Better Nature

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Company News

Better Nature Tempeh Becomes the UK’s Fastest-Growing Wholefood Protein Brand 

Better Nature Tempeh announces the achievement of some major milestones. This week the brand expands its retail distribution in Tesco and Asda, as such it has become the UK’s fastest-growing wholefood protein brand; the B-corp now represents 51% of tempeh sales growth in the country, as shoppers increasingly look towards healthy protein options. “Despite the consolidation and shrinkage of the meat-free category, tempeh is coming out on top, growing 30% year-on-year. As a brand, we’re responsible for more than half (51%) of that growth*, with two of the top three Tempeh SKUs in the UK (by volume) being Better Nature Tempeh,” says co-founder and CEO Christopher Kong. The business has grown by 250% YOY and increased distribution to over 1,000 supermarkets across the UK, say …

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Schouten Europe and Agrifirm announce collaboration

© Schouten/Agrifirm

Company News

Schouten Europe and Agrifirm Investigate Potential of Tempeh Made From Dutch Soy & Fava Beans

Dutch companies Schouten Europe and Agrifirm have announced a collaboration that will investigate the possibility of making tempeh from Dutch soybeans and fava beans. Schouten Europe produces meat alternatives and other plant-based products, while Agrifirm provides products and services to farmers to improve productivity and sustainability. The new collaboration stems from the Bean Deal, which is part of the Netherlands’ National Protein Strategy — an initiative launched in 2020 that aims to enhance the cultivation of protein-rich crops. With support from Agrifirm, Schouten launched a soybean cultivation pilot last year. The companies plans to expand this in 2024, with more growers and different soybean varieties. Schouten then hopes to turn these soybeans — along with other locally-grown pulses such as fava beans — into tempeh. …

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Better Nature becomes UK's highest rated meat-free B Corp

Dr. Driando Ahnan-Winarno. © Better Nature

Company News

Better Nature Becomes the UK’s Top-Scoring Meat-Free B Corp

UK tempeh brand Better Nature is now the UK’s top-scoring B Corp in the meat-free category, with an impact score of 99.7 — over 20% higher than the industry average. B Corp certification recognises companies that meet high social and environmental standards, along with being transparent and accountable. Specifically, Better Nature: Has a low carbon footprint. Certifies its products as Non-GMO, Zero Deforestation, Soil Protection, and Indigenous People & Ecosystem Protection, with an organic option also available. Donates 1% of sales to charity. Produces sustainable, clean-label food. Claims to promote a diverse workplace and prioritise team wellbeing. Works with mission-aligned partners. “This is just the start of our B Corp journey,” said Dr. Driando Ahnan-Winarno, co-founder at Better Nature Tempeh. “From here, we will be …

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Fundraising

Better Nature Launches £1M+ Crowdfund, Appoints New Non-Executive Director

UK tempeh brand Better Nature has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs with the aim of raising over £1 million. The campaign opened to the public yesterday (October 2). The funding will be used to drive mainstream retail growth for Better Nature, consolidating its position as a leading European tempeh brand. The company aims to “transform the meat-free aisle”, as consumers increasingly seek less processed plant-based options. The news follows a hugely successful year for Better Nature, with the company launching in Germany and securing its first UK supermarket listing at Tesco. Better Nature also launched a £3 million Series A round in May, and rolled out at all 966 UK Lidl stores in July as part of the retailer’s Vegan Week. “There’s a growing …

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Tempeh Today, Schouten Food

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Company News

Tempeh Today and Marel India Partner to Install Small-Scale Tempeh Fermentation Units

Henk Schouten, the CEO of plant-based protein company Schouten Europe, launched Tempeh Today in India in 2021, aiming to establish 100 small-scale fermentation units (SFUs) for tempeh production within five years. To reach these goals, CFSS B.V., the company behind Tempeh Today in India, and Marel India Pvt. Ltd. have announced a strategic partnership to boost tempeh production and continue to offer a sustainable solution for proteins in India. Marel India is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marel, an international company that provides high-quality equipment, solutions, services, and software for the food processing industry.  Small and micro units for tempeh “The collaboration with Marel is a crucial next step in rolling out the concept. I am thrilled that Marel is supporting this initiative, and I look forward to our future …

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chickpea tempeh

© Franklin Farms

Products & Launches

Franklin Farms Launches Soy-Free Chickpea Tempeh Across Northeastern USA

Franklin Farms, a division of Keystone Natural Holdings, has introduced the latest in its plant-based portfolio — a chickpea tempeh — following its range of chickpea-based tofu products launched in 2021. Targeting those who are unable to consume soy for allergy reasons, veggie, vegan, and omnivores alike, the new tempeh recently launched at Price Chopper and Market 32 stores in the Northeast, as consumer interest in health issues combined with an increased appetite for novelty and variety continues to increase globally. The company states that, of the natural plant-based protein foods, legumes such as chickpeas, beans, and lentils are reported to be consumers’ preferred ingredients, indicating a desire for familiar natural protein sources. Healthy plant protein options Starting its life two decades ago as a …

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Better Nature co founders

© Better Nature

Interviews

Better Nature: “In 5 Years, Tempeh Will Be a Mainstream Food Across the UK, Europe, and the US”

We’ve been following the journey of Better Nature over the past three years and it’s wonderful to see the tempeh pioneers achieve mainstream retail success in the UK, with a rollout into more than 400 Tesco stores taking place tomorrow. We had a quick catch-up with CEO and Co-founder Christopher Kong to find out what this milestone represents for the brand, and why tempeh truly deserves a place on the supermarket shelf. Tell us about your business mission. Our mission is to help people live healthier lives with tempeh, the all-natural plant-based food from Indonesia that’s packed with protein and gut-friendly. Congratulations on your new listing with Tesco – what does it signify for Better Nature? Our launch into over 400 Tesco stores on 1st …

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Better Nature

© Better Nature

Investments & Acquisitions

Better Nature Launches £3M Funding Round, Secures First UK Supermarket Listing at Tesco

UK tempeh producer Better Nature has launched a £3 million Series A round to help it expand into retailers and food service providers throughout the UK and Europe. The news comes as the brand prepares to launch at over 400 Tesco stores on June 1, marking its first UK supermarket listing. The tempeh will then roll out at another major supermarket in July. The Series A round will be led by institutional investors, angels, and value-add strategic investors. It follows a £1.6 million seed round in 2021 and a £700,000 seed plus round late last year. Better Nature currently has listings at Selfridges, Mindful Chef, Planet Organic and allplants, along with REWE in Germany. The brand plans to expand into more European countries and the …

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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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Company News

After Smashing the UK Market, Better Nature Brings its Tempeh to Germany

Twice as much protein as tofu, twice as much fibre as an apple and as much iron as beef: Better Nature wants to conquer the German meat alternative market with its tempeh products. Tempeh consists only of fermented soybeans, water and a mycelium starter culture. It is also extremely versatile: unlike tofu, tempeh takes on flavours quickly and requires little marinade. This makes it particularly suitable for meat-free dishes, from curries and stir-fries to sandwiches and salads. In the UK, tempeh is already experiencing strong market growth, and the startup also recently launched in Swiss retail. Now Better Nature is bringing its tempeh products to Germany: at REWE Nord, the Tempeh Pieces are available as bite-sized, ready-marinated bites in Mediterranean, Curry and BBQ varieties. Tempeh …

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better nature tempeh products

© Better Nature

Investments & Finance

Better Nature Raises £700K to Fuel Tempeh Awareness and Growth

UK brand Better Nature, specialising in tempeh-based meat alternatives, recently announced a £700K Seed Plus round to fuel retail presence in the UK and Europe ahead of a bigger series A round next year. The funds will support the brand’s new listing with Holland & Barrett and will also build on existing listings with Selfridges, Gopuff, and allplants. The investment round was led by 67 investors, including previous backers from a private crowdfunding campaign launched on Seedrs in March 2021, alongside two new investors in innovative and sustainable businesses, including the Global Entrepreneurship Centre. Expansion plans for 2023 Besides retail growth in the UK, Better Nature will focus on expansion in mainland Europe through the launch of its tempeh products in Germany’s second-largest supermarket Rewe in early 2023. …

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Better Nature Migros

© Better Nature

Products & Launches

Better Nature Launches at Switzerland’s Largest Supermarket Chain Migros

UK tempeh brand Better Nature has launched three products — Mince, Rashers, and Roast Bites — at Switzerland’s largest supermarket chain, Migros. The products will be available across the country at over 300 stores, in what Better Nature describes as “potentially the single largest rollout of tempeh in all of Europe”. The range launched in the UK last year, but only at online retailers. Continued innovation The news comes just two months after Better Nature appointed a new non-executive director, former Planet Organic CEO Peter Marsh. The brand also received a £350,000 grant from a UK government agency earlier this year to develop a fish alternative made via precision fermentation of industry byproducts. Migros and alt protein Migros is increasingly supporting alt protein innovation, partnering …

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Maple Leaf Foods

© Maple Leaf Foods

Company News

Maple Leaf Foods Reduces Plant-Based Greenleaf Division by 25% Following Decrease in Demand

Maple Leaf Foods, one of Canada’s largest meat producers, says it is downsizing its plant-based foods division, Greenleaf Foods, by 25% following consecutive quarters of disappointing sales. The company, which owns vegan food brands Field Roast and Lightlife, reports its Plant Protein sales fell by over 18% year-over-year to CAD $40.8 million due to lower retail volumes, reports Food Dive. Nonprofitable investments into expanding growth infrastructure also reduced gross margins by 24.7%. Large investments Known primarily for its processed meat business, Maple Leaf strategically invested in alternative proteins by acquiring plant-based foods brands Lightlife, Field Roast and Chao in 2017. The following year, it launched Greenleaf Foods SPC as a subdivision to accelerate the growth of the plant-based category. In 2019, it unveiled plans to …

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peter-marsch-planet-organic

© Planet Organic

People

Better Nature Appoints Ex CEO of Planet Organic & World’s Most Cited Food Scientist to Fuel Growth

UK-based tempeh startup Better Nature announces the appointments of ex-Planet Organic CEO Peter Marsh as Non-Executive Director, and Prof. Julian McClements, the world’s most cited food scientist, as Innovation Advisor. Peter Marsh, who established Planet Organic as one of the UK’s largest organic and health retailers until his retirement in 2021, will be supporting Better Nature with its entrance into UK supermarkets and with plans for international expansion. Marsh states: “Making high-quality, healthy foods more widely accessible is really important to me. Working with Better Nature to get more people across the UK and further afield eating nutritious, delicious and versatile tempeh is a challenge I’m very excited to take on.” Newly appointed Innovation Advisor Prof. Julian McClements, who has published over 1300 scientific articles …

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© Tiba Tempeh

Investments & Finance

Tiba Tempeh Raises £500,000 to Make Tempeh Mainstream in the UK

British startup Tiba Tempeh has raised £500,000 in a seed funding round led by Lever VC. The company will use the funding to launch more products, make new hires, and increase its marketing efforts. Tiba Tempeh was founded by Alex and Ross Longton, who have both previously held senior roles at Kraft Heinz and other major food corporations. In 2019, the pair decided to use their experience to launch a plant-based food company, making it easier for consumers to eat a healthy diet. Tiba Tempeh is available diced and marinated in several flavours such as Sweet Chilli, Curry Spiced, and Soy Marinade. The tempeh is suitable for use in dishes such as curries and stir-fries, and the company has also recently launched what it claims …

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Club Cultured Wagamama

©Club Cultured

Products & Launches

Tempeh Missionaries: UK’s Club Cultured Launches New Vegan Dishes at Wagamama

Leading UK tempeh producer Club Cultured has announced a partnership with Asian-themed restaurant Wagamama. The deal means that Club Cultured will bring three new dishes to the UK chain’s menus in selected outlets. “At the time we were dreaming of working with Wagamama, we were experimenting with tempeh in a garden shed” Tempeh – made by culturing and fermenting soybeans – has not yet broken into the mainstream food consumer consciousness in the UK, but Club Cultured hopes that the new partnership will start to change that. Tempeh’s Asian origins as well as Wagamama’s commitment to plant-based dishes make this collaboration a natural fit. This year, Wagamama launched a special Veganuary menu and vowed to make half of its dishes meatless in 2021. Self-styled “Tempeh …

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Schouten Tempeh Mince

Tempeh Mince ©Schouten

Products & Launches

This Dutch Brand is Creating Tempeh Mince by Upcycling its Own By-Products

Dutch family-owned Schouten Europe has created plant-based minced meat created with fermented tempeh, partly consisted of by-products from one of Schouten’s production facilities. The tempeh mince will be available for retail, out-of-home and the food processing industry. “We want to avoid food waste as much as possible and the by-product is completely safe and usable, we can market it as tempeh mince” Schouten is launching two new varieties, spicy and mild, with the latter intended for consumers and/or product developers who want to season the product themselves. By-products are generated in the production of other tempeh products in the Schouten range and the new upcycled products cater to the fact that minced meat (known as beef grounds in the US) is now one of the …

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© Better Nature

Products & Launches

Better Nature Drops New Range with Ribs, Rashers, and Roasts

Following its recent £1.6 million Seed Round, UK meat-free brand Better Nature is launching a brand-new product range just in time for summer. The new tempeh-based products are staples for any vegan BBQ, brunch, or Sunday roast dinner with the family.  Better Nature prides itself on its nutritious products that support a healthy gut and lifestyle, and the new range has received the highest possible rating for its carbon footprint. The products are also both carbon and plastic negative, meaning they offset double what they produce. Fabio Rinaldo, Co-founder and Head of Product Development and Operations at Better Nature comments, “This new range is a result of our ongoing mission to make a plant-based lifestyle more accessible and enjoyable, by removing the need to compromise …

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Fairs & Events

The First Global Tempeh Conference “TEMPETHON 2021” Debuts 27th June

A new virtual conference called TEMPETHON 2021 will debut on the 27th of this month to spotlight the traditional Indonesian fermented protein, as fermented foods continue to trend. The event will feature a TED Talk, cooking workshops, and an innovation panel hosted by Seth Tibbott, founder of Tofurky. “Tempeh is different than other plant-based proteins in that it is not trying to be anything else,” Seth Tibbott, Founder of Tofurky In the USA, tempeh products are witnessing an annual growth rate of 30.1% in Natural Food Stores and 29.7% in Conventional Grocery Stores. Tempeh is enjoyed for its firm texture, nutty/mushroom flavor and versatility, and provides 15 grams of cholesterol-free protein in a 3oz serving, establishing itself as one of the most nutritious sources of …

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