chicken is among the conventional species preferred by pet food manufacturers and consumers as a protein source, despite being among the top allergens for cats and dogs. BioCraft Pet Nutrition …


EAT HAPPY instore sushi concept


Food Service

EAT HAPPY Trials Vegan Fish Sushi in Austria Where Vegan Diet is “Rising Steadily”

EAT HAPPY, an in-store sushi concept and leading supplier of Asian convenience products in mainland Europe, launches three plant-based fish sushi products, stating that the company sees the “proportion of those people who eat a purely vegan diet rising steadily in Austria”. The products being trialed at four initial test markets in Vienna, Salzburg, and Innsbruck are Vegan Salmon Nigiri, Vegan Salmon Maki, and Vegan Tuna California. The vegan sushi products are set to expand nationally throughout Austria after the test phase. EAT HAPPY’s plant-based offerings EAT HAPPY is represented in more than 3,000 locations in stationary food retailers throughout Europe and operates 50 EAT HAPPY Shops as well as in more than 1,000 chests at stores such as Billa and Spar. Last May, the …


Cultivated cat food/ pet food in a dish

Cultivated cat food ©BioCraft Pet Nutrition

Company News

Because, Animals Rebrands to BioCraft Pet Nutrition to Bring Cultivated Meat to Pet Food Market

Biotech company Because, Animals announces it is re-branding to BioCraft Pet Nutrition to focus exclusively on bringing cultivated meat to the pet food market. As part of the change, the startup will shift to working directly with pet food manufacturers rather than developing its own branded products. The company has also appointed Dr. Theresa Rothenbücher, former chief science officer of Austria’s Revo Foods, as its new chief product officer.  According to BioCraft, its name change follows the decision to dedicate its resources to prioritize commercializing cultivated meat for pet food, including R&D, infrastructure, and collaborative relationships. In late 2022, the company discontinued its plant-based products sold under the Because Animals brand, divesting from related formulations and provisional patents, but retained all intellectual property relating to …


Fermify secures $5 million for its animal-free caseins to make vegan cheese

Image courtesy of Fermify


Fermify Secures $5M for Mission to Remove Cows From Dairy by 2027

In a female-led seed funding round, Austrian biotech company Fermify has secured $5 million for its revolutionary animal-free production system that allows the removal of cows from cheese production. Founded in November 2021 by Eva Sommer and Christoph Herwig, Fermify has developed a fully automated platform to produce precision fermentation-derived casein proteins to make animal-free cheese at scale. Fermify aims to facilitate the “full disruption of cows” by 2027 by enabling the production of real cheese without the cruelty and environmental destruction caused by the dairy industry. Female-led investors Dörte Hirschberg from Article 9 climate tech fund Climentum Capital led the round. Co-investors include Bettine Schmitz from Auxxo Female Catalyst Fund and Nina Wöss from Fund F. Clima Now, Satgana Ventures, Triple Impact Ventures, and existing investors, …


Juicy Marbles

© Juicy Marbles

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

BILLA’s Plant-Forward Strategy Continues With Exclusive Juicy Marbles Launch

Juicy Marbles launches its innovative plant-based fillet steak at BILLA PLUS and BILLA PFLANZILLA. The Austrian supermarket chain BILLA is pursuing a comprehensive plant-based strategy with the aim of responding optimally to the needs of customers who are increasingly looking for plant-based products. The motives for this are diverse and range from health aspects to animal welfare to climate-friendly nutrition, among others. BILLA supports them in this with a selection of more than 4,000 purely plant-based products. New to the range nationwide is now the plant-based fillet steak from the Slovenian startup Juicy Marbles. It is now available exclusively in all BILLA PLUS stores and at the plant-based supermarket that opened last year, BILLA PFLANZILLA. Verena Wiederkehr, BILLA Head of Plant-Based Business Development, says: “Our …


BILLA plant-based range


Retail & E-Commerce

BILLA Offers “Largest Plant-Based Range in Austria” With 4000 Products

Austrian supermarket chain BILLA has claimed that it now offers the country’s largest plant-based range, with around 4,000 products verified as animal-free by the Vegan Society Austria. The chain has achieved this by significantly expanding its plant-based own-brand range, along with offering products by other brands. Last autumn, BILLA’s plant-based experts tasted around 3,000 alt meat and alt seafood products, using the results to revise the retailer’s Vegavita range. This has now been relaunched with additional products and updated packaging. BILLA has also begun offering products made by Spanish alt meat brand Heura and Slovenian plant-based whole-cut producer Juicy Marbles. Additionally, Billie Green products — made by Germany’s The Plantly Butcher — have been introduced. This marks the first time Billie Green has been available …


NFW animal and plastic free leather bag

© Natural Fiber Welding (NFW)


NFW and Lenzing Co-Create Biodegradeable, Plastic-Free Vegan Leather for Fashion Industry

Two bio-based and plant material experts, Lenzing Group and Natural Fiber Welding (NFW) have partnered to create an animal- and plastic-free leather alternative suitable for clothing, footwear, and accessories. The collaboration involves the use of Lenzing’s brand of cellulose-based and plastic-free fibers, called TENCEL, as a backing option in NFW’s plant-based MIRUM leather to make the final product reusable and biodegradable.  While most alternatives rely on polyurethane to bind and make leather backings, this partnership will allow fashion industry designers to work with a completely sustainable leather. Allbirds plant pacer Oihana Elizalde, VP of MIRUM at NFW, commented: “At NFW, we believe that plant matter is the only material that can scale to replace plastic. By adding fabrics made of TENCEL to MIRUM, we can …


L'Osteria pizza Bristol

© L'Osteria Bristol

Company News

McWin Acquires Majority Stake in L’Osteria for Almost 400 Million Euros

McWin, a private investment firm specialising in foodservice and food technology, recently announced the acquisition of a majority stake in L’Osteria, the leading casual dining operator in Germany and Austria. The chain currently operates 157 locations in eight countries, with over 6,000 employees in the DACH region, the UK, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.  The transaction is valued at nearly €400 million. The founders Klaus Rader and Friedemann Findeis will both remain minority shareholders in the company. The new partnership with McWin will further support and accelerate the group’s expansion both in Germany and in numerous new and existing markets across Europe. L’Osteria and plant-based The chain has a wide vegan offering. Its pizza dough is vegan, and for this Veganuary, it …


3D-printable mycoprotein

© Revo Foods/Mycorena

Printed Technology

Revo Foods and Mycorena Receive €1.5M to Develop 3D-Printable Mycoprotein

Austria’s Revo Foods and Sweden’s Mycorena have received a €1.5 million grant for their joint project of developing 3D-printable mycoprotein. The funds come from Swedish innovation agency Vinnova, the Austrian Research Promotion Agency, and cross-border EU funding program Eurostars. Applications were highly competitive, so the companies’ success demonstrates that there is significant interest in innovative mycoprotein solutions. “Getting this recognition from such an attractive and competitive initiative like Eurostars further emphasises that the technology we are developing is really an important part of creating a sustainable food system,” said Paulo Teixeira, Chief Innovation Officer at Mycorena. Whole-cut alt seafood First announced in October, the joint project is working on technologies and processes to create mycoprotein suitable for additive food manufacturing. It has a particular focus …


The founders turning carbon dioxide into protein

Arkeon founders. © Arkeon

Investments & Acquisitions

Arkeon Biotechnologies Secures Over €‎10M to Convert CO2 Into Food

Vienna’s Arkeon Biotechnologies, a startup converting CO2 into functional, carbon-negative ingredients for food; raised seed funding of €‎6.5 million last March and now announces it has secured another four million euros. Arkeon’s technology uses gas fermentation to transform CO2 into proteins and the process, according to the company, generates all 20 essential amino acids using a microorganism that produces them in just one fermentation process. The resulting proteins require 99% less land and only 0.01% of the amount of water used by conventional agriculture. New investors include ICL, aws Gründerfonds, FoodHack and Tet Ventures, with the fresh funds going towards the expansion of its proprietary technology as well as the planning of a new R&D centre. “We are very pleased to have the support of …


Fermify and Bilfinger collaboration

© Fermify

Cheese Alternatives

Fermify and Bilfinger Team Up to Make Animal-Free Dairy Economically Viable

Fermify and Bilfinger Life Science have revealed that they are collaborating to address the issue of producing animal-free milk proteins on a large scale. Based in Austria, Fermify is developing an automated production platform for fermentation-derived casein. The company began working with Bilfinger — a plant engineering firm — with the aim of significantly reducing capital expenditure. Bilfinger’s main role is to build modular automated precision fermentation skids for the platform. According to Fermify, the collaboration has already reduced the cost of fermentation assets by three times, which will ultimately provide large-scale food companies with cost-effective in–house production of bioprocessed novel goods. The platform is aimed at companies with no biotech competencies of their own, such as dairy factories. Pre-seed funding In May, Fermify announced …


REVO x Mycorena

Image courtesy Revo Foods

Printed Technology

Mycorena & Revo Foods to Develop “Whole New Realistic Meat-Like Product Segment” For Alt Seafood

Mycoprotein specialist Mycorena and 3D printed seafood expert Revo Foods have begun a research collaboration to develop a mycoprotein suitable for 3D printing alt seafood products. The printable mycoprotein will have a soft fibrous texture, light colour and neutral taste, making it particularly suitable for seafood alternatives, according to the companies. Says Austria’s Revo Foods: “Being able to combine the meat-like properties of mycoprotein with the unrestricted shaping possibilities of 3D food printing, a whole new realistic meat-like product segment can be created.” Revo Foods is developing new food processing technologies, including 3D tech, for plant-based seafood products including its salmon and tuna alternatives which are already seeing retail success around Europe. Most recently, Revo announced the Austrian launch of new products Revo Gravlax, Revo …


new alternative milk by wunderkern

© Wunderkern

Milk- and Dairy Alternatives

Alt Milk Made With Upcycled Apricot Kernels is Most Sold Product at BILLA Vegan Superstore

Austrian food tech startup Wunderkern recently announced the launch of its ‘never seen before’ Kern Milk made with apricot kernels.  Wunderkern says that the innovative alt milk “recently entered the competitive alternative drink market with a big bang. Promoted within the new “Pflanzilla” concept by Billa, it quickly turned into customer success and became the most sold product within the vegan store. The drink’s super nutty flavor perfectly harmonizes with sweet dishes such as Kaiserschmarren and inspires people to interpret local classics in a vegan way.” Founded in 2019 by Michael Beitl, Luca Fichtinger, Fabian Wagesreither, and Sebastian Jeschko, Wunderkern aims to be a circular economy business using the wasted stone fruit pits from other industries. Earlier this year, Wunderkern made news when it trialled …


Carlotte-Lucas GFI Fish International


Fairs & Events

The GFI at Fish International: “A Positive Sign for the Future of Our Oceans”

Germany’s Fish International fair took place at the beginning of September 2022 in Bremen, where numerous fish and seafood alternatives were exhibited among experts from the fish industry. Visitors had the opportunity to see and taste alternative products from Austrian Revo Foods, with its plant-based seafood, and Bluu Seafood from Germany, with the first cultivated seafood products to enter the market. Happy Ocean Foods presented its new plant-based products launched in partnership with Beyond Meat and ready to market soon.  Established food companies such as Nestle Professional and FRoSTA also showcased their alternative seafood products. Parallel seafood business meetings also took place, including one by the GFI Europe, the leading NGO in the field of promoting alternative proteins. Carlotte Lucas of the GFI provided the …


Revo Foods new products

© Revo Foods

Company News

Austria’s Revo Foods Launches Three New Plant-Based Seafood Products

Austria’s plant-based Revo Foods announces the launch of three new products at all BILLA PLUS retailers’ locations in Austria on Monday, September 12th, 2022.  The new products will also be available soon in Germany, Denmark, and the UK, according to the company. “In my opinion, these are the most realistic plant-based seafood products which have been developed to date, and I am especially happy that we launch the salmon spread as a unique new plant-based product which does not exist in this form anywhere in the world so far,” commented Robin Simsa, Revo Food’s CEO. A growing portfolio Dedicated to plant-based seafood alternatives, Revo Foods released its first product, Revo Salmon, which mimics smoked salmon, in 2021. Later in 2022, it presented an ‘ultrarealistic’ plant-based …