PLNT plant-based lamb strips

© PLNT

Products & Launches

PLNT to Showcase New Plant-Based Lamb Strips and Chicken Sausages at Alimentaria

PLNT, a plant-based meat brand owned by Dutch protein producer Jan Zandbergen, has developed two new products — plant-based lamb strips and chicken-style sausages. The lamb strips are made from pea, wheat, and soy protein, and are said to be ideal in an Indian curry or as a topping on naan bread. They can be prepared in three to four minutes, and feature an open structure to capture seasonings and sauces. The sausages are made with rice and soy protein, replicating the texture and flavour of traditional chicken sausages. They are said to be especially suitable for the food service industry. Both products will be presented at Alimentaria, a food industry trade show taking place in Barcelona from March 18-24. Targeting meat-eaters Jan Zandbergen began …

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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 …

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Alpha Foods is using HME in a different way to make meatier plant-based chicken.

Image courtesy of Alpha Foods

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

Alpha Foods Unleashes the Power of HME Technology to Make the “Most-Meat Like” Plant-Based Chicken Strips

California-based Alpha Foods, a popular plant-based brand known for its frozen burritos, wraps, tamales, and nuggets,  launched plant-based Homestyle Chik’n Strips last year to cater to consumers from vegans to flexitarians to meat lovers. The company, now part of the The LIVEKINDLY Collective, says that its plant-based chicken strips shred, taste, and cook just like chicken and describes them as the “most meat-like” plant-based chicken.  To satisfy consumer demands for a plant-based product that provides a meat-like eating experience, the company leverages High Moisture Extrusion (HME) technology but uses a unique processing approach.   Alpha Foods explains that its HME method mixes and cooks soy and wheat in an extruder at specific temperatures. Through this process, the plant proteins melt and fold into strands that resemble the fibers responsible …

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Rebellyous Foods is accepting proposals from food facilities to operate its new system that manufactures plant-based meat at price parity with animal products.

© Rebellyous Foods

Manufacturing & Technology

Rebellyous Foods Calls on Food Facilities to Revolutionize Plant-Based Chicken Prices with Mock 2

Rebellyous Foods, a Seattle-based startup working to make plant-based chicken affordable, raised $9.5 million last February to build Mock 2, a production system that is said to be capable of producing plant-based meat at 60% lower cost than all available methods.  The food tech, which has recently unveiled the technology, now announces that it is accepting proposals (RFP) from USDA or FDA food facilities to install and operate the production system to make its plant-based chicken and potentially other companies’ products, starting in early Spring 2024.   Mock 2 consists of a fully continuous, automated, and chilled dough system that is said to improve and simplify the mix-and-form process, thus saving electricity and labor resources. According to the food tech, it can produce from 2,500 to 3,700 pounds per hour, with the …

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Squeaky Bean expands frozen range

© Squeaky Bean

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

Squeaky Bean Launches Frozen Ingredients Range Featuring Chicken & Steak-Style Products

UK alt meat brand Squeaky Bean has launched its first frozen ingredients range, featuring two products — Seasoned Chicken Style Pieces and Steak Style Strips. Seasoned with salt and pepper, the plant-based chicken pieces can be used as a base for dishes such as curries and pasta. The steak-style strips aim to fill a gap in the market for premium frozen steak alternatives, and can be used in meals such as stir-fries and tacos. Both meat alternatives can be cooked from frozen in just three minutes, catering to the growing demand for convenient options that reduce food waste. Made from wheat and pea protein, they are protein-rich and low in saturated fat. According to Squeaky Bean, the frozen products are “just the start of a …

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VFC fakeaway ready meals

© VFC

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

VFC Launches Fakeaway Ready Meals and “Market First” Chick*n Sausages

Vegan food activist leader VFC is celebrating Veganuary with the launch of several new products in the UK, including a range of fakeaway ready meals, plant-based chicken sausages that are claimed to be a market first, and a chilled version of the brand’s chicken-style mince. The frozen ready meals debut with two products — Chick*n Fried Rice and Chick*n Curry. The single-serving bags can be pan-fried in eight minutes, and aim to offer a healthier, meat-free version of takeaway favourites. They are gluten-free, high in protein, and provide one of the five recommended daily servings of fruit and vegetables. The chick*n sausages and mince are sold chilled, and are described as “flavour-packed”. Both are high-protein, gluten-free, and low in salt and saturated fat. The sausages …

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Virat Kohli goes viral after eating plant-based chicken tikka by Blue Tribe on Instagram

Image: Virat Kohli on Facebook

Celebrities

Indian Cricketer Goes Viral After Enjoying Blue Tribe’s Plant-Based Chicken Tikka

Indian cricketer Virat Kohli has gone viral on Instagram after sharing a photo of himself enjoying Blue Tribe‘s plant-based chicken tikka. Kohli tagged the company in the post, saying it had “really nailed” the product. The athlete attracted confusion and controversy from some fans, who did not realise the chicken was plant-based. Kohli is well-known for being a vegetarian, having made the shift a few years ago after experiencing health issues. Kohli and his wife, the Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma, previously invested in Blue Tribe in February of last year. The couple are vocal advocates for plant-based meat. Blue Tribe’s chicken tikka alternative is made primarily from soy and wheat protein. The company offers several meat alternatives aimed at the Indian market, including soy chaap, …

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chicken bouillon Lallemand

© Lallemand

Ingredients

Revolutionizing Plant-Based Eating: A New Sensory Experience with Savor-Lyfe® CI

In recent years, a growing awareness of sustainability concerns, food security issues, and the environmental and public health consequences associated with industrial animal agriculture has prompted a shift towards plant-based diets. While the demand for plant-based products has surged, there remains a challenge to develop alternatives that not only cater to niche markets but also resonate with mainstream consumers. Flexitarian consumers, consciously reducing their meat intake for health, environmental, and animal welfare reasons, are driving significant expansion within the plant-based food market. According to Mintel’s 2024 Global Food & Drink Trends, consumers are no longer willing to compromise taste and cost for sustainability credentials. As the cost of living rises, companies are faced with the challenge of delivering on all fronts – taste, cost, and …

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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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THIS plant-based chicken pieces new recipe

© THIS

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

THIS Upgrades Plant-Based Chicken Pieces, Cutting Ingredients List by 50%

THIS, a UK  company that describes itself as “a plant-based food brand for meat-lovers”, has launched a new and improved version of its plant-based chicken pieces. Developed after 18 months of R&D, the new recipe is described as “tender, succulent, and tasty”. It is also simpler than the original recipe, with the ingredients list cut by 50% and various additives removed. According to THIS, the chicken-style pieces have “the most fibrous texture yet”, while remaining low in saturated fat and high in protein and fibre. It comes after THIS previously upgraded its beef-style burgers in August, accompanying the relaunch with a campaign challenging Beyond Meat. “This recipe is now so similar to chicken, I wouldn’t be surprised if Mel Gibson wanted to do its voice-over,” …

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Cultivated pet food company Good Dog Food rebrands as Meatly.

© Meatly

Company News

Good Dog Food Rebrands as Meatly Ahead of Cultivated Chicken Product Launch in the UK

UK cultivated pet food company Good Dog Food announces its new identity and the launch of a new consumer-facing website: Meatly. As part of the announcement, the company revealed that it has secured key partnerships with manufacturers and is preparing for an “upcoming” UK product launch. Meatly explains that it’s collaborating with the UK’s Food Standards Agency and the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs to obtain approval to commercialise its cultivated chicken for the pet food industry. Owen Ensor, CEO of Meatly, says: “We’re thrilled to announce our rebrand to Meatly, in what marks an exciting new chapter for us as a team and brand. We chose the name ‘Meatly’ because we wanted to celebrate the fact that it is real meat, made the …

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THIS Isn't Roast Chicken and Stuffing

© THIS

Products & Launches

THIS Launches Limited Edition Plant-Based Roast Chicken & Stuffing

After 12 months of R&D, UK alt meat brand THIS has launched a new product — THIS™ Isn’t Roast Chicken & Stuffing. The plant-based chicken crown is made from soy and pea protein, with stuffing in the middle and a sage and garlic melt topping. The limited-edition product is said to be ideal as a centrepiece for a festive meal or a Sunday roast. Another seasonal product by the company, THIS™ Isn’t Pork Pigs In Blankets, is also set to return to supermarket shelves for the third year in a row in the coming months. The news comes as THIS reports that its revenue is forecast to hit £20 million this year, up by over 50% compared to 2022. Furthermore, THIS is now the UK’s …

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UPSIDE Foods

Amy Chen © UPSIDE Foods

Interviews

UPSIDE Foods: “We’ve Proven Cultivated Meat is Safe, Delicious, and Something Consumers Want”

Last November, UPSIDE Foods made history when it became one of the first two cultivated meat companies to have a product greenlit by the FDA. Since then, the company has reached several more milestones, with its cultivated chicken receiving USDA label approval this June and gaining final regulatory approval to be sold in the US a week later. UPSIDE’s first sale — believed to be the first ever for cultivated meat in the US — took place on July 1 at Chef Dominique Crenn’s acclaimed Bar Crenn restaurant. The initial event was for winners of a social media contest, but the cultivated chicken is now available to the public as part of a six-course meal at the restaurant. Most recently, UPSIDE announced that it had …

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UPSIDE Foods

Amy Chen © UPSIDE Foods

Cultivated Meat

UPSIDE Foods: “We’ve Proven Cultivated Meat is Safe, Delicious, and Something Consumers Want”

Last November, UPSIDE Foods made history when it became one of the first two cultivated meat companies to have a product greenlit by the FDA. Since then, the company has reached several more milestones, with its cultivated chicken receiving USDA label approval this June and gaining final regulatory approval to be sold in the US a week later. UPSIDE’s first sale — believed to be the first ever for cultivated meat in the US — took place on July 1 at Chef Dominique Crenn’s acclaimed Bar Crenn restaurant. The initial event was for winners of a social media contest, but the cultivated chicken is now available to the public as part of a six-course meal at the restaurant. Most recently, UPSIDE announced that it had …

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VFC enters chilled category

© VFC

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

VFC Enters Chilled Category in “First Phase of an Exciting Pipeline” of Game-Changing NPDs

UK plant-based chicken brand VFC has made its debut in the chilled category as it continues on its mission to remove animals from the food chain. The new range includes a chilled version of the brand’s popular Crispy Chick*n Fillets, along with a brand new product — Piri Piri Chick*n Wings. The wings are said to be “perfect for sharing”, and come with a separate sachet of Piri Piri sauce. According to VFC, the launches are “the first phase of an exciting pipeline of NPD” and are part of a global growth strategy. The brand says it is hoping to bring incremental consumers to its products and to the plant-based category as a whole. “Natural next step” The new products follow a highly successful twelve …

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Guest trying cultivated chicken at Bar Crenn

Guest trying cultivated chicken at Bar Crenn ©UPSIDE Foods

Cultivated Meat

UPSIDE Foods: Reservations Now Open to Purchase Cultivated Meat in US For First Time

UPSIDE Foods announces the first reservations to try its historic cultivated chicken are now open to the public. On August 4, Bar Crenn in San Francisco will begin serving UPSIDE’s cultivated chicken as part of a six-course meal, marking the first time members of the public can sign up to purchase cultivated meat in the US.  The announcement comes just weeks after UPSIDE completed the first consumer sale of its cultivated chicken, also at Bar Crenn, to several winners selected from a social media contest. UPSIDE’s first official public seating will take place on August 4 at 5:00 pm PT, when Chef Dominique Crenn will serve the startup’s cultivated chicken as part of a six-course meal priced at $150.  During the dinner service, the chicken …

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Plant-based Chicken Sandwiches

©Recreate Foods

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

Former Burger King Chef Michael Salem Launches Recreate Foods to Revolutionize Plant-Based Chicken

Chef Michael Salem, the former head of culinary innovation at Burger King, announces the launch of Recreate Foods – a venture-backed, plant-based food company that specializes in chef-made chicken alternatives made to deliver better flavor than big-name competitors and conventional chicken. At Burger King, Salem played a pivotal role in bringing the Impossible Whopper to the chain’s menu, and was inspired to develop Recreate products while working on recipes for Kevin Hart’s vegan fast food chain, Hart House.  Speaking to vegconomist today, Salem states: “After 25 years as a chef and leading menu strategy and innovation for notable restaurant chains across the U.S., I was instantly amazed by the flavor of Recreate Foods’ plant-based chicken alternative. During my plant-based journey from Burger King to Hart …

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Girl Eating Alpha Foods Sandwich

©Alpha Foods

Company News

Alpha Foods Renovating Portfolio by Partnering with JUST Egg and Reformulating Core Products

US plant-based brand Alpha Foods announces it is renovating its portfolio through an upcoming partnership with JUST Egg and the integration of new HME (High-Moisture Extrusion) technology.  According to Alpha Foods, its renovation is inspired by retail and consumer insights showing the plant-based category is in need of more convenient, accessible products that offer improved nutrition.  As part of the revamp, the brand will collaborate with plant-based egg specialist JUST Egg to create a healthier and more sustainable breakfast landscape, Alpha Foods states. The companies will work together this fall. Better taste and texture Alpha is also introducing HME technology to process its plant-based Chik’n Strips, which are said to cook, shred, and taste just like traditional chicken. HME uses a specialized cooking and stirring …

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On The Green Side clean label chicken alternatives

© On The Green Side

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

On The Green Side: Clean-Label Chicken Alternatives From South Africa

On The Green Side is a South African plant-based meat producer focused on clean-label chicken alternatives. The company describes itself as a “modern chicken farmer”, aiming to directly compete with conventional chicken. Its products are made from a range of proteins, including soy, wheat gluten, faba bean, lentil, chickpea, and pea. Proprietary high moisture extrusion technology is used to give the plant-based chicken an authentically meat-like texture. On The Green Side already manufacturers for several major South African retailers, through both its own brand and private labels. The products are also available for food service, and the company is in the process of closing deals with global food manufacturers. Sales forecasts for 2023 predict a 50/50 split between local and global markets, changing to 10/90 …

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Schouten chickenless pops

© Schouten

Products & Launches

Dutch Family Company Schouten Europe Launches Southern Fried Chickenless Pops in Response to Market Trends

Schouten Europe, the first Dutch player in the development of meat alternatives based on plant proteins, is launching Southern Fried Chickenless Pops made from soy and wheat, in response to consumer trends. The family business, founded back in 1990, markets one of the most extensive and diverse assortments in the world and supplies its products, mainly under private labels, to more than 50 countries. The company also develops many products based on customer demand. Attractive concept Daphne Sanders, product developer at Schouten, explains that the choice of Southern fried flavor was made due to its popularity. “But various other flavor variations can be applied to these pops, making it an attractive concept for our business partners.” “The main protein sources for these pops are soy …

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