Salón del Queso Vegano will debut in Latin America by hosting its first international event in Colombia. 

Image courtesy of Singular Foods

Cheese Alternatives

Vegan Cheese Innovation to Take Center Stage in Colombia at Salón del Queso Vegano’s First LATAM Event

Salón del Queso Vegano (Vegan Cheese Salon), a pioneering event connecting innovators, producers, suppliers, industry professionals and cheese lovers that originated in Madrid, will make its Latin American debut with an upcoming event in Colombia.   Organized by the food design and innovation consultancy Singular Foods, the meeting will take place at Herbívoro, an upscale vegan restaurant in Bogotá, on August 29th and 30th, 2024. The event will host cooking demonstrations, wine and cheese pairings, workshops, and offering a unique opportunity for networking. Salón del Queso Vegano first took place in 2022, with vegan cheese startups Väcka, Mommus, and Vegasauria showcasing their innovations to F&B professionals interested in animal-free and sustainable food solutions.  Lyda Durango, vegan marketing specialist and event promoter, comments, “It’s a well-known …

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Heura Fish

Image courtesy of Heura

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

Spanish Seafood Producers & Consumer Unions Claim Plant-Based Seafood Labelling is Deceptive

A group of over 20 Spanish seafood companies and consumer unions has accused plant-based seafood producers of misleading consumers through their labelling. The organisations — which include Apromar, Cepesca, Interfish, Conexmar, ConsumES, and more —- have announced their intention to join SAFE Food Advocacy Europe to urge European authorities to place stricter regulations on plant-based products. They say these foods should not be able to imitate fish or shellfish. While the companies claim their objections are mostly centred around the “deception” of consumers, there are clearly other factors at play. Conexmar says the marketing of plant-based seafood “may lead to unfair competition”, while Miguel López Crespo, the vice president of ConsumES, admits that “we are also concerned about the damage that this type of product …

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Palacios to use The EVERY Egg in its Spanish omelets

© The EVERY Co

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

“World’s Largest” Spanish Omelet Producer Partners with Every Co to Use the EVERY Egg

Grupo Empresarial Palacios Alimentación, which claims to be the world’s largest producer of Spanish omelets and string chorizo, has announced a commercial agreement with US biotech firm The Every Company. Following the agreement, Palacios will use the EVERY Egg — said to be the world’s first liquid egg product made using precision fermentation — in its flagship Spanish omelets. The egg alternative will also be incorporated into the research and development of new products. Palacios says it has a “firm commitment to innovation”, adding that the company is at the forefront when it comes to incorporating new innovations into traditional recipes. The EVERY Egg is said to provide a safe and reliable alternative to conventional chicken eggs, whose supply has been affected by issues such …

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Pink Albatross mango ice cream stick

© Pink Albatross

Company News

Spain’s Pink Albatross Announces “New Category” of Ice Creams Following International Growth

Pink Albatross, the Spanish company specialising in 100% plant-based ice cream, has announced what it claims is a new category of ice creams with “creamy ice creams that are 100% natural and scrumptious”. Under the slogan “Ahora vamos de este palo” (a play on words which translates as ‘Now we’re going this way’ but with palo also meaning stick, referring to the ice cream sticks), the new innovations include mango & passion fruit and strawberry & raspberry fruit bars alongside mini Belgian chocolate sticks in double chocolate and hazelnut flavours. Pink Albatross already has a solid presence in the Spanish market; the company secured a presence in 500 new points of sale, including new chains such as Alcampo, Carrefour Market, Dinosol, Upper, Sorli, and Valvi. …

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Taylor Swift Eras tour

©Taylor Swift on Instagram

Fairs & Events

Heura Brings Plant-Based Menu to Taylor Swift’s “Eras Tour” in Madrid

Taylor Swift will perform two concerts in Madrid on May 29 and 30 as part of her “Eras Tour” at the Bernabéu Stadium. Over 130,000 attendees are expected over the two days. At Swift’s request, the Bernabéu will offer a variety of meat-free dishes provided by Spanish plant-based meat company Heura. Promoting plant-based This initiative aligns with Swift’s history of promoting conscious consumption. In 2023, she showcased vegan clothing made from eco-friendly materials in New York. Last summer, Mexican plant-based startup Propel Foods provided food at her concerts in Mexico City, and she also featured vegan shrimp from the Ish Company at her concerts in Tampa, Florida.  Concertgoers in Madrid can expect a diverse menu featuring items like a burger with pickles, salsa, and vegan …

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Celium cultivated cellulose

© Celium

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Polybion Creates “Entirely New Category” With Global Launch of Celium Cultivated Cellulose

Spanish biomaterials producer Polybion has announced that its cultivated cellulose, Celium, is now available worldwide. The company claims the material is more than a leather alternative, and will create an “entirely new category” due to its unique properties. Celium is grown by feeding bacteria with agroindustrial fruit waste; the cells then self-organize and create a cellulose structure as a metabolic by-product. This structure undergoes a sustainable stabilization process, and the resulting leather-like material can be dyed, embossed, and tanned with chromium-free formulations using existing infrastructure. The material’s properties can be tailored for applications such as fashion, sportswear, and the automotive industry — for example, the thickness of the material can be controlled as it grows. Celium is plastic-free and has a much lower environmental impact …

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Tuna pizza by Yanten Vegan Food

Tuna pizza ©Yanten Vegan Food

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

Europe’s Largest Fishing Port is Home to Yanten Vegan Food, the “Evolution of Fishing”

In the Spanish city of Vigo, home to Europe’s largest fishing port and described as “the most important port for the commercialization of fish for human consumption on the continent, and a central point for trading in fish at European and world level”, Gabriel López Pose founded the startup Yantén Vegan Food. Using the tagline “The future of the sea,” Yantén’s products are said to mimic the taste and texture of seafood offering sustainable food products at competitive prices. “We want to reduce the stress on the world’s oceans through overfishing. According to the FAO, 90% of fish stocks are fully exploited or overfished, which means we are already taking all we can from the oceans (and in some cases, more) while demand for seafood continues to …

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CUVO FOODS team shot Barcelona

CUVO FOODS, image courtesy of The Vegan Agency

Market & Trends

48% of Spanish Consumers in New Survey Have Reduced Their Meat Consumption in the Last Year

A pan-European survey, called Changing Appetite: Comprehensive research on the uptake of plant-based foods published by ProVeg under the EU Smart Protein project, sheds more light on the current state of plant-based consumption and helps the food industry and other stakeholders to gain a deeper understanding of consumers in Spain. The survey, carried out in Austria, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, the UK, Denmark, Poland, Romania, and the Netherlands, involved 7,500 respondents and was conducted by the food awareness organisation ProVeg International in collaboration with the University of Copenhagen and the University of Ghent. Spain plays a key role in the EU’s plant-based sector, as it is Europe’s fourth largest market for plant-based foods, with sales of around €500 million between 2020 and 2022, according to …

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Vegan calamari rings on a plate

© Vrave

Products & Launches

Spanish Seafood Producer Aguinamar Partners with Vrave to Launch Vegan Calamari in Major Retailers

In another collaboration between a traditional food company and a food startup, the Spanish seafood producer Angulas Aguinaga Group, via its brand Aguinamar, has partnered with Grin Grin Foods (which recently rebranded to Vrave) to launch its first plant-based product, Aros de Mar, a vegan calamari. With Aros de Mar, Aguinamar is adding a vegan option to its lineup of easy-to-prepare seafood products, expanding into the growing plant-based seafood category. The new alternative will be available in Carrefour and Alcampo at the end of April. The product is konjac-based, providing quality and texture to the calamari alternative while offering a good amount of fiber and a few kilocalories. It is suitable for pan frying, baking, or air frying, allowing it to obtain a crunchy and firm texture. Konjac …

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Better Balance launches Better Nera with Chunk Foods

© Sigma

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

Better Balance Launches Plant-Based Whole Cut ‘Better-Nera’ in Spain with Chunk Foods

Following the announcement this January that the company was to develop co-branded plant-based whole cuts for the Latin American market in collaboration with Chunk Foods, Better Balance now presents the 100% plant-based “Better-nera” cut for the Spanish market. Also co-developed with vegan steak specialist Chunk Foods, using a patented solid-state fermentation technology, this innovative cut of plant meat is a pioneer in its category in Spain, says Better Balance, a subsidiary of the Sigma group. Better-nera has a high protein content (21%) and is an excellent source of fibre, enriched with iron and vitamin B12. In addition, it is cholesterol-free, low in saturated fat and sodium, and contains no artificial colours or preservatives. The product has been categorised with Nutriscore A and can be prepared …

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Nuveg unveils a new product: instant rice noodle high protein soup

© Nuveg

Products & Launches

Nuveg is Pioneering Spanish In-House Production of Dehydrated Plant-Based Solutions

Nuveg, a Catalonian brand of dehydrated plant-based food products, has unveiled its latest development at the 2024 Alimentaria fair: a high-protein instant noodles soup that is said to provide the protein equivalent of two eggs. Nuveg’s rice noodle soup is made with organic dehydrated ingredients and the company’s high-protein broth, enriched with nutritional yeast for the savory umami flavor. Free from animal products, gluten, sugar, and artificial additives, the product targets vegans, athletes, and health-conscious consumers looking for a convenient option. With this new product, the company expands its existing lineup of 15 vegan-friendly products, including vegan powdered eggs, a Parmesan-flavored yeast, meat-free Bolognese sauce, and chicken curry, among others. All Nuveg products stand out for their fiber-rich and high protein content — up to …

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Zyrcular Foods plant-based chicken gyozas

© Zyrcular Foods

Fairs & Events

Zyrcular Foods Showcases Multicultural Plant-Based Solutions for Catering at Alimentaria Barcelona 

Zyrcular Foods, a Spanish firm specializing in the development, production, and distribution of alternative protein products, is showcasing its portfolio of 100% plant-based and mycoprotein (Quorn) alternatives for food service at Spain’s leading food, beverage, and gastronomy show Alimentaria, which will take place until March 21st. Zyrcular Foods’ product line includes a multicultural and diverse range of offerings, including alt meat and fish burgers from the company’s brand Amara, nuggets, chorizo, pulled meat, bacon, and meatballs, and its latest innovation, plant-based gyozas in curry chicken flavor. The company also offers alternatives to salmon and tuna made with pea protein under the plant-based seafood brand Current Foods. Zyrcular Foods states that its participation at Alimentaria demonstrates its commitment to providing a variety of high-quality plant-based options for …

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Poseidona raises funding for algal protein ingredients

© Poseidona

Investments & Acquisitions

Female-Led Startup Poseidona Raises €1.1M for Innovative Algal Protein Ingredients

Spanish food tech company Poseidona has raised €1.1 million in a pre-seed funding round, with the aim of further developing its innovative and sustainable algal protein ingredients. The round was led by climate tech and blue economy VC fund Faber. Other participants included Dozen Investments, Sprout & About, Proveg International, and WA4STEAM (Women For STEAM). Poseidona uses algal sidestreams and invasive seaweeds to create cost-effective proteins with significantly lower water use, land use, and carbon emissions than animal-based or conventional plant-based proteins. Currently, the company is focusing on side streams from the production of gellifiers, but it also plans to begin using Rugulopterix Okamurae, an invasive seaweed in the Mediterranean. This will contribute to the management of marine ecosystems, and could be expanded to use …

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Semana sin carne

© ProVeg Spain

Charity & Campaigns

More Than 32,000 People Join Spain’s Meat-Free Week Semana Sin Carne

On the occasion of World Meatless Day, which is on March 20, ProVeg has announced the seventh edition of Semana Sin Carne (Meat-free Week), a 7-day challenge to encourage the population to adopt a more plant-based diet and give the health of our planet a break. The seven-day challenge will begin next Monday, March 18 and all interested people will be able to live a different plant experience each day of the challenge. Every day you will be provided with a daily menu, exclusive vegan recipes, nutritional tables, comparisons or nutritional advice and support, among many other things. Eating plant-based saves money The organization states that “a more plant-based diet will make you save on the shopping cart,” which, in turn, is in line with …

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Heura closes Series B round, forming plant-based alliance

© Heura

Facts & Figures

Heura Announces €38.3M Turnover and 63% Growth in International Sales

Spanish plant-based food startup Heura has announced that its turnover reached €38.3 million in 2023, while international sales rose by a huge 63%. In France, growth was particularly significant at 88%. A partnership with supermarket chain Waitrose allowed Heura to increase its presence in the UK, and the brand saw double-digit growth in all the other European markets where it has a presence. The announcement comes after Heura raised €40 million in Series B funding, in what was claimed to be the largest plant-based funding round of 2023. Among the investors was Upfield, which will work with Heura on a food tech collaboration. All the investors in the round will also join a board that aims to accelerate the transition to a sustainable food system. …

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Libre Foods bacon

© Libre Foods

Politics & Law

The Government of Catalonia Invests €12M in Open Access Facility for Alternative Proteins 

The government of Catalonia will invest €12 million in a pre-industrial facility to extract, produce, and develop alternative protein ingredients and foods. The facility, located in Alcarràs, Lleida, will provide open access, from R&D to pre-industrial manufacturing, for companies to validate their developments before mass production. As reported by local news, the complex will feature different production lines, including plant protein extraction, wet extrusion, and final product processing. It will also offer a dedicated precision fermentation facility and an analysis laboratory to help companies bring innovations to market. According to local media Aral, the facility will “open access to any of the hundreds of Spanish producers currently interested in developing innovative lines of alternative foods to meat.” The project is part of the Biohub Cat, an …

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Grupo Agrovin has launched an alternative to animal-based fining agents for wine based on yeast proteins.

© Agrovin

Ingredients

Agrovin Unveils New Yeast Alternative to Animal-Based Wine Clarifiers

Agrovin, a Spanish biotech supplier of oenological products, winemaking equipment, and services, has launched an alternative to animal-based fining agents based on yeast proteins. Branded Clarifine Proyeast, the new development is a 100% vegan, organic, and allergen-free clarifier for wine. It can be used to produce organic wines according to European and NOP regulations. Agrovin extracts a yeast protein from the strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae to develop the product. With a molecular weight of more than 15 KDa, it is said to offer a higher absorption degree, favoring the cleanliness of the wines by collecting the impurities. Clarifine Proyeast is said to deliver cleaner whites and rosés with greater brilliance, refined reds that preserve their color, and a reduction of astringency, improving mouthfeel. Additionally, it protects …

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Marc Coloma, CEO and co-founder of Heura Foods at the Heura Lab

Marc Coloma, CEO and co-founder of Heura Foods at the Heura Lab, image supplied

Company News

Following €40M Investment, Upfield & Heura Reveal Plans to Fast-Track Innovation in Plant-Based Foods  

Last week, Spain’s Heura announced it had secured €40 million in what it claimed to be the largest plant-based financing round of 2023. The investors in the Series B round are to form a strategic coalition aiming to fast-track innovation in plant-based foods. Heura and Upfield today explain what this will entail. The work between Heura and Upfield aims to rapidly accelerate the protein transition towards a sustainable food system. Aside from the animal suffering and environmental damage caused by animal agriculture, one of the problems in our food system is its inefficiencies: plant-based crops feed more people while occupying less land. Today, plant-based food occupies only 23% of global agricultural land, yet provides 82% of our calories[1]. Data shows that cutting meat and dairy …

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The new butchery in Málaga

© El Vegans

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

Vegan Butchery Chain El Vegans Opens New Location in Málaga, Spain

After expanding with stores in Catalonian cities such as Hospitalet, San Cugat, Sabadell, and Granollers, El Vegans, a vegan butcher’s shop from Barcelona, has opened its first branch in Málaga. El Vegans was founded in 2018 to help people transition to animal-friendly diets by offering plant-based and delicious alternatives to meat and cheese. Located in Huelín, El Vegans is also the first butcher of its kind in the southern city, offering traditional deli and butcher’s shop items in more sustainable versions: from escalopes, burger patties, various cheeses, and vegan blood sausage, to prepared dishes such as seitan cannelloni, soy meat skewers, croquettes, and fillings for fajitas or kebabs, sweets, and beverages. The products of this innovative store are mainly made in-house with natural ingredients, such …

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Heura closes Series B round, forming plant-based alliance

© Heura

Investments & Acquisitions

Heura Raises €40M, Forming Strategic Plant-Based Alliance With Upfield & More

Spanish plant meat leader Heura has raised €40 million in Series B funding, in what it claims is the largest plant-based funding round of 2023. Heura states the funding will drive the company to profitability and reinforce its position as a frontrunner in the industry. The brand is already a leader in the Spanish market and continues to expand across markets such as the UK, France, and Italy. The round saw participation from leading plant-based company Upfield, venture capital firm Unovis Asset Management, food tech fund the European Circular Bioeconomy Fund, and impact investor Newtree Impact. According to Heura, these investors will form a strategic coalition, creating “one of the biggest plant-based alliances”. The companies will join a board that aims to increase Heura’s impact …

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