Vegetarian Butcher fish fillet

© The Vegetarian Butcher

Products & Launches

The Vegetarian Butcher Launches its First Vegan Fish Product

The first vegan fish alternative from Unilever subsidiary The Vegetarian Butcher, the “Krosse Flosse”, is now available in Germany. The Dutch brand is following its philosophy of producing plant-based alternatives that provide the same experience as their animal-based counterparts, with the aim of sustainably removing animals from all steps of meat and fish production. According to the company, the “Krusty Fin” is very similar to the animal equivalent in texture, taste, and ingredients. The 100% plant-based fish fillets are made from rice and wheat protein and are enriched with omega-3. The Vegetarian Butcher has expanded its range to include various new vegan products in recent months. In January, the company presented its product innovations to a large audience at the Green Week in Berlin, receiving …

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Members of the Board of Management of BayWa AG

© Baywa AG

Agriculture / Agribusiness

BayWa, Bindewald and Gutting Mühlengruppe and MULTIVAC Establish AgriFoodTech Venture Alliance

BayWa Venture GmbH, the processing and packaging machine experts MULTIVAC, and Bindewald + Gutting Mühlengruppe are jointly investing around 20 million euros in AgriFoodTech startups. The alliance builds on BayWa Venture GmbH’s efforts, a BayWa AG subsidiary, known for investing in twelve promising AgriFoodTech startups in the last three years aimed at enhancing sustainability in the food sector’s value chain. The AgriFoodTech Venture Alliance’s investment focus spans multiple areas: AgTech / BioTech: Enhancing food production’s efficiency and sustainability. FoodTech: Innovative uses of plant proteins in nutrition, along with advancements in healthy eating and food safety. Circular Economy: Upcycling by-products, minimizing food waste, and promoting biodegradable and recyclable materials. Automation & Digitalization: Increasing transparency in the agri-food supply chain, utilizing robotics, AI, and predictive analytics for …

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Ordinary Seafood's alt salmon

© Ordinary Seafood

Company News

German Alt Seafood Startup Ordinary Seafood to Cease Operations

The Potsdam startup Ordinary Seafood will sadly cease its business operations due to financial difficulties. The startup was founded as recently as 2022 by Dr. Anton Pluschke with the aim of solving the myriad problems associated with industrial fishing. With its plant-based fish alternatives, the company wanted to transform the global seafood industry and become the world’s leading alternative seafood products company by 2030. Despite its far-reaching mission and goals, Ordinary Seafood has now had to cease operations due to financial difficulties. According to the founder, despite the incredible customer feedback and great response, the financing landscape has changed dramatically in recent times, which has now led to the closure of the company. The shakeout continues Other startups that have had to close doors in …

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Pacifico Biolabs, a Belin-based biotech startup, announced that it raised $3.3 million to make mycelium-based whole-cut alternatives.

© Viktor Strasse

Fermentation

Pacifico Biolabs Secures $3.3M to “Transform Seafood” with Whole Cut Alternatives

Berlin-based biotech startup Pacifico Biolabs emerges from two years in stealth mode with the announcement of a $3.3 million oversubscribed pre-seed round.  With the capital, the startup plans to improve and further scale its “unique” biomass fermentation process to make mycelium-based whole-cut alternatives, starting with seafood. In addition, it will expand its team with key positions, such as a CTO and chief of staff. Simon Capital and FoodLabs led the funding round, joined by Exceptional Ventures and Sprout & About Ventures. Patrick Noller, General Partner at FoodLabs, comments, “We are confident that Pacifico’s technology strongly positions them to transform seafood and beyond, addressing the urgent demands of a changing climate.”  Friedrich Droste, Managing Partner of Simon Capital, shared, “Their innovative technical approach to alternative seafood …

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Planteneers introduces a range of plant-based fermented dairy

Image courtesy of Planteneers

Milk- and Dairy Alternatives

Plant-Based Fermented Dairy: Planteneers Introduces Yogurt, Quark, Cream Cheese, Ayran, and More

Planteneers, a leading developer and provider of customized plant-based products and solutions, has introduced a range of plant-based fermented dairy, including yogurt, quark, cream cheese, crème fraîche, and ayran (Turkish yogurt drink). According to the company, these fermented vegan products have been specifically formulated to replicate the authentic taste, texture, and mouthfeel of traditional dairy products using the company’s unique functional ingredients systems. Planteneers solutions for plant-based dairy are flexible and can be easily adapted and customized to accommodate the specific preferences of manufacturers or brands looking to offer products that cater to consumer demand. This introduction follows the launch of the plant-based steak 2.0., a manufacturing innovation to create marbled and fat-layered alternatives to meat; and a range of pea-based high moisture extrudates (HME) …

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Anton Paar facility

Image courtesy of Anton Paar

Manufacturing & Technology

Anton Paar Offers “Field Guide to Plant-Based Food Analysis”, an Indispensable Whitepaper for Plant-Based Food Manufacturing

Get the free e-book In response to the burgeoning demand for plant-based alternatives in the food industry, Anton Paar proudly presents an invaluable resource for professionals and enthusiasts alike: the e-book on Plant-Based Food Analysis. As the global landscape shifts towards sustainable and healthier dietary choices, understanding the complexities of plant-based ingredients and products becomes paramount. Anton Paar’s analytical instrumentation portfolio offers a cutting-edge solution to expedite the formulation, development, production, and quality control of novel plant-based foods. This comprehensive e-book delves into the essential facets of plant-based food analysis, providing a wealth of knowledge for those navigating the evolving landscape of plant-based diets. With a focus on safety, consistency, shelf life, and taste, Anton Paar‘s expertise shines through as it addresses the challenges and …

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Top view of a group of people sitting around a rustic wooden dining able, toasting with their glasses raised amidst a spread of various dishes

© MP Studio - stock.adobe.com

Protein

Sunbloom’s Sunflower Proteins for Plant-Based Meat, Dairy, and Eggs to Expand into Nordic Market

Munich-based Sunbloom Proteins announces a strategic partnership with IMCD Group, a global distributor of chemicals and ingredients, to distribute its plant-based functional proteins derived from sunflower seeds in Europe’s Nordic region. Sunbloom Proteins manufactures its products, including a sunflower oil, in Hungary, utilizing sunflower seeds for human consumption. The company has developed a patented process to create 60% protein content sunflower-derived seed ingredients to serve as functional ingredients in food and beverage applications, including dairy and meat alternatives, bakery, confectionery, and wellness products. The versatility of sunflower seeds With a neutral taste and a bright color, the proteins are said to be versatile because they can complement or replace plant or animal proteins in food formulations. They are rich in dietary fibers and polyphenols, enhancing the nutrition of extruded …

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© TOPAS GmbH

Fairs & Events

WHEATY to Present New Seitan-Based Meat Alternatives at BIOFACH

In time for BIOFACH 2024, TOPAS GmbH is presenting various new vegan products without fillers and additives with its flagship brand WHEATY. The world’s leading trade fair for organic food BIOFACH starts again in Nuremberg, tomorrow February 13. And this year the pioneering company for organic vegan meat alternatives in Germany, TOPAS GmbH, founded by Klaus Gaiser in 1993, will be there once again. The company can be found in Hall 9, Stand 409. This year, managing director Klaus Gaiser and his team will present new products on-site, which will then be added to the order lists via organic wholesalers from March 2024. The specialist retail brand WHEATY has been one of the established players in the refrigeration sector for meat alternatives for over 30 …

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©Tulane University

Studies & Numbers

Study: Reflecting on Behavioural Nudges Could Reduce Meat Consumption

A study conducted in a German university cafeteria has investigated the potential of behavioural nudges to reduce meat consumption. Nudge theory states that the design of an environment can influence the choices people make. For example, healthier or more ethical foods can be placed in a more visible position, encouraging consumers to choose them over less beneficial foods. However, some studies indicate that nudges alone may not be enough to bring about significant behaviour change. The new study aimed to determine whether adding an extra step to the process, where participants reflect on their feelings after seeing the nudge, could decrease meat consumption. In the first week, the baseline dietary behaviours of 129 students were measured, before a labelling nudge was introduced in the cafeteria …

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Douglas has committed to make 80% of its corporate brands vegan by 2030 to align with the growing demand for cruelty-free beauty options.

© Douglas

Fashion, Design & Beauty

Douglas Commits to Ensuring 80% of Private Brands Are Vegan & 100% Packaging Recyclable by 2030

The European omnichannel, premium beauty retailer Douglas has committed to ensuring 80% of its corporate brands are vegan by 2030 to align with the growing demand for cruelty-free beauty options. In addition, Douglas aims to make 100% of the packaging recyclable, recycled, or reusable by 2030. The company will prioritize using paper-based product packaging that complies with third-party certifications. And by 2025, it aims to make 100% of the relevant packaging for new launches meet the respective external standards. According to the company’s latest environmental, social, and governance (ESG) report, it has already made significant progress towards these vegan goals. During the financial year 2022-23, 94% of its brand product launches were vegan, while 30% of the new products contained at least 90% of ingredients derived …

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Slow Milling by GoodMills Innovation

© GoodMills Innovation

Ingredients

GoodMills Innovation Launches Slow Milling Ingredients for Artisan Baking on an Industrial Scale

GoodMills Innovation has introduced a new range of clean-label ingredients called Slow Milling, designed to help industrial and retail bakeries make artisan-style baked goods. By enabling the production of traditional goods on an industrial scale, the range aims to improve cost efficiency while providing fresh, visually appealing bakery products. This will help manufacturers cater to consumers who are looking for artisan products at an affordable price point. The Slow Milling range includes: Ferment’tic — A natural baking improver that enhances dough handling and prolongs freshness. The ingredient is said to create Mediterranean-style bread with a moist crumb, large holes, and a crispy crust. Kastanienerbse — A clean-label ingredient derived from roasted yellow pea that provides a nutty flavour, a firm bite, and a moist, rich …

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The COLIPI team

The COLIPI team (from left to right): Erich Müller, Dr. Philipp Arbter, Dr. Tyll Utesch, Jonas Heuer, Maximilian Webers, Maëlle Grimault, Dr. Jan Herzog and Arjun Krishnakumar © COLIPI

Investments & Acquisitions

Hamburg: COLIPI Receives €1.8M in Seed Financing to Further Develop CO2-Neutral Oil

Thanks to an innovative fermentation process, COLIPI is achieving a breakthrough in more sustainable alternatives to petroleum and palm oil for a wide range of industrial sectors. Investors in the seed financing include the High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), the Innovationsstarter Fonds Hamburg (IFH), Nidobirds Ventures GmbH and Stefan De Loecker. The capital will be used to expand the team, test the market together with partner-made products, and scale the technology. The startup, founded in 2022 by Philipp Arbeiter, Tyll Utesch, Jonas Heuer and Maximilian Weber, is a spin-off from the Technical University of Hamburg. The founders aim to produce millions of tons of climate oil per year from 2039 and displace this amount of CO2 severalfold. The seed financing that has now been completed is another …

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A plant-based steak with marbled fat

Image courtesy of Planteneers

Manufacturing & Technology

Plant-Based Steak 2.0: Planteneers & Handtmann Unveil Manufacturing Innovation for Marbling and Fat-Layering

Plant-based food pioneer Planteneers and global leader in food processing technology, Handtmann, are joining forces to revolutionize the market with a manufacturing innovation to create marbled and fat-layered alternatives to meat: the plant-based steak 2.0.  To address the need for more realistic plant-based meat alternatives, the collaboration involves integrating Planteneers’ functional systems and Handtmann’s equipment to create alternatives that mimic the appearance of traditional meat and have an “authentic, fibrous structure.”  Advantages over other processes By combining a newly developed attachment for Handtmann’s filling and portioning systems with Planteneers’ fiildMeat and fiildTex series, manufacturers can achieve the desired fat ratio and adjust the size and shape of the final products to meet customer preferences. In addition, this flexible coextrusion system in production also enables a more realistic asymmetrical fat marbling. …

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Planet A Foods founders

Drs. Max and Sara Marquart. © Planet A Foods

Investments & Acquisitions

Planet A Foods Raises $14.5M to Fuel Mass-Market Expansion for Cocoa-Free Chocolate

German food tech startup Planet A Foods has raised $14.5 million in Series A funding to fuel the international expansion of its cocoa-free chocolate, ChoViva. The round was led by leading climate venture fund World Fund, with participation from Omnes Capital, Cherry Ventures, Mudcake, and more. Some of the funding has already been used to scale up production at Planet A’s factory, allowing the company to produce 750kg of ChoViva per hour. This will help to make the chocolate alternative — which is already very affordable — even cheaper. The funding will also be used to propel Planet A’s mission of becoming a leader in the chocolate alternatives market. It comes after the company secured a partnership with Lindt last year to launch a limited-edition …

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A fat developed using precision ferementation by the German startup Zayt Bioscience.

© Zayt Bioscience

Fermentation

Zayt Bioscience Creates Fermented Fats to Combat Deforestation in Food Industry

Amr Aswad and Venkat Konasan founded the biotech startup Zayt Bioscience in Berlin, Germany, to create a new generation of fermented fats that do not come from agricultural commodities. Palm and soybean oilseeds are the primary sources of oil, an essential product for food production, from chocolates to biscuits to margarine and frying fats. Additionally, plant oils find applications in various industries, such as cosmetics, cleaning products, and biofuel production. However, according to an Our World in Data report, palm and soybean crops account for 18% of global deforestation annually, mainly in the global south. Backed by the VC FoodLabs in a pre-seed funding round, Zayt Bioscience developed a patent-pending precision fermentation platform that uses microbes and fruit waste to make alternatives to palm oil and margarine. The proof of concept of the …

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Infinite Roots raises Europe's largest investment in mycelium

Image courtesy of Infinite Roots

Investments & Acquisitions

Infinite Roots Raises $58M in “Europe’s Largest Investment in Mycelium”

German biotech Infinite Roots (previously Mushlabs) has secured $58 million in an oversubscribed Series B funding round. The sum is said to be Europe’s largest ever investment in mycelium. The round was led by Dr. Hans Riegel Holding, a holding company for confectionery group Haribo, with support from the EIC Fund (an initiative by the European Commission). Other participants included REWE Group, Clay Capital, FoodLabs, and more. Infinite Roots will use the funding to “move into a new era of commercial growth”, which will include expanding production capacities and launching worldwide. The company said that securing such a large sum in the current challenging economic climate was a testament to its technology and expertise. “A new era” Infinite Roots uses patented fermentation technologies to develop …

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plantrecote raw version ME-AT

Plantrecote raw version © ME-AT

Agriculture / Agribusiness

Vion Food Group Sells Slaughterhouses, Pre-Packing Meat Facility, and Ham Brand in Germany to Address Market Challenges

The Netherlands-based Vion Food Group, a global player in the meat and plant-based alternatives industry, has announced downsizing measures for its German portfolio in 2024.  As part of these changes, Vion has agreed to sell key facilities, including its beef slaughterhouse and pre-packing facility in Altenburg, as well as the ham specialist Ahlener Fleischhandel, to Tönnies Group. Uhlen GmbH will also acquire the company’s pig slaughterhouse in Perleberg. In addition, Vion will close its Emstek pig facility by the end of March 2024 after waiting to receive acceptable offers from potential buyers. As reported by the firm, the broader European meat industry, with Germany at its core, faces intense global competition from the USA, South America, and China. These challenges have been further exacerbated by the outbreak …

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Dussman partners with plant-based startups

Team members from Dussman and all four startups © BettaF!sh

Food Service

German Caterer Dussman Partners With Plant-Based Startups for “Diversity Instead of Sacrifice” Campaign

This Veganuary, German caterer Dussmann Food Services has joined forces with four plant-based startups — planted, BettaF!sh, BOONIAN, and Brew Bites — as part of its Vielfalt Statt Verzicht (Diversity Instead of Sacrifice) campaign. Dishes featuring plant-based products made by the startups have been available at around 60 German business canteens throughout the month. Restaurant Ursprung, a sustainable restaurant located in Dussmann’s Berlin-based cultural media store Das KulturKaufhaus, is also participating. About the startups planted uses extrusion and fermentation to make meat alternatives from clean ingredients such as peas, sunflower, and oats. One planted schnitzel emits 87% fewer greenhouse gases and requires 90% less water than its animal-based equivalent. BettaF!sh produces a canned tuna alternative called TU-NAH, made from seaweed, pea protein, and fava beans. …

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Seaweed tampons

© Vyld

Company News

Successful Seed Round: Vyld Secures Seven-Figure Amount with Regenerative Financing Model

Berlin startup Vyld relies on an innovative financing instrument with the Future Profit Partnership Agreement (FPPA) and also receives funding from the BMBF and the EU. Vyld, a profit-for-purpose company, has effectively developed renewable products and an innovative financing model. The company recently completed its seed funding round, securing a seven-figure sum. This funding includes contributions from the federal government and the EU, supplemented by their unique sustainable financing tool, the Future Profit Partnership Agreement (FPPA). World’s first seaweed tampon The current round of financing enables the market entry of the “Tangpon“, the world’s first tampon made from seaweed, as well as the further development of the Algaeverse portfolio for B2B and B2C. Self-titled “ecopreneurs,” Ines Schiller and Melanie Schichan say they are committed to …

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microbial protein Formo cheese gratin

© Formo

Studies & Numbers

German Consumers Underestimate Climate Impact of Dairy But Are Willing to Try Animal-Free Cheese

A study commissioned by Germany’s LI Food — a state initiative for the food industry in Lower Saxony — has found that consumers often underestimate the climate impact of dairy products. The survey found that while most consumers are now aware of the environmental impact of meat, they believe that cheese is significantly less harmful. In reality, the opposite is sometimes true — Parmesan produces 6.3 CO2e/kg, while pork produces 4.6 CO2e/kg. Most respondents also did not associate cheese production with animal suffering. The study then asked consumers about their openness to alternatives to cheese — specifically, animal-free products made using precision fermentation. While there was a degree of scepticism about food technology, responses were generally positive, especially among consumers who were aware of the …

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