VEGEPOLYS VALLEY International

© VEGEPOLYS VALLEY International

Agriculture / Agribusiness

Plant Innovation Cluster Vegepolys Valley: 679 Members & €2.2 Billion in Investments Since 2019

France’s Vegepolys Valley is the fourth largest competitive cluster in the country in terms of members, with 679 actors from the plant sector — from genetics to products — innovating for a more competitive, qualitative, environmentally, and health-friendly agriculture. Flavie Delattre, the new president of Vegepolys Valley, told La Tribune in an interview that in 2023 alone, the membership count saw a substantial increase with the addition of 130 new players (reaching 645), indicating a genuine commitment to advancing plant-based innovation, even amid challenging circumstances. The cluster’s operations are implemented across four French historical regions — Pays de la Loire, Auvergne Rhône Alpes, Bretagne, and Centre Val de Loire. The members’ profiles are diverse, encompassing a range of plant-related companies, including VSEs/SMEs, startups, large corporations, …

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Planted fermented steak

© Planted

Studies & Numbers

2024 NPD Report Says F&B Sector is Ramping Up Innovation Efforts Despite Challenges

A new 2024 NPD report conducted by global technology company TraceGains reveals emerging trends in new product development and a significant increase in innovation despite the F&B industry facing various challenges. The survey, which questioned 261 small and large brands worldwide, shows that 76% of respondents plan to increase their NPD spending in 2024, a 12% increase from the previous year. 32% of brands banking on plant alternatives When asked about which food innovation would have the most potential to drive significant industry change in 2024, more than half (60%) of brands said “better for you” formulations would be the main innovation driver, followed by sustainable packaging and plant-based alternatives (32%). Meanwhile, 26% said they would prioritize water and / or carbon-neutral strategies. ESG initiatives, …

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tiba tempeh soy product

© Tiba Tempeh

Investments & Finance

Tiba Tempeh Receives New Investment to Expand its Sustainable Food Mission

UK plant-based brand Tiba Tempeh announces it has received investment from Samworth Brothers to support growth in the UK and other European markets. The partnership, which involves an undisclosed equity investment in the brand, will support Tiba Tempeh’s product innovation and marketing strategies, such as brand and consumer awareness. According to The Grocer, the brand expanded into Europe for the first time last month, launching nationwide in Spain’s famous department store El Corte Inglés and plans to launch new products for the food service sector soon. Inspiring people to eat more naturally Inspired by tempeh’s Indonesian roots, Kraft Heinz veterans Alex and Ross founded Tiba Tempeh in London in 2019. In January 2022, the brand closed a £500K seed funding round led by Lever VC, which …

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Actor Idris Elba and Huel CEO James McMaster

Actor Idris Elba & Huel's CEO James McMaster © Huel

Investments & Finance

Huel Raises €24M in Funding Round Backed by Idris Elba & Other Celebrities

Nutritionally complete food specialist Huel has raised €24 million in a funding round to continue its mission of providing sustainable nutrition for all. The new investment will support the company’s R&D, product innovation, online and retail scale-up, and international expansion focused on the US market. Highland Europe led the round, joined by a group of celebrity investors including actor Idris Elba and his wife Sabrina Dor Elba (both UN Goodwill Ambassadors). Other participants included TV presenter Jonathan Ross and Grace Beverley, CEO of sustainable activewear brand TALA. The new investment gives the company a valuation of over €540 million. James McMaster, CEO of Huel, said, “Highland Europe has been a strong backer for our business in the last four years, and we’re delighted about the extra …

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© Plan(e)t Foods

Investments & Acquisitions

Plan(e)t Foods Raises €400K For “World’s First” Vegan & Carbon Negative Ice Cream

Plan(e)t Foods, which claims firstly to be the first vegan startup ever launched in Greece, and secondly to have developed the world’s first vegan and carbon-negative ice cream, has raised €400K in its first funding round led by Greek angel investors.  Founded in 2021 by Greg Bograkos, Plan(e)t Foods’ portfolio is currently available in more than 500 outlets across Greece. “In under 18 months of operations, we are already distributing our plant-based – and indistinguishable from dairy – ice cream through all major supermarket chains in Greece, currently available in 500+ stores,” says Bograkos. The new funds will be used to increase the company’s domestic presence through expansion into the supermarket channel. “We are proud of our impressive unit economics and growth (on track for …

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The Tofoo Co nuggets

©The Tofoo Co

Products & Launches

The Tofoo Co Continues Product Innovation With Garlic & Herb and Sweet Chilli Nuggets

The Tofoo Co, the UK’s number one tofu brand, is to launch Garlic & Herb and Sweet Chilli Tofoo Nugget products into Tesco this month. In response to the increased demand for convenient plant protein products, the launch is a repositioning of previous product Tofoo Bites, which have taken a new shape, recipe, and packaging design, to become Tofoo nuggets. Varied portfolio The Tofoo Co also launched a block in sriracha flavour as a recent addition to its portfolio which offers flavoured tofu blocks, scrambled egg style Scrambled Tofoo, straight-to-wok frozen cubes in a range of flavours, fish finger style chunkies in a range of flavours, as well as tempeh products. Exponential success The UK producer has enjoyed continuous success over recent years, evidently owing …

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Nino Terjung

Dr. Nino Terjung

Interviews

German Institute for Food Technology: “More and More Startups are Courageous and Dare to Enter the Market – the Whole Industry Profits From That”

Dr. Nino Terjung heads the department of product innovation at the DIL Deutsches Institut für Lebensmitteltechnik e. V. (German Institute of Food Technologies). After his apprenticeship as a butcher and a short time as a journeyman, he passed the examination for the master craftsman’s diploma with distinction at the age of 18. 

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