New Sproudz startup hub in Switzerland

© Outlawz Food

Startups, Accelerators & Incubators

Sproudz, a Flexible Production Hub for Swiss Food Startups

Sproudz is set to advance plant-based food innovation in the Bern district of Switzerland. This unique hub will offer startups from the food industry rental space and facilities to produce their innovative plant-based products in the Swiss Municipality of Zollikofen. Additionally, Sproudz will provide joint services in procurement, quality management, logistics, and human resources. This initiative will enable startups to scale their business models cost-efficiently. The fenaco cooperative supplies the infrastructure, aiming to promote Swiss agricultural raw materials and optimize by-product refinement from its processing plants. Two startups from the Bern region have already committed to relocating their production operations to Zollikofen by late 2024. BakeryBakery AG, Switzerland’s first vegan bakery with a growing branch network, and Outlawz Food AG, a producer of plant-based meats, …

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Planted steak launches in retail

© Planted Foods AG

Retail & E-Commerce

Planted’s Fermented Steak Arrives in Swiss & German Retail

Following the successful launch of its fermented steak in the catering trade in March, Swiss food tech pioneer Planted is now also launching its fermented steak in the retail sector in Switzerland at Coop and in Germany at REWE. The planted.steak is made exclusively from natural ingredients and, according to the company, has an unmistakable umami flavour. According to Planted, the use of fermentation technology also enables it to process other plant-based protein sources and improve the wholesomeness and flavour experience of its products. This overcomes the previous limitations of using alternative proteins. The steak is made exclusively from natural ingredients such as soy protein, rapeseed oil, bean and rice flour and a special mixture of microbial cultures. It has a high protein and fibre …

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South Korea’s plant-based foods producer Pulmuone has signed a business agreement with with ABB Korea Robotics, a leading company in automation and robotics to develop cultivated fish technologies.

© Pulmuone

Cultivated Seafood

Pulmuone Announces New Collab to Streamline Cultivated Seafood Using AI Robotics

South Korean plant-based foods producer Pulmuone has signed a business agreement with ABB Korea Robotics, the local corporation of Switzerland’s ABB, to develop cultivated seafood. The collaboration aims to automate the cultivation process for seafood using ABB’s robotics technology, with a target of mass-producing cultivated seafood products by 2026. According to the announcement, the companies hope to spearhead research and development in AI robotics for cellular agriculture. At the same time, Pulmuone expects this partnership to be the world’s first to apply AI robotic automation to cultivated meat production. Both companies will focus on several areas, including the robotic automation of the seafood cell cultivation process, enhancing production efficiency, protecting intellectual property, sharing research facilities and equipment, and exchanging specialized personnel. Key representatives from both …

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Lorenz Wyss-CEO of the Bell Food Group

© Bell Food Group

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Bell Food Group CEO Expects Cultivated Meat Burgers to Hit Swiss Restaurants in 3 Years

Lorenz Wyss, the outgoing CEO of the Swiss meat and convenience food giant Bell Food Group foresees that cultivated burgers will be available in Switzerland in three years. In an interview published on Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ), Wyss predicts that the products will be available first in restaurants rather than in supermarkets; but the burgers could initially contain only cultivated fat. “It is possible that at the beginning you will only cultivate individual ingredients for addition, such as fat,” he said. Investing in cultivated meat Bell Food Group, a leading meat processor selling meat, poultry, charcuterie, seafood, and convenience products, invested €2 million in the Dutch cultivated meat company Mosa Meat in 2018. At the time, the company announced that it would offer cultivated burgers for 10 francs by …

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IFF to exhibit vegan softgels and more at Vitafoods Europe

© IFF

Fairs & Events

IFF to Exhibit Plant-Based Softgel Technology, Gummies, & More at Vitafoods Europe

IFF, a global corporation creating products for sectors such as food, beverages, health, and biosciences, is set to showcase some of its plant-based and cellulosic-derived pharmaceutical solutions at the nutraceutical trade show Vitafoods Europe. Designed for dietary supplements and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, the clean-label solutions meet manufacturers’ needs for plant-based formulations, purity, and consistent quality. The event marks the first time IFF will exhibit its full clean-label portfolio for oral dosage forms. The solutions include: Tablets and Capsules: High-performance cellulose-based ingredients, binders, and disintegrants such as Avicel®, Endurance®, METHOCEL™, and Ac-Di-Sol® enable the production of consumer-friendly formats for nutritional supplements and OTC products. Specific low nitrite grades are also available. Release Solutions: METHOCEL™ water-soluble cellulose ethers improve efficacy for immediate and controlled-release formulations. They can …

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The Swiss startup Nectariss, founded by Richard Splivallo, a professor and truffle expert, is revolutionizing the world of truffle oils with a range of natural truffle flavor concentrates developed using fermentation.

© Nectariss

Fermentation

Meet the Nectariss Method Reshaping the Truffle Oil Market

The Swiss startup Nectariss, founded by Richard Splivallo, a professor and truffle expert, is revolutionizing the gastronomic scene with natural truffle flavor concentrates developed using fermentation. Under the brand NBROSIA, Nectariss’s products are claimed as “the most authentic truffle flavors on the market.” This statement is reflected in NBROSIA’s popularity, which has skyrocketed, with a 300% growth in its B2B customer base and expansion into five European countries and the USA, as reported by EU-Startups. In an effort to continue pushing the boundaries of flavor innovation, the Nectariss team embarked on a new project funded by the Good Food Institute last year. The research aims to address the flavor limitations of current seafood alternatives by exploring precision fermentation with filamentous fungi and algae to mimic specific seafood flavors.  …

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Lukas Frei

Lukas Frei © Bühler

Interviews

Bühler: “We Work Together to Create Solutions for Customers That Otherwise Wouldn’t Have Been Possible”

Bühler Group is a prominent Swiss company known for its advanced technology solutions for food processing and manufacturing. Founded in 1860 by Adolf Bühler in Uzwil, Switzerland, the company has grown to become a global leader in providing technologies for processing grains, rice, pasta, chocolate, and other foods. With its global presence, Bühler operates research and development centers and manufacturing sites around the world, serving customers in over 140 countries. We spoke with Lukas Frei who leads the market segment Alternative Proteins and Food Ingredients at Bühler. He is based at the headquarters in Uzwil, Switzerland. In what ways is Bühler innovating in the field of meat alternative processing technology? One of the main challenges in the industry has been the texture of the products. …

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© Migros

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

Migros Launches Upcycled Meat Alternatives Made From Spent Brewer’s Grain

Swiss supermarket chain Migros has partnered with Circular Food Solutions to launch a new range of upcycled meat alternatives. The products are made from spent brewer’s grains, a byproduct of the barley used in beer production. The grains, rich in nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, and fibre, are combined with Swiss-grown peas and wheat to produce the meat alternatives. There are currently three products in the range: burgers, mince, and marinated pieces. The meat alternatives have been developed using Circular Food Solutions’ technology, which aims to help companies take advantage of the growing demand for plant-based foods while making better use of resources. The technology is said to produce alt meats with “a unique fiber texture, taste, and elasticity”. The new products are part of …

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JULIENNE BRUNO artisan vegan cheeses launch at Coop Switzerland

© JULIENNE BRUNO

Cheese Alternatives

Artisan Vegan Cheese Brand JULIENNE BRUNO Expands to Switzerland with Updated Packaging

UK-based artisan vegan cheese brand JULIENNE BRUNO has announced an expansion to Switzerland, rolling out at hundreds of Coop stores across the country. The brand’s burrata alternative, Burrella, will be available at 375 Coop locations, while its stracciatella alternative, Superstraccia, has gained listings at 170 stores. Both products are award-winning — Burrella won the Dairy Alternative Innovation category at last year’s World Dairy Innovation Awards, while Superstraccia has received a Great Taste Award. This is JULIENNE BRUNO’s first international launch, with further market expansion planned in the coming months. The brand is also developing a new product range called Collection 02. New packaging In the meantime, JULIENNE BRUNO has relaunched its Collection 01 (featuring Burrella, Superstraccia, and the cream cheese alternative Crematta) with updated packaging. …

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Plantbased Business Hour

The Investment Thesis Behind Food Systems Transformation: Lombard Odier’s Thomas Hohne-Sparborth

Thomas Hohne-Sparborth, Head of Sustainability Research at Lombard Odier Investment Managers in Switzerland joins the Plantbased Business Hour with Elysabeth Alfano. They discuss who pays for and who benefits from food systems transformation. From the farmer to the investor and everyone in between, we cover the investment thesis for environmentalists and capitalists alike. Specifically, they discuss: What is Lombard Odier and why do you focus on investments in natural resources as a strategy? What do we mean when we say global food systems transformation? How can investors benefit from this? How do you envision financing the food systems transformation? In what time frame? Are your clients on board? Who is driving the growth behind the global funding? Below is a highlight clip and transcription from our …

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Coop alt milk made from apricot kernels

© Coop

Milk- and Dairy Alternatives

Coop Switzerland Partners With Kern Tec & Emmi to Offer Milk Made From Apricot Kernels

Swiss supermarket chain Coop has partnered with Austria’s Kern Tec and Swiss dairy manufacturer Emmi Group to develop a milk alternative made from apricot kernels. The Karma Kernel Apricot Drink is said to have a similar taste to almond milk, since apricots and almonds are related. It helps to prevent food waste and reduce carbon emissions by making use of European apricot pits produced as a byproduct of fruit processing. The drink is free of gluten and lactose, has no added sugar, and is enriched with calcium and vitamins. It is now available at Coop stores across Switzerland. Coop also offers whole apricot kernels as a snack food, along with a chocolate spread made from apricot kernels. Both products are sold under the chain’s Karma …

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Cultivated Biosciences prepares for market debut with $5 million raised in seed round

Image courtesy of Cultivated Biosciences

Fermentation

Cultivated Biosciences Raises $5 Million for Yeast-Derived Cream and 2025 Market Launch

Swiss biotech Cultivated Biosciences announces it has raised $5 million in a seed round to accelerate the development of its yeast-derived cream and prepare for a market debut. After successfully testing its application in dairy-free coffee creamers, milk, and ice cream products, the company says it is now focusing on scaling up production and building collaborations to introduce the ingredient in consumer products.  Pending regulatory approval for consumption, the company plans to introduce its cream to the US market in 2025 and the European market in 2026. Dutch VC Navus Ventures led the investment round with participation from previous investors Founderful, HackCapital, and Lukas Böni (the founder of Planted). New investors, including US-based Joyful VC, Mandi Ventures, and Zürcher Kantonalbank, backed the company in this round.  Eduard Meijer, …

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Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Food Brewer Secures Over CHF 5M for Cell Cultured Cacao & Coffee

Food Brewer AG, a biotech startup leveraging plant cell culture headquartered in Campus Horgen, Zurich, Switzerland, has raised over CHF 5 million in a seed round.  Various investors, including family offices from Switzerland and the USA, the Zürcher Kantonalbank, and chocolate manufacturer Max Felchlin AG, backed the startup’s biotechnological approach to making alternatives to cocoa, coffee, and sustainable fats.  With the new funds, Food Brewer will invest in R&D for its cell lines, expand to a production facility, and develop its business model, reported Startupticker. The challenges of agriculture Founded in 2021 by Yannick Senn, Géraldine Senn, Christian Schaub, Corinne John, Stefan Bingisser, and Klaus Kienle, the startup focuses on developing a platform for large-scale production of key commodities harnessing the potential of plant cell culture. By utilizing new …

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Swiss firm planetary SA has partnered with the Japanese giant in imaging technology, Konica Minolta Inc., to optimize and reduce the production costs of its fermentation technologies.

© Image courtesy of Planetary

Fermentation

Swiss Biotech Planetary and Japan’s Konica Minolta Partner to Cut Costs of Fermented Proteins

Swiss firm planetary SA (Planetary), the world’s first integrated biomass and precision fermentation CDMO, has partnered with the Japanese giant in imaging technology, Konica Minolta Inc. to optimize and reduce the production costs of its fermentation technologies. The ultimate aim is to accelerate the production of fermented proteins, including dairy, egg, fats, and mycoproteins, that can compete with the prices of similar commodity products in the market. The newly announced collaboration, following the signing of an MoU, involves using Konica Minolta’s advanced image-sensing tech and data-driven bioprocess to develop and implement new real-time monitoring and control operations. In addition, by leveraging the collected data and AI, the technologies can be further optimized. As a result, the companies expect to decrease the number of lost batches and achieve a further reduction …

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Planted man with sausage

© Planted

Market & Trends

Coop Switzerland Reports Downward Trend of Women Purchasing Vegan Alternatives & Upward Trend Among Men

More than a quarter of consumers regularly eat vegan alternatives in Switzerland, according to the newly published Coop Plant-Based Food Report 2024. While the report does note that demand for all meat alternatives has increased significantly since 2018, with burgers, in particular, growing by 279% in this period, Coop does point out that this growth has declined over the past two years. However, vegan sausage and charcuterie alternatives are experiencing a strong upward trend. The top three categories of meat substitutes on the Swiss market in terms of sales are new: vegan schnitzel, sliced meat, and sausage alternatives. A newly emerging masculinity Interestingly, the report notes that in general, there has been a “downward trend in the proportion of women among substitute product customers over …

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Planted cold cuts lifestyle shot

© Planted

Products & Launches

Planted Launches the “Cleanest Lyoner Cold Cut on the Market” at Coop Switzerland

Swiss foodtech startup Planted announces the launch of its first plant-based cold cut in Swiss retail through a distribution deal with Coop. The cold cut is an alternative to the Lyoner Wurst style of meat, often referred to as German bologna, and marks Planted’s entrance into the charcuterie category. According to Planted, the cold cut is produced with all-natural ingredients and as such is “the cleanest Lyoner cold cut on the market”. Additionally, compared to its animal counterpart, the plant-based Lyoner creates 34% less CO2 and uses 51% less water, making it an environmentally friendlier option to standard cuts of meat that are sliced from the flesh of an animal. The vegan Lyoner meat is created with pea protein, rapeseed oil, water, spices, yeast, salt, …

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Swiss biotech company Evolva

© Evolva

Investments & Acquisitions

Canadian Yeast Specialist Lallemand Acquires Swiss Biotech Company Evolva

Lallemand Inc., a Canadian company specializing in yeast-based ingredients, has confirmed that its subsidiary Danstar Ferment AG has acquired Swiss biotech company Evolva AG. Similarly to Lallemand, Evolva is focused on researching, developing, and commercializing natural yeast-derived ingredients. The company’s products are used in several sectors, including flavors and fragrances, health ingredients, cosmetics, and health protection. The transaction was announced to the Swiss Stock Exchange on November 21, and was confirmed by shareholders of Evolva Holding — Evolva’s previous parent company — at a general meeting on December 21. The initial purchase price is CHF 20 million (US$23.5 million), though this may be adjusted. Evolva Holding may also receive a payout of up to CHF 10 million (US$11.75 million) if certain product-based sales targets are …

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Catherine Bayard of Givaudan

Catherine Bayard. © Givaudan

Interviews

Givaudan: “In the Future, Alternative Proteins in Dairy Won’t Be an Alternative Anymore”

Givaudan is a Swiss multinational company producing flavors and fragrances. In recent years, the company has been increasingly focused on alternative proteins, particularly dairy alternatives. Earlier this year, Givaudan partnered with open data intelligence agency Synthesis to research the topic of Dairy Alternative Futures, which anticipates future scenarios and challenges in the alt dairy industry. The company also expanded its Protein Hub in Kemptthal, Switzerland, in July to support the development of dairy alternatives. Last month, Givaudan released a research paper in partnership with The University of California Berkeley, identifying primary challenges and opportunities in alt protein and ten actionable pathways towards improved efficiency. Catherine Bayard, Global Product Manager at Givaudan, told us more about how the company envisions the future of alt dairy and other …

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mycoprotein meatballs in tomato sauce

© Patrycja-stock.adobe.com

Cultivated Meat

New Hamilton White Paper Identifies Key Cost Drivers in Cultivated Meat Production

Hamilton, a leading name in laboratory automation technology and analytical sensors for the scientific community, has released a comprehensive white paper providing insights into the critical challenge of the cultivated meat industry: high production costs. In the white paper, Hamilton addresses the key cost drivers in cell-cultured meat production, proposes applying Process Analytic Technologies (PAT) to enhance performance and cost-effectiveness, and outlines innovative solutions to improve production by implementing these principles. According to Hamilton, PAT integrates advanced sensor technology to enhance efficiency and sustainability. It allows for real-time control and measurement of critical production parameters. In addition, it promises higher quality and volume yields while accelerating process optimization and shortening commercialization timelines. Proteins for future generations Additionally, the company highlights how in-line sensors can measure …

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Cultivated Biosciences, a Swiss biotech startup creating fats from yeast fermentation, has presented its first proof-of-concept, a dairy-free coffee creamer.

© Cultivated Biociences

Fermentation

Cultivated Biosciences Crafts Dairy-Free Coffee Creamer Using Yeast-Based Fat

Cultivated Biosciences, a Swiss biotech startup creating fats from yeast fermentation, has developed its first proof-of-concept, a dairy-free coffee creamer. The innovative prototype, made with the biotech’s yeast-based fat, is said to match the performance of dairy creamers, challenging commercially available plant-based alternatives: it is white like milk and tastes just like a regular American commercial creamer. In addition, it blends without flaking (flocculation) despite not containing binders and additives, making it a clean-label product.  Tomas Turner, founder and CEO of Cultivated Biosciences, commented: “We are proud to show the industry the value of our ingredient in a convincing final product application, it marks the beginning of our path to commercialization.” Superior dairy-free fats Using yeasts and biomass fermentation, the biotech is developing functional fats with …

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