No Frickin Chicken's new location.

© No Frickin Chicken

Startups, Accelerators & Incubators

5 Small Vegan Businesses You May Not Know That Deserve to Be on Your Radar

This week we will introduce ten small vegan businesses you may have never heard of; below are five interesting small businesses from around the world, and stay tuned on Friday for another five that deserve to be on your watch list. From Chacino in Spain, offering vegan-friendly cured sausages, to No Frickin Chicken in the UK, serving cruelty-free chicken, these businesses are catering to the growing demand for sustainable and animal-free options. 1. Chacino – Ávila, Spain Born from a partnership between Jamones y Embutidos Pinantes and a team of chefs and scientists, Chacino offers unique plant-based cured sausages, combining the art of traditional curing with modern food innovation.  With a focus on honoring the heritage of past generations and expertise while looking toward the future, Chacino …

more

Australian plant-based meat category sees significant changes

Image supplied

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

Australian Plant-Based Meat Category Has 3X More Products Than in 2017

Research by alt protein think tank Food Frontier has indicated that there have been significant changes in the volume and type of products available in the Australian plant-based meat category in recent years. In 2017, major retailers stocked less than five plant-based meat brands made by Australian or New Zealand-based companies; this has now risen to over 30. The number of products in the category has increased threefold, from under 90 to almost 300. As consumers seek more convenient options, products like nuggets, mince, deli slices, and meatballs are becoming increasingly available. Meat alternatives that are suitable for a variety of dishes — such as chunks, strips, and whole cuts — are also becoming more popular, though there are still relatively few of these products …

more

Vow's cultivated quail

© Vow

Cultivated Meat

Icelandic Prime Minister Tries Vow’s Cultivated Quail at Europe’s First Official Cultivated Meat Tasting

Australian cultivated meat firm Vow and the Icelandic biotech company ORF Genetics recently held what they claim was Europe’s first official cultivated meat tasting featuring gourmet dishes crafted with Vow’s cultivated quail. The pioneering event took place on the 12th of February. Among the attendees was Katrín Jakobsdóttir, the Prime Minister and acting Minister of Food, Fisheries and Agriculture of Iceland, who, according to the announcement, tasted cultivated meat for the first time. Jakobsdóttir shared: “Cultivated meat is one of the solutions to the climate challenge. The Icelandic authorities are determined to pave the way for the adoption of new solutions in Iceland and we are eager to see the development of an EU regulatory framework for cultivated meat.” Why Iceland? ORF Genetics, which develops MESOkine, a …

more

Michael Fox CEO Fable Food Co

Michael Fox ©Fable Food Co

Interviews

Fable Foods: “Reimagining Mushrooms by Improving Their Texture and Elevating Their Natural Umami Flavours”

Fable Food Co, based in Australia, creates sustainable meat alternatives with a focus on the shiitake mushroom to mimic the texture and umami flavours of meat. Fable’s product portfolio includes items like plant-based braised beef, designed to integrate seamlessly into a variety of dishes, from stews to tacos, and the company’s approach to the plant-based market is not just about offering alternatives to meat but also about contributing to a shift in food culture towards more sustainable and ethical consumption practices. Since we last spoke with CEO Michael Fox, back in 2020, Fable has raised US$8.5 million in Series A, with the funds invested to accelerate R&D, launch new mushroom-based products, and continue to expand internationally. We were long overdue a catchup with Fox, who …

more

Tina Funder. © ALT.Leather

Investments & Acquisitions

Australia’s ALT.Leather Closes Oversubscribed $1.1M Round for Biodegradable Leather Alternative

Female-led Australian startup ALT.Leather has raised $1.1 million in an oversubscribed seed funding round after developing a plastic-free, bio-based leather alternative. Investors in the round included Startmate, The Austin Group, Wollemi Capital Group, The Alice Anderson Fund, and various angel investors. ALT.Leather will use the funding for further research and the production of samples for interested brands; the startup is also filing for a patent. ALT.Leather’s material is made from agricultural waste and regeneratively grown plants, with no animal products or petroleum-derived plastics. It is suitable for fashion, furniture, the automotive industry, and more. The leather alternative is “designed for end-of-life”, and is being tested to ensure it can be recycled or biodegrade without harming the environment. Bio-based vegan leather ALT.Leather was founded by Tina …

more

PhytoLove plant-based omega-3

© PhytoLove

Products & Launches

PhytoLove Launches Complete Plant-Based Omega Supplement in Australia Made From Regeneratively Grown Seed

Australian company PhytoLove has launched a new type of plant-based omega supplement that aims to address the limitations of other products in the category. The most common type of omega-3 supplement is fish oil, which contributes to overfishing and can contain pollutants such as dioxins, PCBs, and heavy metals. Some consumers seeking a more ethical alternative have turned to plant-based products such as flax oil, which contains good levels of the short-chain fatty acid ALA but may not convert well to longer-chain fatty acids such as DHA and EPA. PhytoLove’s product, Ahiflower, is made from a wild plant that was discovered in the UK. Its main ingredient is Buglossoides arvensis seed oil, which is said to provide a complete lipid profile containing or efficiently forming …

more

QUT analyses the politics of alternative proteins

Dr. Hope Johnson from the QUT School of Law. © QUT

Politics & Law

Australian Study Assesses Politics of Alternative Proteins as Regulators Make Moves to Approve Cultivated Meat

In light of Australia’s recent steps towards approving cultivated meat for sale, researchers from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have analysed the Senate Inquiry into Definitions of Meat and Other Animal Products to assess the politics of alternative proteins. Led by Dr. Hope Johnson from the QUT School of Law, along with Melbourne Law School Professor Christine Parker and QUT researcher Dr. Brodie Evans, the study notes that many stakeholders were initially concerned that meat alternatives posed a threat to animal agriculture. However, they eventually concluded that alternative proteins were “not necessarily in competition with meat and dairy”. Both industries saw the labelling of meat alternatives as a key issue. The study notes a “lack of consumer complaints about the labelling of meat alternatives …

more

v2food acquires plant-based ready meal brand Soulara

© Soulara

Investments & Acquisitions

Australia’s v2food Acquires Plant-Based Ready Meal Brand Soulara

Australian alt meat manufacturer v2food has acquired plant-based ready meal brand Soulara, which is also based in Australia. Soulara’s meals — which include options such as Thai-Style Tofu and Eggplant Caponata with Ravioli — are delivered directly to consumers’ doors and can be prepared in three minutes. Through the acquisition, v2food hopes to expand beyond retail and food service into direct-to-consumer sales. Soulara will be integrated into v2food under a new entity called Flexitarian Meal Solutions, along with MACROS, a fitness-focused ready meal brand also owned by v2food. “We know consumers want to eat more plant-based products in their diets, but some of the barriers to making this change are concerns around taste and how to cook them,” said Tim York, CEO of v2food. “By …

more

Cellular Agriculture Australia (CAA) announces the release of a pioneering Regulation Resource Hub to help cell ag companies streamline their food safety application process for novel foods.

© Cellular Agriculture Australia (CAA)

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Cellular Agriculture Australia Unveils New Resources to Help Companies Streamline Food Safety Applications

Nonprofit organisation Cellular Agriculture Australia (CAA) announces the release of its new Regulation Resource Hub, created to help cell ag companies streamline their food safety application process for novel foods and gene technology in Australia and New Zealand.  CAA’s new pay-to-access tool includes tailored online learning materials, dossier templates, and step-by-step guidance on Australia’s food safety regulation framework. While the Australian regulatory framework is well-equipped to approve novel foods, there is a lack of precedents on how companies should navigate the regulatory process, argues CAA. The resources have been developed in collaboration with leading industry partners and regulatory consultants and in consultation with Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).  “Australia has an opportunity to be one of the global leaders in cellular agriculture and accessible, time-efficient and cost-effective …

more

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has concluded that Vow's cultivated quail it is safe to eat.

© Vow

Cultivated Meat

Australia Closer to Approve Cultivated Meat: Food Standards Concludes Vow’s Cultivated Quail is Safe to Eat

Australia and New Zealand’s alt protein think tank Food Frontier announces that the cultivated meat company Vow is closer to receiving novel foods approval to produce and sell a cultivated quail product in both countries. Earlier this year, Vow became the first Australian cultivated meat company to apply for regulatory approval. And now, after months of scientific and safety assessment of the product and its manufacturing method, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has concluded that Vow’s cultivated quail is safe to eat.  FSANZ is now sharing its findings as part of the public consultation process, allowing consumers to provide feedback on Vow’s cultivated quail in the next six weeks. In its call for public submissions, FSANZ proposes several labelling requirements for cell-based products to avoid consumer …

more

Nonprofit organisation Cellular Agriculture Australia (CAA) announces the launch of a new cellular agriculture language guide.

© Cellular Agriculture Australia

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Cellular Agriculture Australia Launches New Language Guide to Standardise Terminology in the Industry

Nonprofit organisation Cellular Agriculture Australia (CAA) announces the launch of a new tool, Language Guide V1.0, developed to standardize and harmonise the terminology of the cellular agriculture industry. Using secondary research and input from sector leaders across the APAC region, CAA’s new Language Guide sets a unified terminology and key terms. At the same time, it provides optional communication guidelines for marketing and brand positioning strategies to help companies address language inconsistencies in their activities and product descriptions. Moreover, the CAA explains that a unified nomenclature is significant for the sector, the media, and consumers before approvals in the country. The cultivated meat company Vow is currently going through the first evaluations by food regulators in Australia. Additionally, other companies are also preparing to seek regulatory approval in …

more

Beyond Stack Burger_spread

© Beyond Meat

Studies & Numbers

Study: Using More Attractive Names for Plant-Based Dishes Significantly Increases Orders

A new study, conducted by the University of Queensland and published in the journal Food Quality and Preference, has found that giving plant-based dishes more attractive names on restaurant menus could boost sales. According to the research, using adjectives to describe the flavor, texture, and provenance of plant-based meals increases their appeal. For example, descriptions such as “juicy American burger” and “tasty Italian vegetable lasagna” are more appealing than “vegan burger” or “vegetable lasagna”. This effect can be amplified by using blander names for meat-based options. Affordable intervention The study notes that most restaurants currently take the opposite approach, with plant-based dishes named in ways that portray them as healthy but bland and meat-based dishes made to sound tastier. This leads to a lack of …

more

Harvest B launches at HealthyLive

© Harvest B

Retail & E-Commerce

Harvest B Launches Meat Alternatives at Woolworths-Owned Online Retailer HealthyLife

Australian alt protein producer Harvest B has expanded beyond B2B sales with a launch at Woolworths-owned online retailer HealthyLife.com.au. HealthyLife consumers can now purchase 330g packs of Harvest B’s shelf-stable plant-based proteins, with six products available; these include lamb, chicken, beef, and pork-style proteins, in diced and shredded varieties. Harvest B’s products are made in Australia from wheat grown in New South Wales. They are clean-label and high in protein and fibre, with no methylcellulose or artificial additives. Each pack produces up to a kilogram of plant-based protein when rehydrated with the supplied sachet of brine and natural spices. This is not the first time Harvest B has worked with Woolworths — the retailer’s investment arm led a $3.5 million seed funding round in Harvest …

more

From L to R: Andrew Gray, Director at Co-Labs; Paul Bevan, founder and CEO of Magic Valley; and Samuel Wines, co-founder at Co-Labs

From L to R: Andrew Gray, Director at Co-Labs; Paul Bevan, founder and CEO of Magic Valley; and Samuel Wines, co-founder at Co-Labs © Magic Valley

Cultivated Meat

Magic Valley Partners with Co-Labs to Increase Production Capacity for Cultivated Meat

Australian cultivated meat company Magic Valley has announced that it will amplify its production by expanding its operations to an advanced pilot facility at Co-Labs, an innovation hub and co-working laboratory based in Melbourne. With this strategic decision, the company aims to increase its production capacity to 3,000-litre bioreactors, aiming to reach 150,000 kg of product annually. Additionally, according to the company, the new pilot facility will reinforce its dedication to sustainability by enhancing product innovation and efficiency. The news follows a collaboration with Biocellion SPC, a US software developer and computer modeling company, to drive advancements in bioreactor technology and scale the production of cultivated meat at lower costs. At the forefront of sustainability Magic Valley claims it has developed a scalable platform to grow any type of meat, including cultivated …

more

Vitasoy Australia

© Vitasoy

Milk- and Dairy Alternatives

Vitasoy Australia Forecasts Highest Ever Annual Plant Milk Production

Alt milk company Vitasoy Australia is expecting its highest ever annual production volumes, as demand for dairy alternatives continues to grow in the country. According to ABC, the company will produce around 70 million litres of plant-based milk at its facility in Victoria this year, up sevenfold since the site began operations in 2002. Originally exclusively a soy milk producer, Vitasoy now offers a wide range of plant milks, including oat, almond, coconut, and rice. The company also launched a range of plant-based yogurts last year. For the past five years, almond milk has been Vitasoy Australia’s most popular variety of plant milk, but oat is poised to take over. Chief Executive David Tyack told ABC that the demand for oat milk had “gone absolutely …

more

A photo of the Tastilux product.

Image courtesy of Nourish Ingredients

Company News

Nourish Ingredients Establishes Strategic Hub for Animal-Free Fat in Singapore

Australian precision fermentation company Nourish Ingredients has revealed plans to establish its operations in Singapore to accelerate the production of animal-free fats. Just a few weeks ago, the company debuted its new fat Tastilux in a plant-based chicken wing to showcase its capabilities in improving the taste and smell of alternative meats. Nourish Ingredients will produce its flagship ingredient at Nurasa’s Food Tech Innovation Centre (FTIC), which features labs and a shared pilot facility. Nurasa is part of the Singapore government-owned investment accelerator firm Temasek. The Australian food tech has also partnered with ScaleUp Bio, a local CDMO launched by Nurasa and ADM, to support and accelerate its fermentation capacity and to work with the regulatory body, the Singapore Food Authority. Singapore’s regulatory and legal support, its production capabilities, …

more

Krispy Kreme Australia is celebrating World Vegan Day on November 1st with the launch of a vegan-friendly doughnut range.

Image courtesy of Krispy Kreme

Products & Launches

Krispy Kreme Australia Joins World Vegan Day with New Chocolate and Apple Doughnuts

Krispy Kreme Australia is celebrating World Vegan Day on November 1st with the launch of a vegan doughnut range and the permanent addition of one of the vegan treats to the brand’s lineup.  Crafted in two flavours — Fudge Brownie Bliss and Apple Custard Crumble — the new sweets are available at the same price as regular doughnuts at Krispy Kreme and 7-Eleven locations nationwide and online at Krispy Kreme’s website.  Adam Jacka, marketing area lead at 7-Eleven Australia, said: “A growing number of our customers have a vegan or plant-based diet, so we are thrilled to be stocking the new Krispy Kreme vegan-friendly range.” “Incredible” flavours for all The new plant-based range will surprise and delight vegans and non-vegans alike, says the company, adding that the …

more

CJ Cheiljedang Bibigo plant-based dumplings

© CJ Cheiljedang

Products & Launches

CJ Cheiljedang Launches New Plant-Based Dumplings in the UK, Australia & Singapore

South Korean food company CJ Cheiljedang has expanded its plant-based dumpling range, sold under the brand name Bibigo, with two new products. The steamed dumplings are available in the varieties Japchae (stir-fried glass noodles with plant-based beef and vegetables) and Green Chili. They have initially been launched in the UK, Australia, and Singapore. CJ Cheiljedang already exports a range of dumplings and other plant-based products to around 30 countries worldwide, including Germany, India, and the US. However, the brand’s original dumplings are sold in pouches, whereas the new products come in a microwaveable tray for easier preparation. If the new format proves popular, it will be expanded to other export markets. CJ Cheiljedang launched its first plant-based products — including dumplings containing a meat alternative …

more

sneakqik logo

© Sneakqik

Retail & E-Commerce

Australian Coupon Site SneakQIK.com Relaunches as a Vegan Deals Platform

Australian shopping deals website SneakQIK.com, owned by AdAvenue Media, has relaunched as a platform dedicated to vegan deals and discounts. The platform says that it helps shoppers in Australia to follow their favourite brands and stay updated on specials and offers within a personalized offer-feed and allows brands to target consumers based on their interests and preferences. The company states it wants to build a large, comprehensive database of vegan brands and retailers, with a main focus on ecommerce. SneakQIK is currently live in Australia, featuring a curated collection of top vegan and plant-based offers and coupons from various brands, including exclusive deals providing shoppers with unique opportunities to save. SneakQIK also has plans to develop a mobile app set to launch this year. Expansion …

more

Nourish Ingredients has unveiled Tastilux, a new animal-free fat

Image courtesy of Nourish Ingredients

Ingredients

Nourish Ingredients Unveils New Animal-Free Fat in Plant-Based Chicken with Edible Bones

Australian food tech company Nourish Ingredients has unveiled Tastilux, a new animal-free fat that the company claims can address the challenges of taste, nutrition, and consumer adoption in the plant-based meat market. To demonstrate the potential of the new ingredient, the company’s head of culinary innovation crafted a realistic, plant-based chicken wing featuring edible calcium-based bones that was presented at the SXSW event in Sydney, Australia.  “Attendees can experience the authentic flavor, juicy texture, and enjoyment of chicken wings without involving animals,” said the company.  A “quantum leap” to deliciousness Developed with natural lipid molecules and scaled through precision fermentation, it took the company’s scientific team three years to develop a product capable of replacing conventional fats and oils without animal ingredients or artificial chemicals, explains Nourish Ingredients. Tastilux …

more