Better Balance launches Better Nera with Chunk Foods

© Sigma

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

Better Balance Launches Plant-Based Whole Cut ‘Better-Nera’ in Spain with Chunk Foods

Following the announcement this January that the company was to develop co-branded plant-based whole cuts for the Latin American market in collaboration with Chunk Foods, Better Balance now presents the 100% plant-based “Better-nera” cut for the Spanish market. Also co-developed with vegan steak specialist Chunk Foods, using a patented solid-state fermentation technology, this innovative cut of plant meat is a pioneer in its category in Spain, says Better Balance, a subsidiary of the Sigma group. Better-nera has a high protein content (21%) and is an excellent source of fibre, enriched with iron and vitamin B12. In addition, it is cholesterol-free, low in saturated fat and sodium, and contains no artificial colours or preservatives. The product has been categorised with Nutriscore A and can be prepared …


Pacifico Biolabs, a Belin-based biotech startup, announced that it raised $3.3 million to make mycelium-based whole-cut alternatives.

© Viktor Strasse


Pacifico Biolabs Secures $3.3M to “Transform Seafood” with Whole Cut Alternatives

Berlin-based biotech startup Pacifico Biolabs emerges from two years in stealth mode with the announcement of a $3.3 million oversubscribed pre-seed round.  With the capital, the startup plans to improve and further scale its “unique” biomass fermentation process to make mycelium-based whole-cut alternatives, starting with seafood. In addition, it will expand its team with key positions, such as a CTO and chief of staff. Simon Capital and FoodLabs led the funding round, joined by Exceptional Ventures and Sprout & About Ventures. Patrick Noller, General Partner at FoodLabs, comments, “We are confident that Pacifico’s technology strongly positions them to transform seafood and beyond, addressing the urgent demands of a changing climate.”  Friedrich Droste, Managing Partner of Simon Capital, shared, “Their innovative technical approach to alternative seafood …


Juicy Marbles launches at Tesco

© Juicy Marbles

Company News

Juicy Marbles’ Whole Cuts Arrive in Tesco, Retailing at Lower Price Than Animal Steak

Juicy Marbles, creator of luxury plant-based whole cuts including the “world’s first marbled plant-based steak” which caused a stir upon its announcement in 2021, announces the rollout of the famous steak into 350+ Tesco stores. This marks Juicy Marbles’ third major UK supermarket distribution deal following its initial distributor Waitrose and most recent listing at Whole Foods. Juicy Marbles reports that “Tesco has seen a big increase in demand for versatile, high-quality plant-based meat products in recent months, as shoppers look to reduce their meat consumption” and that Tesco’s buyers were “drawn to the versatility and quality” of the product, as well as strong sales to date. Cheaper than the “real” thing The product lands on Tesco shelves at £9 rrp and at a £6.75 …


Juicy Marbles' famous filet mignon arrives at UK Whole Foods stores

Image provided

Retail & E-Commerce

Juicy Marbles’ Famous Plant-Based Filet Mignon Arrives at All UK Whole Foods Stores

Slovenian company Juicy Marbles, a pioneer of 100% plant-based marbled whole cuts, announces that its famous plant-based filet mignon — the Thick-Cut Filet — is now available at Whole Foods stores across the UK.  This initiative marks the first-ever launch of the famous vegan steaks in Whole Foods and the company’s second supermarket listing in the country following a successful deal with Waitrose in June.  The Thick-Cut Filet will be available in a two-piece package for £10.99. The steaks come raw and unseasoned, allowing customers to use any recipe and cooking method: fried, grilled, stewed, and even boiled for broth. Notably, the product has a Nutri-Score A.  “When reviewing our plant-based protein category there was a gap for a premium plant-based cut,” said Daniel Gill, …


Martin Habfast, cofounder of Umiami

Martin Habfast © Umiami


Umiami: “We’re the First Company Worldwide That Can Create a True Whole-Muscle Chicken Breast at Scale”

Umiami‘s story is nothing short of a phenomenon, one that we have been following closely since its beginnings in 2020. Along with La Vie, Umiami is effecting a successful plant-based business ecosystem in its home country of France, continuing to go from strength to strength and creating 70+ jobs following the acquisition of a former Unilever production facility. Such is the popularity of Umiami’s unique plant-based chick*n whole cuts. Just this month, the startup secured €32.5 million in a Series A, bringing the overall capital raised to an impressive €100 million in just three years, with plans to further expand in France and accelerate the distribution of its products in Europe, and outlining an expansion into the US. We spoke with Co-founder Martin Habfast hot …


Umiami has recently secured €32.5 million in funding in a Series A round, bringing its overall capital raised to an impressive €100 million in just three years.

© Umiami

Investments & Finance

Umiami Hits €100 Million Capital Milestone, Supporting Expansion into US Market

French startup Umiami, an innovator in the plant-based whole cut category, has recently secured €32.5 million in a Series A round, bringing its funding to €59 million and its overall capital raised to an impressive €100 million in just three years. With the new capital, Umiami aims to become a leader in the plant-based meat market with its whole cuts and clean-label alternatives. The company announced plans to further expand in France and accelerate the distribution of its products in Europe. Moreover, the company has outlined plans for a US market expansion, with the appointment of John Hatto, an experienced FMCG executive, as the new managing director. Renewed trust from investors The new round was led by Bpifrance-managed funds Sociétés de Projets Industriels Fund (SPI) and French Tech Seed. …


Amos Golan, CEO, Chunk Foods

Amos Golan, © Chunk Foods


Chunk Foods: “The Feedback from Our Launch with Charley’s Steak House in Orlando Has Been Overwhelming”

Chunk Foods is on a mission to “make delicious, nutritious, plant-based whole cuts that are kind to the environment, and accessible to all,” and has successfully launched its first development, plant-based whole-cut beef steak, utilizing solid state fermentation technology, with further plans to later develop pork, lamb, and poultry. Recently, the biotech raised $15M in a seed round which it described as the biggest ever seed funding round for an Israeli plant-based company, with the funds set to be invested in one of the largest plant-based whole cuts factories in the world, scheduled for completion in Summer 2023. Following the huge amount of noise around the steak’s addition to menus in a well-known Florida steakhouse, which attracted press attention around the world (several of them …


Chunk Foods partners with Charly's Steak House

Image courtesy of Chunk Foods

Food Service

Florida Steakhouse Chain Orders 100,000 Units of Chunk Foods’ Plant-Based Steak

The Talk of the Town Restaurant Group, encompassing six restaurants in Central Florida, has partnered with Israeli food tech Chunk Foods to offer a plant-based steak across its locations, starting with Charley’s Steak House, a traditional fine-dining steakhouse. The restaurant group, which says it has been seeking a vegan meat option for years in every food tech event, has committed to the purchase of 100,000 units of Chunk Food’s plant-based steak, confident of its superior quality, reports Business Insider. “We are reshaping the steakhouse experience and catering to the expanding tastes and preferences of today’s consumers. At our core we serve the finest steaks and seafood and we have been searching for over 15 years for a plant-based option for our guests that meets our standards,” said Seth Miller, …


Taiwan launched startup to produce plant-based whole-cuts using breakthrough tech

© Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) - Taiwan

Politics & Law

Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs Launches Startup to Produce Plant-Based Whole-Cuts Using Breakthrough Innovation

Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) announced that at the end of the year, it will launch a startup to produce plant-based whole cuts using a novel texturizing technology developed by the Department of Industrial Technology (DoIT). Samples of the new plant-based meat were showcased at BIO Asia-Taiwan 2023, reports Taiwan News. The breakthrough process mimics the texture of meat by introducing a multi-directional fiber structure that can recreate the muscle consistency of beef, pork, chicken, and fish without using additives or artificial ingredients. Furthermore, it uses soy and wheat protein, which have complete essential amino acids and higher protein content, to offer a full nutrition product different from the traditional texturized vegetable protein, explains MOEA. The process had been tested at scale, proving its commercial viability. It will …


Adamo Foods mycelium steak

© Adamo Foods

Investments & Acquisitions

Adamo Foods Raises £1.5M for “Groundbreaking” Mycelium Steaks

British food tech startup Adamo Foods has secured £1.5 million in funding to bring its whole-cut mycelium steaks to market. The sum consists of pre-seed funding from SFC Capital and two major grants from the government agency Innovate UK. The grants were received following Adamo’s participation in the ‘Better Food for All’ and ‘Novel Low Emission Food Production Systems’ competitions. Adamo will use the capital to further develop and scale its products, including by biofortifying the nutrients in mycelium to replicate the nutritional benefits of beef. The company will also develop processes to increase production to a pilot scale as it prepares to launch. The news comes after Adamo showcased its technology at the International Cellular Agriculture conference in Helsinki, which took place from June …


Vegan Whole Cut Steak

©Chunk Foods/ The Butcher's Daughter


Chunk Foods Raises $15M in “Biggest Ever” Israeli Seed Round to Begin Scaling Whole-Cut Plant-Based Steak

Israeli startup Chunk Foods reveals it raised $15M in seed funding in November, in what the startup calls the “biggest ever” seed funding round for an Israeli plant-based company. Led by Fall Line Capital, The MIT E14 fund, and Robert Downey Jr. ‘s FootPrint Coalition, the raise will be used to construct one of the largest plant-based whole cuts factories in the world, which is set to be completed in Summer 2023.  According to Chunk, the new state-of-the-art facility will be capable of producing millions of plant-based steaks every year. Made with minimally processed ingredients, Chunk says its steak offers the same meaty bite, texture and umami flavors of conventional beef. Using fermentation technology, the company says it is able to produce whole-cut products with …


Tristan & Martin, Umiami founders

Founders Tristan & Martin © Umiami

Company News

Plant-Based Thriving in France as Umiami Recruits 70+ Staff For Ex Unilever Facility

France’s Umiami, specialist in plant-based whole-cuts, acquired a former Unilever facility in the Alsace region of France last December. The 14,000 m2 site will be Umiami’s first commercial-scale plant, and will have production capabilities of up to 22,000 tonnes of meat and seafood alternatives per year to supply the food industry. Founded in 2020 by Tristan Maurel and Martin Habfast, Umiami manufactures 100% plant-based products with a focus on large, fibrous whole cuts. “Thanks to our unique technology, we can reproduce the texture, taste, and aspect of real meat and fish products, all in a 100% vegan version!” says Chief People Officer Rémy Delabays to vegconomist today. The heart of Europe The startup raised $30 million from investors including the French government last April, in …


Lypid plant-based pork belly

© Lypid

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

Lypid Launches “World’s First” Plant-Based Pork Belly, Made With Patented Fat Technology

Lypid, an alt fat startup based in Taiwan and the US, has launched what it claims to be the world’s first plant-based pork belly. The meat alternative is made with PhytoFat, Lypid’s patented technology that creates animal-like fats using plant oils. The fat is combined with fibrous plant-based protein to achieve the same taste and texture as conventional pork belly. The product is said to cook just like pork, and was recently served at the Future Food-Tech Summit in San Francisco. It is now being tested by chefs in the Bay Area, and has also debuted in Taiwan at Taipei-based vegan diner Baganhood. Lypid said it chose to develop a pork alternative because pork is one of the most popular types of meat worldwide, with …


Vladimir Mićković, Juicy Marbles

Vladimir Mićković © Juicy Marbles


Juicy Marbles: “If Burgers Kickstarted the Plant-Based Revolution, Whole Cuts Are Going to Carry it All The Way Through”

At this point, Juicy Marbles should need no introduction for the majority of vegconomist readers. Based in Slovenia and enjoying distribution across the UK and US, these plant-based whole-cut steaks have been causing a stir since they arrived in 2021, as was the intention. Vladimir Mićković, co-founder and chief brand officer at Juicy Marbles, turned out to be a very characterful and quoteworthy interviewee! What is the story behind Juicy Marbles? I’m sure every “marble” could tell a different story, but we are all bound by a shared love of cooking. We come from a culture where food is inseparable from passion. There is this joie-de-vivre coursing through our veins, and feasting with friends and family is a way of celebrating life here. Meat was …


steakholder foods banner for patent approval

© Steakholder Foods

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Steakholder Foods Receives Patent Approval for Cultivated Meat Whole Cut Tech in Canada

3D-printed cultivated meat company Steakholder Foods (Nasdaq: STKH) announces it has received approval in Canada for its patent on Physical Manipulation of Cultured Muscle Tissue, a key technology to produce and bring cultivated meat whole cuts to markets. Already approved in the US, Australia, and New Zealand, the patent covers systems and methods for applying external forces to muscle tissue to develop high-quality complex structured meat. A game-changing technology Steakholder Foods CTO, Dan Kozlovski, commented: “Our patented systems and methods for physical manipulation of cultured muscle tissue have been a game changer in the cultivation of structured meat. By strengthening and enhancing the muscle tissues in a way that mimics a cow’s natural development, we can achieve a desired texture that drives consumer preference.” According to …


Vegan Pork Sandwich

©Final Foods

Products & Launches

Final Foods Debuts ‘Gourmet’ Line of Whole-Cut Plant-Based Meats for Food Industry

Natural foods startup Final Foods announces the launch of its first line of plant-based, protein-rich meat alternatives. Made primarily for the food service industry, Final Foods says its clean-label products are created to offer chefs a wider range of formats with premium texture. Available online, the products are initially shipping to California and Nevada.  Unlike many protein alternatives that are usually sold in ground or crumbled form, Final Foods’ plant-based offerings come in slices and large cuts, which the company says makes them ideal for grilling, as well as stewing, sautéing and stir-frying.  Made from pea protein, the brand states its vegan meats are created from a simple extrusion process, which provides a more realistic and natural texture with no fillers.  Final Foods’ current offerings …



Scott Tassani © Meati


Meati: “Quickly Scaling to Become the US Market Share Leader in Plant-Based Meat by 2025”

Vegan whole-cut pioneer Meati has had an eventful time, to say the least, since we spoke with CEO Tyler Huggins back in March of this year. After raising $150M in Series C, launching fungi steaks and Carne Asada, and even being named in TIME’s Best Inventions of 2022, we just had to catch up with President Scott Tassani for another update from the masters of meaty mycelium. Can you give us a bit of background on your experience and how you landed at Meati? I worked in the food business through high school, and in my 30 years since graduating college. My career before Meati was spent with The Pillsbury Company and then General Mills – working in sales and brand development, spending my last …


Umiami founders team

Founding team © Umiami

Manufacturing & Technology

Umiami Acquires Former Unilever Site to Produce Plant-Based Whole Cuts in France

French alt-meat producer Umiami, which specialises in whole cuts of plant-based meats, has acquired a former Unilever production facility in its home country. Located in Duppegheim, the 14,000 m2 site will be Umiami’s first commercial-scale plant, after the opening of its innovation centre (featuring a pilot production facility) in June. The factory will be able to produce up to 22,000 tonnes of meat and seafood alternatives per year. According to Umiami, the new facility will be the only one in the world capable of producing plant-based versions of any type of meat or fish fillet. Production will begin in the second half of next year. Proprietary production process Extrusion, the most common method of making meat alternatives, is only able to produce small chunks or …


juicy marbles' plant-based whole cut loin pictured on a wooden board and being cut by a man

© Juicy Marbles

Products & Launches

Juicy Marbles’ Whole-Cut Plant-Based Loin to Launch in the UK in Time for Christmas

Juicy Marbles‘ latest plant-based meat product, a whole-cut beef-style loin, will be available for UK customers to purchase over the festive season. The beef-style loin, which according to the company is the “biggest piece of plant-based meat ever conceived“, will go on sale via the company’s website from December 1st. Raw and unseasoned  Juicy Marbles’ whole-cut loin is a versatile piece of plant-based meat that can be grilled, broiled, or boiled. It can also be used to make broth, or cut into fillets, chunks, or slices. The main ingredients are non-GMO soy, sunflower oil, and beetroot powder, and the product has a Nutri-Score rating of A. It comes uncooked and unseasoned to allow customers to express their preferences and creativity. Plant-based whole-cut pioneer Although other …


juicy marbles' plant-based raw whole cut loin product

© Juicy Marbles

Products & Launches

Juicy Marbles Reveals “Biggest Piece of Plant Meat Ever Conceived” With Whole Cut Loin

The Slovenian food tech company Juicy Marbles announces the e-commerce launch of its latest plant-based meat development, the Whole-Cut Loin.   The company, which creates raw and unseasoned premium meat cuts with fat-marbled layers, claims its new loin is the “biggest piece of meat ever conceived” for the plant-based whole-cut meat category. Juicy Marbles, considered a plant-based whole-cut pioneer after the commercial release of its first product – the industry’s first plant-based filet mignon – is now adding a new product with an unusual presentation to the category. Since its debut, the company has been shipping DTC across Europe, with a limited-release 1,000-pack sale in February and across the US market, where its products “sold out in just two hours” in June.  A versatile whole-cut …