A man dissolving a powder in a glass of water

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Generation Food Rural Partners Acquires Edible Packaging Company DisSolves, Inc

Big Idea Ventures announces the acquisition of Pittsburgh-based edible packaging company DisSolves as a part of its Generation Food Rural Partners Fund portfolio (GFRP). DisSolves, Inc. uses patented technology to create biodegradable and edible components made from natural, vegan ingredients that are Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) and are used to produce films and packaging materials for various applications, including encapsulants, nutraceuticals, and pods. The company’s proprietary films allow for the packaging of premeasured, individual servings of powdered products in user-friendly pods, enabling food and beverage companies to create more convenient and sustainable products. The GFRP Fund, a part of Big Idea Ventures, focuses on investing in the best food technology and agrotech companies globally. It targets intellectual property with potential for broad commercialization, particularly …


Image courtesy of ProVeg International


Does The Colour Of Packaging Influence Consumer Willingness to Purchase Plant-based Meat Products?

When you’re out buying food, what draws you to a product? Is it the image on the packet? The appearance of the food, if you can see it? Or the colour of the packaging? New research conducted by ProVeg International takes a deep dive into packaging, exploring the psychology of colour for plant-based meat products. The exciting report will reveal the influence of packaging colour on consumer perceptions, and their willingness to engage with meat alternatives. To find out more ahead of publication, ProVeg’s New Food Hub interviewed research lead, Ajsa Spahic, Project Coordinator at ProVeg International. Read on for a sneak preview of a 14-minute interview and uncover the importance of colour nudging for your business. What inspired ProVeg’s focus on packaging and marketing …


Flora plant butter with paper packaging

© Upfield

Company News

Upfield Introduces “World’s First” Plastic-Free, Recyclable Tub for Plant Butters & Spreads

Upfield, owner of multiple brands of butters and spreads such as Flora, has revealed what it claims to be the world’s first plastic-free, recyclable tub for its plant butters and spreads, stating that the move marks the beginning of its transition to a paper solution across its portfolio, as part of its ambition to reduce plastic content by 80% by 2030. The Amsterdam-based group says that the development is the result of four years of innovation in collaboration with Footprint, MCC and Pagès Group. The paper tubs are made from compressed wet paper fibres and are waterproof, oil-proof, and recyclable in local paper waste streams, according to the company. “Innovating out plastic tubs was our moon-shot” David Haines, Group CEO for Upfield, commented, “As a …


MadeRight develops fungi-based packaging

© MadeRIght


MadeRight Raises $2M for High-Performance Fungi-Based Packaging

Israeli startup MadeRight has raised $2 million in seed funding to further develop its fungi-based packaging solutions. The startup has created a solid-state fermentation process where mycelia turn industrial organic waste into biomass. Materials are then extracted from this biomass to form pellets that can be used in existing packaging manufacturing machines. When combined with bioplastics, the pellets have the potential to significantly improve performance and sustainability. The seed round was led by the incubator Fresh Start, with participation from Arkin Holdings and Arc Impact. It will be used to expand MadeRight’s development team, refine the production process, and enter new markets, with the goal of producing a commercially viable prototype by the end of 2024. “The great potential of MadeRight’s solution is to close …


Notpla and Mack will launch a laundry detergent with seaweed and plants biodegradable packaging

© Notpla


Notpla and MACK Launch Biodegrable Seaweed Film in Laundry Detergent Sachets

Sustainable packaging startup Notpla and vegan detergent company MACK have partnered to introduce a biodegradable option for packaging detergents to help the cleaning industry move away from single-use plastics. MACK will launch its laundry detergent refills in sachets made with Notpla’s innovative seaweed and plant-derived biodegradable film. These novel packaging can substitute conventional PVA (Polyvinyl Alcohol) and PVOH (Polyvinyl Alcohol Copolymer) plastics. This initiative marks the seaweed film’s first application in cleaning products and a “world-first” in the laundry detergent market. According to Notpla, its film is water-soluble — no more microplastic leakage — while ensuring high-quality performance and convenience. The product was subject to a long biological degradability assessment, passing industry standards. “Our partnership with Notpla aligns perfectly with our mission to provide customers with a …


Kampala develops plant protein materials to replace single-use plastics

© Xampla


Xampla: Edible & Biodegradable Plant Protein Packaging to Replace the Most Polluting Plastics 

UK University of Cambridge spin-off startup Xampla develops natural, vegan, edible films, sachets, microcapsules, and coatings to help companies transition from single-use plastic to biodegradable packaging. After 15 years of research, the company has developed a “world-class” technology that uses plant protein or sustainable feedstocks to create drop-in, high-performance plastic replacements. Xampla claims its plant packaging provides protection and extends the shelf-life of ingredients and products.   Since the process does not involve chemical modification, the company’s materials can biodegrade entirely without interfering with recycling waste streams and are compatible with home or industrial compost. “Our technology is a world-first, capable of replacing the most polluting plastics at scale and delivering performance parity. At the end of their life, our materials can even be ‘bio-assimilated’ as food for microorganisms in …


vegetables in plastic cling wrap

© artem_goncharov - stock.adobe.com


Researchers in China Develop Edible, Biodegradable, Transparent Packaging From Biocellulose

Scientists in China have developed an edible, transparent, and biodegradable material that has high potential for use in food packaging. Plastic food packaging accounts for a significant portion of plastic waste in landfills worldwide. With growing environmental concerns among consumers, researchers and producers around the world are increasingly looking for planet-friendly alternatives. Now, scientists at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) have developed an edible, transparent, and biodegradable material that they say offers significant potential for use in food packaging. Bacterial cellulose A team at CUHK has been working on bacterial cellulose (BC) – an organic compound derived from certain species of bacteria that has attracted attention as a sustainable, readily available, and non-toxic solution to the ubiquitous use of plastics. Professor To Ngai …


Pierre Paslier and Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, co-founders and co-CEOs

Pierre Paslier and Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, co-founders and co-© Notpla


Notpla: “We Want to Lead the Way in Providing Truly Sustainable Alternative Packaging Solutions Around the World”

Notpla is on a mission to make packaging disappear. Founded in London in 2014, this seaweed pioneer famously won the Earthshot Prize in the category of “Build a Waste-Free World” last December, as revealed by Prince William and announced by David Beckham. Quite an achievement for the company, for seaweed, the packaging industry, and indeed the planet. Pierre Paslier, co-founder and co-CEO of Notpla, kindly took the time to talk about this wonderful company and its aim to make single-use plastics a thing of the past. How did Notpla come to life and what are the core values of your company? At Notpla, our mission is to make packaging disappear by providing sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic packaging. We are a sustainable packaging start-up that …


Bao buns


Products & Launches

OMNI Launches Vegan Bao Buns and Crystal Dumplings in the US

Hong Kong-based alt meat brand OMNI is set to launch two new appetizers — vegan bao buns and crystal dumplings — in the US in the coming months. Each Asian-inspired recipe has been developed by a Michelin-starred dim sum specialist. The bao buns will be available in the flavours teriyaki and gochujang, and are made with a proprietary formula for an authentic fluffy texture. The dumplings feature vegetables and minced plant-based meat, encased in a soft and chewy translucent wrapper. Updated packaging The launches come as OMNI US announces a packaging update for its range of meat alternatives. These include Crab-Style Cakes, Golden Fish-Style Fillet, Classic Fish-Style Fillet, Meat-Style Luncheon, Pork-Style Ground, and Pork-Style Strips. The update will also apply to the brand’s existing appetisers, …


Tetra Pak facility

© Tetra Pak International S.A.

Company News

Tetra Pak Begins First-of-its-Kind Research Into Fiber-Based Food Packaging

Tetra Pak, the world’s leading food processing and packaging solutions company, says it is researching the structures and properties of materials to develop sustainable food packaging of the future. Tetra Pak has begun new research in collaboration with ForMAX “MAX IV”, one of the world’s most advanced synchrotron radiation laboratories, to advance sustainable fiber-based food packaging. The research aims to gain new insights into the nanostructure of fiber materials, with the first application being to optimize the composition of materials used for paper straws. This represents the first industrial research and development experiment by ForMAX, based in Lund, Sweden. ForMAX specializes in research on natural materials, which the company conducts in its MAX IV laboratory. With global demand for safe, nutritious food rising and raw …


handtmann's food processing machinery

Image courtesy of Handtmann

Manufacturing & Technology

Handtmann to Showcase Latest Automation Solutions for Food Production at Interpack

Global technology solutions provider for the food processing industry, Handtmann, will exhibit numerous automation solutions at interpack 2023, hall 5 stand C38, which will take place from May 4th to 10th, in Düsseldorf, Germany. The German manufacturer, which regularly presents its integrative solutions for food production at events such as the IFFA, where it showcased vegan tex mex bites or the Anuga FoodTec, where it presented its latest technologies, announced it will carry out live demonstrations of some of its automated machinery at the coming interpack fair. From mixing to the package Many “smart” digital solutions developed in-house, specifically adapted to various production processes to enable cross-process automation, are part of Handtmann’s modern processing methods, which cover all steps from product preparation, processing, and packaging; “from mixing …


ProVeg NFH

Image courtesy Proveg International

Food & Beverage

Seven Actionable Insights for Plant-Based Businesses

ProVeg has recently written a report that rounds up seven of the New Food Hub’s most important lessons for businesses and brands. These insights uncover what consumers want when it comes to plant-based products and how best to target your audience, and ultimately, how to increase your sales and market share. One key takeaway that stands out stems from the question: should you use the word ‘vegan’ on your front-of-packaging?  It’s an interesting question, and, depending on how it’s answered, holds the potential to both isolate and attract different consumers.  Word choice is vital when designing packaging for plant-based products – types of restrictive language can be off-putting to some people, whilst certain terminology can encourage purchasers. So, what’s the answer? ProVeg recommends opting for …


noriware's biodegradable algae cups

© Noriware


Noriware: Revolutionising the Packaging Industry with Plastic-Free Seaweed Alternatives

Switzerland-based startup Noriware is developing CO2-neutral, plastic-free alternatives to conventional plastic products using seaweed. The company claims its biodegradable algae packaging uses 100% raw natural materials, “making them even edible.” Noriware was founded in 2021 by Jessica Farda, who, inspired by the sustainable and circular economy concept around seaweed, started to develop algae plastic prototypes at home. After successfully creating a biodegradable seaweed material, the company entered its entrepreneurship journey, receiving support from a leading university in Switzerland and funds from the NTN Innovation Booster Plastics for Zero Emission by Innosuisse to further develop its biodegradable algae packaging and revolutionise the packaging industry. Seaweed, an ideal raw material According to Noriware, the existing bioplastics are made with fossil fuels and can only be composted in industrial …


vegan caramel cookies

© Stroop Club

Sweets & Snacks

Texan-Dutch Stroop Club Announces New Plant Based Direction

Stroop Club, a maker of traditional Dutch caramel waffle cookies, has relaunched its products as vegan and organic certified. Additionally, the company announced the launch of a pancake and waffle syrup line, also vegan and organic.  When Stroop Club was founded in 2015 by Chantal Piëtn and Tako Vermeulen, its mission was to bridge cultural barriers by selling traditional Dutch stroopwafel (caramel waffle cookies). Stroop’s website declares: “What else could I bring but our stroopwafel iron when we immigrated to the US end of 2015? Sharing something so sweet and so traditionally Dutch, bridged our cultures immediately. Fast forward to 2022, we even improved our recipe into fully organic and 100% plant based!” In an interview for Bio Journaal, Vermeulen explained that he won the …


© Sealpac

Manufacturing & Technology

SEALPAC Reveals Sustainable Packaging Portfolio for Alt Proteins

Packaging specialist SEALPAC, global supplier of high-tech tray sealers and thermoformers, has developed a number of packaging solutions designed to provide optimal product safety and prevent food waste. The market for products based on alternative proteins is booming. Whether flexitarian, vegetarian or vegan, more and more people are choosing such foods for reasons of sustainability. And in terms of sustainability, plant-based packaging solutions are the next step for many manufacturers in their commitment to more sustainability. Sustainable packaging solutions for alternative proteins Packaging specialist SEALPAC has been dealing with sustainable packaging solutions and their challenges for a long time. As Marketing & Communications Manager at Sealpac International, Marcel Veenstra, explains: “In designing sustainable solutions, it is important not to forget the original function of packaging, …


ProVeg NFH

© ProVeg International

Marketing & Media

Three Golden Rules for Front-of-Pack Messaging

Packaging, particularly front-of-pack messaging, plays an integral part of your overall marketing and, if done correctly, will draw in flexitarians to buy and try your product. ProVeg International has recently published an informative article detailing the three golden rules for front-of-pack messaging, which will help to draw in flexitarian consumers, boost profits and promote the plant-based cause. These three key rules are: Make sure to use indulgent language whilst emphasising taste, convenience, health, and familiarity in both your messaging and your imagery.  Opt for ‘plant-based’ over ‘vegan’ in your wording, but consider getting V-label certified to increase credibility and consumer confidence. Consider promoting your product’s sustainability metrics on front-of-pack to appeal to eco-conscious consumers.  Let’s take a closer look at the first recommendation… When designing …


Packaging made with upcycled waste vegetables

© Anina

Sustainability / Environment

Anina Develops Ready Meals Packaged in Upcycled Waste Vegetables

Israeli startup Anina has developed plant-based ready meals packaged in capsules made from upcycled waste vegetables. To make the capsules, the company takes vegetables considered too “ugly” to sell and slices them very thin. The vegetables are dehydrated, coated in laminate, and shaped into containers. The capsules are then filled with ready meals — the current range includes a Vietnamese Bowl, Mediterranean Bowl, and Pasta Primavera, among others. These meals are packaged in capsules made from sweet potato, courgette, and tomato respectively, taking just eight minutes to cook in the microwave. Anina is also planning to launch snack bars packaged in upcycled fruit, along with shelf-stable dried vegetables that can be rehydrated by consumers. The company’s technology could help to reduce the huge quantities of …


One Planet Pizza packaging


Sustainability / Environment

New Study Shows 71% of Americans are Purchasing, Thinking About Plant-Based Products and Packaging

A new study conducted by The Plant Based Products Council (PBPC) shows strong consumer awareness and interest in plant-derived products made from renewable materials such as hemp, soy and corn. The findings also show consumers hold more favorable attitudes toward the companies, farmers and policymakers actively involved in sustainability efforts.  Among the report’s most significant findings, 71% of American consumers say they consciously think about packaging and products made with plant-based materials when they shop. Consumers also cited recyclability, composability, and the environment as primary motivations for purchasing a plant-made product, while 21% cited inaccessible waste disposable as the top deterrent for purchasing such items. As the 2022 midterms approach, 66% of consumers favor voting for a candidate who has shown support for sustainability initiatives …


Magical Mushroom Company packaging

©Magical Mushroom Company

Fungi, Mushrooms & Mycelium

Magical Mushroom Company Secures €3.4M in Seed Round Featuring Ecovative and Ecotricity

UK-based startup Magical Mushroom Company has raised around €3.4 million in a seed round led by mycelium specialist Ecovative Design with participation by Dale Vince, founder of green energy company Ecotricity. Founded in 2019,  Magical Mushroom Company produces hundreds of thousands of pieces of packaging for international brands including BA Components, Castrads,  Ffern, Selfridges, Lush, Seedlip and ID Watch. The startup combines agricultural waste with mycelium to create packaging that is biodegradable, durable and comparable in price to conventional, unsustainable packaging. The product breaks down naturally in the ground in around 45 days without added additional chemicals. The funds will be invested in the opening of Magical Mushroom Company’s first raw material production plant in Nottinghamshire, as well as to upscale existing packaging plants in …


Hey Humans Personal Care Products

©Hey Humans

Fashion, Design & Beauty

Jada Pinkett Smith’s “Hey Humans” Eco-Conscious Personal Care Line Debuts at Walgreens

Hey Humans, a 99% plastic-free personal care brand co-created by Jada Pinkett Smith, is expanding to 6,000 US Walgreens stores and will also ship nationwide on walgreens.com. Hey Humans sells a curated line of natural body washes, deodorants, and toothpaste made without parabens, phthalates or silicones.  Retailing between $6.99 for deodorant and $7.99 for body wash, the vegan and cruelty-free brand says entering Walgreens is an important part of the company’s vision to make clean-label personal care affordable for everyone. All of Hey Humans’ packaging is designed with easily recyclable materials, such as infinitely recyclable aluminum and FSC paper, that minimize the use of plastic. Its aluminum-free deodorant and body washes contain upcycled ingredients and are scented with oil blends such as Cedarwood Sage, Rosewater …