June highlights from the plant-based and cultured-food sector
2 July 2021
A recent, widely circulated prediction by Credit Suisse suggests that the plant-based sector is set to grow 100-fold over the next three decades. While that might seem like a rather bold claim, it’s supported by the massive expansion of the plant-based sector around the world – and that’s not even taking into account the dramatic rise of cultured foods and precision-fermentation. Read on to find out more about these potentially world-changing developments and more.
TRENDS & PROJECTIONS
- A recent international survey conducted by V-Label has found that consumers – particularly from younger demographics – are increasingly basing their shopping decisions on the information found in certifications and labelling.
- The plant-based sector is projected to increase 100-fold by 2050, reaching $1.4 trillion by 2050, according to a report from Credit Suisse.
- David MacLennan, CEO of Cargill, the world’s third-largest meat producer, predicts that plant-based protein will begin to cannibalise the meat industry, as the alternative-protein sector rapidly expands over the next few years.
- The pandemic has provided a sharp boost for plant-based foods, according to an Instacart survey.
- In the snack sector, plant-based preferences are continuing to rise as consumers focus on healthier options.
- The cell-based sector continues to expand with the development of cultured turkey, bull, and lamb.
- The Good Food Institute has shared information on where several countries and regions currently stand in terms of the regulation of cultured-food products.
- The demand for animal-free dairy, along with the rise of precision fermentation, is set to disrupt the global cheese sector, according to a new study by precision-fermentation company Formo and the University of Bath.
- ALDI USA has added plant-based dumplings to its popular Earth Grown range.
- Quorn will expand its chicken-alternative range in the US in its quest to be the world’s leading supplier of alt-chicken.
- Whole Foods has revealed its first-ever list of exclusively plant-based predictions, with nut-based cheese alternatives, fish substitutes made from banana blossoms, and cashew dips topping the list.
- Albert Heijn, the Netherlands’ largest supermarket chain, has plans for a major expansion of its plant-based cheese offerings.
- A plant-based KitKat, made with rice-based milk and sustainable cocoa, is finally hitting the shelves in several European countries.
- Plant Power Fast Food has raised $7.5M in order to double the number of its ‘vegan McDonald’s’ across the USA.
- Burger King opened a pop-up test location in Germany in June selling exclusively plant-based products, while Burger King France has just introduced its first vegetarian burger.
- Beyond Meat and KFC China are partnering once again, this time on a plant-based spicy beef wrap that will be available at 2,600 KFC branches in 28 cities around the country, for a limited time only.
- UK plant-based-kebab chain Döner Summer continues to grow, with plans to open a fifth location soon.
- Green Queen explores the strategies behind the massive success of Impossible and Oatly.
- Award-winning plant-based Sweden brand Oumph! launched in Germany in June, with six soya-based products now available in selected Edeka Group stores.
- Cultured-seafood pioneer Finless Foods is gearing up to launch its first product, a plant-based tuna that does not use cell-cultured technology.
- AquaCultured Foods, a Chicago-based startup has created the first whole-muscle seafood alternative produced through microbial fermentation.
- New Culture, one of several startups in the emerging ‘animal-free’ dairy space, is aiming to launch an animal-free mozzarella in late 2023.
- Brave Robot, the animal-free ice-cream brand made with Perfect Day’s precision-fermentation real-dairy proteins, will begin displaying its carbon footprint on its packaging.
- Asia’s first pea-milk producer Snappea is seeking to make the most of its first-mover advantage by emphasising the natural flavour of peas rather than simulating the flavour of dairy.
INGREDIENTS SUPPLIERS/NEW TECHNOLOGIES
- Variety is the key to improving the next generation of alternative food and beverages, according to Adam Janzcuk Vice-President of Global R&D at IFF Nourish.
- Australian company Wide Open Agriculture has successfully used its modified-lupin concentrate to develop a variety of plant-based products, including plant-based milks, meat alternatives, snacks, and protein supplements.
- Fava beans, otherwise known as broad beans, could help to meet the growing demand for plant-based proteins while addressing deforestation, inefficiencies in global agriculture and other climate-related challenges, according to Meelunie, a global leader in plant-based ingredients.
- Fat remains the final frontier when it comes to meat alternatives, according to Nourish Ingredients, which is harnessing the power of microbes to produce animal-free fats that deliver a ‘meatier’ experience than plant-based oils.
- Cultured-protein developer Geltor has launched its PrimaColl product, which it claims is the first plant-based collagen for use in food and beverages.
ONES TO WATCH OUT FOR
- Israeli food-tech company Future Meat Technologies has opened what it claims is the first industrial-scale cultured-meat facility, with the capacity to produce 5,000 cell-based burgers a day.
- Hong Kong-based startup Avant, which makes cultured-fish protein, has been named one of the 2021’s 100 most promising technology pioneers by the World Economic Forum.
- In response to threatened fish stocks, OmniFoods is expanding beyond plant-based pork and moving into the alt-seafood sector.
STARTUP & FINANCIAL
- Spanish dairy company Pascual has launched the world’s first incubator for cultured dairy.
- MeaTech 3D has filed a patent in the US for its novel bioprinting technology, which “significantly enhances” the manufacturing of cultured meat .
- Israeli startup Imagindairy claims to have successfully mastered precision-fermentation technology in order to produce animal-free milk proteins from yeast.
- The LiveKindly Collective is continuing its acquisition of plant-based companies, with the purchase of the Amsterdam-based company, the Dutch Weed Burger.
- Sea-Stematic, Africa’s first cultured-seafood company, has ambitious plans to meet the fast-rising demand for fish in Asia.
- Singapore food-tech company Float Foods has raised US$1.6M in order to ramp up its R&D and accelerate the commercialisation of its plant-based whole-egg substitute.
- Spanish plant-based-meat startup Heura recently raised €4M in 24 hours during a crowdfunding campaign.
- Alt-meat producers are set to benefit from a €32m fund for research into sustainable proteins, courtesy of the EU’s Horizon Europe funding program.
- Hong Kong-based biotech company Geb Impact Technology has received a grant from the Hong Kong government to scale up its microalgae cultivation for plant-based meat applications.
- The cultured-meat sector in the Asia Pacific region is calling for the establishment of a neutral entity to establish proper industry governance and IP protection and thus provide a safe and secure environment for firms to share knowledge and collaborate.
- Silicon Valley food-tech company Orbillion Bio, dedicated to developing cultured premium heritage meats, has joined the Alliance for Meat, Poultry & Seafood Innovation.
- Cell-based meat industry experts are calling on the French government to step up their efforts to tap into the opportunities to be made in the fast-growing sector, or risk missing out on the global market.
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