Umiami whole cut chicken fillet in salad bowl

©Umiami

Company News

Plant-Based Whole Cut Pioneer Umiami Achieves B Corp Certification

French plant-based whole-cut leader Umiami announces that it has achieved B Corp certification this week. Following a certification process initiated in 2021, the company says it is delighted to belong to the community founded by B Lab, having obtained a score of over 80 points in a scoring system focused on five major areas: corporate governance, employees, customers, communities, and the environment. Umiami acquired a former Unilever facility in the Alsace region at the end of 2022, with the site covering 14,000 m2 offering production capabilities of up to 22,000 tonnes of meat and seafood alternatives per year and creating around 70 jobs in the region. Last October, the company secured €32.5 million in a Series A round, bringing its overall capital raised to €100 …

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Alpro new branding

©Alpro

Manufacturing & Technology

France: Danone Completes Conversion of Dairy Yogurt Plant to Oat Milk Production

French multinational food corporation Danone has converted its dairy yogurt plant in Villecomtal-sur-Arros to oat milk production. The company announced it was planning the conversion in 2021, as the French market for plant-based products continued to increase. Jobs at the plant will be retained following the transition, which required two years of work and a €43 million investment. The facility will mostly produce oat milk for Danone’s plant-based brand, Alpro, which the company acquired in 2017. Initially, around 100,000 litres per day will be produced, but this could eventually rise to as much as 300,000. Around 90% of this will be exported, mainly to other European countries. Danone now has four plant-based milk facilities across Europe — the others are in Issenheim (France), Lunnarp (Sweden), …

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French Supreme Court rules in favor of plant-based group in legal battle over misleading labels

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Politics & Law

Setback for French Government as Court Supports Plant-Based Meat and Rejects Label Confusion

After five years of legal battle, the French Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the Nutrition & Santé Group (owner of Gerblé, Céréal, ValpiBio, Valpiform) which had been accused by the meat lobby Interbev (Association Nationale Interprofessionnelle du Bétail et des Viandes) of unfair competition and misleading plant-based meat labels, announces the Association Végétarienne de France.  The court confirmed that a risk of confusion between “steak” and “veggie steak” had not been established. In the court’s view, consumers can distinguish between the different categories if the packaging and advertisements “clearly” indicate that the product is plant-based, reports the French media.  Against plant-based meat This ruling favoring plant-based meat is a significant setback for the French government, which recently renewed proposals to prohibit more than 21 meat …

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Ensemble Foods rice and protein dish

Image courtesy of Ensemble

Investments & Finance

Tereos’ Plant-Based Protein Brand ‘Ensemble’ Secures €4M for Major Expansion Following 50% Sales Growth

The French food processing giant Tereos launched a plant-based protein brand,  Ensemble, in 2022, offering a range of vegan-certified alternatives to meat for food service and retail circuits through the recipes of national brands and distributors. Yesterday, Ensemble announced a €4 million investment from the Co-operative Group to triple the production of its Marckolsheim plant in Alsace in 2024. This significant increase in production is equivalent to providing the proteins for 15 million meals, says the company. Ensemble’s decision to amplify its production arises from a “remarkable” 50% sales growth in 2023. The brand states that it is setting ambitious targets, aiming for a tenfold sales increase over the next five years. This optimism is fueled by the growing consumer demand for sustainable, plant-based food alternatives, which Ensemble believes presents a …

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Standing Ovation eat fromage billboard

© Standing Ovation

Politics & Law

Standing Ovation Receives €3M from French Government and Bpifrance to Scale Non-Animal Caseins for Novel Dairy Products

French biotech Standing Ovation has secured €3 million in funding from the French government and Bpifrance for its CASPEX project: the production at scale of precision fermentation-derived caseins for novel dairy products. The French government is supporting Standing Ovation with €2 million over 20 months as part of the “Agri-food Resilience and Capacity” call for projects run by the national investment plan France 2030, which funds innovations for healthy, sustainable, and traceable food. 60% of the funding will be a grant to propel the startup’s scaling goals. The French food tech also obtained a €1 million loan from Bpifrance, known as the Invest EU Green Investment Loan, to fuel its precision fermentation platform further. Romain Chayot, CEO and co-founder of Standing Ovation, comments: “Bpifrance’s strong support is helping us to …

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La Vie Launches new plant-based ham exclusively at Tesco in Time for Veganuary.

Image courtesy of La Vie

Products & Launches

La Vie’s New Plant-Based Ham Arrives in Tesco

La Vie, a French food tech specialising in plant-based pork products, announces the launch of its latest NPD, La Vie Plant-Based Ham, exclusively at Tesco. The introduction of La Vie’s Plant-Based Ham in Tesco stores signifies a significant step in the company’s growth trajectory and follows its record-setting crowdfunding campaign in France, the largest to date, which saw targets achieved in just over an hour. This financial milestone is testament to La Vie’s robust market position and solidifies its reputation as one of the top three brands driving the growth of the plant-based category. The new alternative to ham comes in two flavors: regular and smoked, catering to a wide range of consumers, including meat lovers and flexitarians. The new ham joins the brand’s plant-based bacon …

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SHICKEN Foods founders and team in kitchen

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Company News

SHICKEN Poised for Multi-Million Growth Amid Global Expansion Plans Including Sprouts Stores in 23 US States

UK challenger brand SHICKEN reveals it is set to achieve five times its current growth having secured distribution at Sprouts Farmers Market in the US for its popular range of frozen ready meals, along with the launch of NPD Teriyaki Kebab Skewer at Costco throughout the UK and newly-secured European markets. SHICKEN was founded by husband-and-wife team Parm and Satvinder Bains in 2020 during lockdown, creating dishes based on traditional Asian recipes passed down by Satvinder’s grandmother. The “chicken” meat is crafted with a blend of soy, wheat, and pea proteins, using a unique technology and with a focus on natural plant-based ingredients. After receiving investment from Matthew Glover’s Veg Capital in October 2021, the company first launched its Tikka Kebab Skewers into Costco UK, …

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Dr Seed burgers

© Dr Seed

Food Service

Virtual Restaurant Startup Launches Plant-Based Brand ‘Dr Seed’ in France

No Brainer, a digital restaurant company operating in France and Belgium, recently launched Dr Seed, a hybrid virtual brand focused on 100% plant-based cuisine. The company, co-founded by Youssef Saadaoui and Wassim, has rapidly expanded its digital presence in the culinary industry. Leveraging Saadaoui’s experience with the Black & White network and Wassim’s background with Clone, No Brainer has launched 20 virtual halal brands across 200 restaurateurs, resulting in approximately 800 digital restaurants. “We have defined a certain number of standard and transversal products. It thus becomes easy for restaurateurs to enter the circuit, to model our brand on one or more of their references, and thus to be present on the platforms,” Wassim tells Snacking France. No Brainer’s business model integrates existing menu items …

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France Flag

© Björn Wylezich - stock.adobe.com

Politics & Law

French Parliamentarians Propose Law to Ban Cultivated Meat, Calling it “Junk Food”

The Republicans (Les Républicains) party of France has introduced a bill in the National Assembly to prohibit the production and marketing of cultivated meat in the country, reports European Biotechnology. “In the interests of human health, animal health, and the environment, it is forbidden to produce, process, and market synthetic meat anywhere in France,” reads the proposed law. The bill’s proponents argue that cultivated meat companies promise to replace low-quality imported meat with a highly processed alternative full of “questionable additives” produced in obscured conditions.  Pauline Grimmer, policy officer at GFI Europe, comments, “This bill is a needless attack on consumer choice and local startups and would cut France off from investment and job opportunities. It would also undermine efforts to tackle climate change just as the …

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OCEAN KISS, a French startup based in Bordeaux, creates 100 % plant-based alternatives to ocean favorites.

© OCEAN KISS

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

OCEAN KISS Creates France’s First Smoked Salmon Crafted From Seaweed and Plants

Eating fish will be increasingly difficult as it becomes scarce due to overfishing, pollution, and a warmer climate. Recognizing these challenges, OCEAN KISS, a French startup based in Bordeaux, creates 100 % plant-based alternatives to ocean favorites, starting with salmon. The company’s first venture in alt seafood, SOLMON, is said to be the first plant-based smoked salmon crafted from seaweed and plants manufactured in France. SOLMON contains omega-3 (including DHA/EPA),  protein and fibers, and is gluten and soy-free, offering 60% less salt than the average smoked salmon on the market. In addition to being nutritious, plant-based salmon is free from controversial substances, including antibiotics, pollutants, heavy metals, and microplastics “Our plant-based alternatives to fish help to reduce CO2 emissions and pressure on marine resources, while …

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Garden Gourmet partners with the 2024 Olympic Games

Image: Margaux van Helleputte on LinkedIn

Society

Garden Gourmet Partners With the 2024 Olympic Games to Help Double Plant-Based Food Consumption

Nestlé-owned Garden Gourmet has announced it is an official supporter of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which will be held in Paris. The company will help to achieve the goal set by the Olympics of doubling the amount of plant-based food on offer to halve carbon emissions. Garden Gourmet’s food will be available at several Olympic and Paralympic Games sites, and will be served to athletes, volunteers, staff, spectators, and the media. Garden Gourmet products include plant-based burgers, sausages, filet pieces, and more. The company launched limited-edition vegan foie gras last year, and recently introduced alternatives to fish fillets, fingers, and nuggets. “Modern taste of France” It is hoped that the collaboration between Garden Gourmet and the Olympics will encourage the transition towards more …

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Vital Meat has submitted a novel food regulatory dossier to the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) seeking pre-market approval for its cultivated chicken, Vital Chicken.

© Vital Meat

Cultivated Meat

France’s Vital Meat Submits Pre-Market Dossier to Launch Cultivated Chicken in Singapore

French cultivated meat company, Vital Meat, announces it has submitted a novel food pre-market regulatory dossier to the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) seeking approval to launch its cultivated chicken, Vital Chicken, in the country. The biotech stated that Singapore‘s progressive thinking and willingness to embrace new technologies position it as an ideal market to launch its safe and delicious product.  If Vital Chicken receives the SFA’s pre-market approval, Vital Meat will become the first European cultivated meat company to sell its products in Singapore — a sought-after race among biotech companies. In 2019, SFA introduced a novel food regulatory framework, requiring companies to seek pre-market allowance by submitting safety assessments for SFA’s review. Singapore, the first country to allow cultivated meat, has approved only GOOD Meat’s cultivated …

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INTACT, a French company specializing in plant-based ingredients from regenerative agriculture, has begun constructing a new facility in Baule, the Loiret region of the country.

© INTACT

Agriculture / Agribusiness

France’s INTACT Breaks Ground on Low Carbon Facility to Produce Legume Proteins for Plant-Based Foods

INTACT, a French company specializing in vegetable proteins from regenerative agriculture legumes, has begun constructing a new low-carbon facility in Baule, in the Loiret region of the country. The new plant will transform peas and other legumes into plant proteins for plant-based foods, neutral alcohol, and biomass for heating using an innovative fermentation technology. Marc Fesneau, the French Minister for Agriculture and Food Sovereignty, was present at the ceremony, signaling the growing interest and investment in plant-based agriculture in France. Fesneau said that the company’s commitment to ecological agriculture aligns with France’s ambition to double the area dedicated to legume production by 2030, reports ActuOrléans. The strategic location of the Baule facility, within an agricultural hub and supported by Axereal, will propel the development of …

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Yusto yeast protein by Arbiom

© Arbiom

Fermentation

Arbiom Unveils Yusto Yeast Protein as Part of “New Wave of Protein Ingredients”

French-American sustainable protein producer Arbiom has unveiled a new product, Yusto yeast protein. Produced using fermentation, Yusto is fiber-rich while also containing B vitamins and all the essential amino acids. Described as part of a “new wave of protein ingredients”, Yusto is already globally approved for use in food. It can be used in meat and dairy alternatives, snacks, sauces, specialized nutrition products, and more. According to Arbiom, one of Yusto’s key benefits is its umami flavor, which can mask bitterness in plant-based proteins while also allowing for a reduction in salt content. Its high fiber content can also aid digestive health. Yusto is now available for food manufacturers who are interested in using the ingredient in their products. “Yusto is packed with proteins, we …

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Vital Meat x Biowest partnership

Image courtesy of Vital Meat

Cultivated Meat

Vital Meat: France’s First Cultivated Meat Startup Achieves Scaling Milestone in Chicken Cultivation

Vital Meat, describing itself as France’s first cultivated meat startup, has announced a strategic partnership with Biowest, one of Europe’s leading producers of cell culture media from animal sources, to scale the production of cultivated chicken. Biowest has developed a customized serum-free medium for Vital Meat’s cultivated chicken platform that has allowed it to achieve successful pilot productions of cultivated chicken in 250-liter bioreactors. According to the French startup, it can now confidently produce “kilos” of its cultivated chicken ingredient, marking a key milestone in the company’s growth. With the support of Biowest and its advanced biotechnology, the company states that it is ready to transition to industrial production. “I am delighted by this partnership with Biowest, which ensures exceptional quality and traceability of our media and …

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Image supplied by Clextral

Manufacturing & Technology

Clextral’s innovative developments in producing affordable and tasty alternative proteins

The world’s population is increasing. The living standards are rising in many countries. To satisfy the expanding demand for meat and fish consumption, industrial livestock and aquaculture production has multiplied. However, aware of the societal, ethical and environmental effects of an animal-based diet, more and more consumers are willing to reduce their meat and fish consumption by introducing healthy non-animal protein sources into their diets. Mankind being omnivorous, we can anticipate that the global population will still, on average, include meat and fish in its diet. However, some of this consumption of meat and fish products could be replaced by another type of high protein food: plant-based meat and fish substitutes. One of the major challenges of the 21st century will be feeding the growing …

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Stella McCartney and Veuve Clicquot partner to recycle grape waste and make luxury vegan leather.

© VEGEA/Stella McCartney

Fashion, Design & Beauty

Stella McCartney Partners with Champagne House Veuve Clicquot to Turn Grape Waste Into Luxurious Vegan Leather 

British designer Stella McCartney and the famous champagne house Veuve Clicquot have partnered to recycle grape waste to make a luxurious vegan leather with sustainability credentials. The two brands are subsidiaries of LVMH (Louis Vuitton-Moët-Hennessy), the world’s leading luxury group, which reportedly gets one-third of its revenues from fashion and leather goods. In April 2023, LVMH was in news headlines, named as the first European company to reach a $500bn valuation. Stella McCartney states that with this initiative, both companies are pursuing sustainable, circular economy, and regenerative practices under the umbrella and luxury standards of LVMH. The environmental impact of animal leather is immense, with animal agriculture contributing to an estimated 11-17% of the world’s GHG emissions, argues the fashion brand. VEGEA’s grape skin The Italian …

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Emmanuel Lavocat of Clextral

Emmanuel Lavocat. © Clextral

Interviews

Clextral: “We Have More Than 35 Years of Expertise Supplying Twin-Screw Extruder Systems for the Alt Protein Industry”

Headquartered in Firminy, France, Clextral is a medium-sized company that has specialized in the design, manufacture, and installation of twin-screw extrusion systems (extruder and complete line) for various industries since 1956. The company is now a global leader in the field and has been working with the alternative proteins industry for over three decades. Clextral has a global presence, serving international customers via 12 subsidiaries worldwide. The company also has two test centers (Firminy in France and Tampa in the USA) where it runs extrusion trials for alternative proteins. Emmanuel Lavocat is an Extrusion Process Engineer and Alternative Proteins Market Manager at Clextral. He has an engineering degree from Compiègne Technology University, and has been working for Clextral since 1999. We spoke to him to …

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Crispy seaweed sticks made from French seaweed

© ZALG

Algae, Microalgae & Seaweed

ZALG Launches Crispy Seaweed Sticks Made From Locally Grown French Seaweed

ZALG, a French producer of algae-based food innovations, has launched a new product — crispy seaweed sticks. Based in Brittany, ZALG uses locally-grown seaweed and macroalgae to develop sustainable, healthy plant-based foods. The seaweed sticks consist of a light sea vegetable filling surrounded by a thin layer of crispy breadcrumbs, with two flavours available — lemon zest and onion. Intended for food service professionals, the crispy seaweed sticks can be prepared in a fryer in just 90 seconds. Suggested applications include sharing boards, sandwiches, and wraps. “We are creating a new realm of possibilities in the use of seaweed in cooking to meet the current demands for a healthy, delicious, and sustainable diet,” said Tanguy Gestin, co-founder of ZALG. “French culinary heritage” ZALG was founded …

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Foi Green, Aberyne's plant-based foie gras made with cashews.

© Aberyne

Company News

Aberyne Announces Expansion in Europe and USA to Offer the “Best Plant-Based Foie Gras” Before Christmas

Foi Green, Aberyne‘s plant-based foie gras made with cashews, acclaimed by the three Michelin star chef Albert Adrià, will arrive at vegan and gourmet shops in Spain, the UK, and Switzerland, just in time for Christmas, Mikel Abeberry, the founder of Aberyne tells vegconomist.  Additionally, he shared that Aberyne will launch Foi Green in gourmet shops in the USA before the holidays; the company signed an agreement with a nationwide US distributor, marking the company’s first overseas expansion. Moreover, Aberyne has launched a Kickstarter campaign to establish a commercial office and get a foothold in the US, one of the most dynamic plant-based food markets, Abeberry said.  Foie gras, a staple of haute cuisine traditionally eaten at Christmas, is no longer a seasonal delicacy, with more consumers using …

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