Author: Alice Grahame

Alice Grahame is a freelance writer based in London. She's worked for the BBC, Guardian and various NGOs. She enjoys walking, allotment gardening and trying new plant-based dishes.

Food Safety Standards For Cultivated Meat, Plant-Based Food Sales Up, Mung Beans Protein And More

Here in the UK, we are wiping away the winter weather and enjoying some spring energy. As always, it is busy in the plant-based food world, with lots of company news to share. Here we bring you a selection of some of the leading plant-based stories from newspapers, magazines, and digital platforms. If you have news for us and would like to be featured in our next round-up, please email us at [email protected]

Market Insights

European sales of plant-based food grew by 22% between 2020 and 2022, reaching a total of €5.7 million, according to the Good Food Institute Europe. Sales of plant-based meat rose to €2 billion in 2022, accounting for 6% of the overall pre-packaged meat market. Other categories, including plant-based seafood and cheese, saw double-digit growth. The category with the fastest growth was plant-based seafood.

Food Safety

The FAO and World Health Organisation have set out their recommendations for food safety standards for cultivated meat. The report was launched in early April 2023 and includes the result of an FAO-led consultation that identified potential hazards. It is the first step in a risk assessment process that will lead to the development of regulations.

New Protein

Mung beans could be more widely used to make protein, according to a report from Good Food Institute APAC. The study says mung beans are currently underused, with Asia’s plant-based protein production relying on soy, wheat and Western imports. Mung beans are less allergenic than soy and wheat and have many plant-based applications.

Fungi Fat Available 

Mycorena fungi-stabilised fat is now commercially available under the brand name Mycolein. The fat mimics animal fat in how it tastes, feels, and behaves. Mycorena collaborated with producers, including Juicy Marbles, Dalco Foods and Meeat, to perfect their product, which is intended to improve the appeal of plant-based food. Mycolein contains very little saturated fat and is a source of fibre, giving it a good nutritional profile compared to animal fat. 

Alternative Seafood

Aqua Cultured Foods has raised $5.5 million in seed funding to bring realistic seafood alternatives to market. The investment, led by Stray Dog Capital, will enable the company to equip its new facility, scale up production, and bring products to market. Aqua uses a mycoprotein fermentation process to create a range of plant-based seafood containingTuesday April 1 fibre, protein, and micronutrients. 

Lab-Grown Fat

Scientists at the Tufts University Center for Cellular Architecture (TUCCA) in Massachusetts, have made lab-grown fat tissue with similar properties to animal fat. The product could give cultured meat a more realistic taste and texture. Until now producing cultured fat has been a major challenge because of the way fat grows. The project is at the lab stage but could be scaled up and produced in bioreactors.

Egg Replacers

UK bakers are turning to egg replacements to help with supply problems. Oggs, which supplies an aquafaba egg replacement, is working with major UK bakeries to help them reduce egg usage. Lydia Stuart-Kregor, head of strategy and marketing at Oggs, told British Baker: “The cost pressures, combined with the threat of animal-borne disease, has highlighted just how inefficient and unsustainable animal-based food production is. That’s why our mission is to remove eggs from bakery products and replace them with plants.” 

JUST Egg in Barnes and Noble 

JUST Egg has announced its largest foodservice partnership, with the US’s biggest bookseller Barnes and Noble. Their JUST Egg Breakfast Sandwich will be in all 500 Barnes and Noble Cafes from 10 April, for a limited time. It is the cafes’ first plant-based sandwich and contains folded JUST Egg, melted Violife provolone and plant-based aioli on a ciabatta roll. JUST Egg is currently available at more than 3,000 restaurants and cafes throughout the U.S.

Taking Alternative Proteins Mainstream

Alternative protein brands should avoid the word vegan and highlight the protein source, sensory appeal, and health benefits to win new customers. This is the message in a new consumer behaviour report.  

The study is from The Good Food Institute (GFI), an international non-profit working to accelerate non-animal protein, and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a global management consulting firm. Over the last year, the team analysed over 100 academic studies of customer behaviour and social media attitudes towards alternative protein. They have developed a strategy to make alternative protein more appealing to the mainstream market. They shared their thought leadership publication ‘Taking Alternative Proteins Mainstream’ at a GFI webinar in March 2023. 

BCG outlined the problem: mainstream consumers know that eating less animal protein is better for the planet, their health, and animals. But despite the growth of innovative alternatives, traditional meat consumption continues to rise. So how can plant-based protein brands reach more consumers and convince them to choose non-animal options? According to the report, plant-based meat brands would benefit from a more consumer-centric approach to their marketing messages, especially those on the packaging. 

Neeru Ravi is BCG’s topic lead for alternative proteins in North America and a core member of its Consumer and Climate Sustainability. She told the GFI webinar that between 2019 and 2021, the US alternative protein retail market plateaued: “In 2019-2020, there was a big growth spike which levelled from 2020-2021. While alternative dairy continued growing, alternative meat remained flat and slightly declined. At the same time, there was a slight increase in the share held by traditional meat.” 

 This slowdown happened during a period of significant change: from pandemic to post-pandemic, from grocery retail to food service, with price rises and a surge in brands offering meat alternatives. However, the stagnation can also be partly attributed to how alternative protein is marketed to consumers. 

Neeru Ravi explained: “We know that animal agriculture is a large contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, and investing in plant-based proteins makes a lot of sense. But from a consumer perspective, sustainability isn’t their primary concern. A survey of almost 3000 consumers shows a big gap in what consumers say versus what they do. 80% say they care about sustainability, but only 20% make food choices based on that concern. We found that health and taste were the top needs driving purchasing decisions for fresh food. We need to address this if we are to attract mainstream consumers. 

BCG suggested four strategies for winning more mainstream consumers. They focus on the messaging on the front of packs, an area with limited space but the massive potential for converting consumer decisions. 

Avoid The Word Vegan

Vegans and vegetarians are around 5% of the overall market. Appealing to these consumers is not going to drive mainstream growth. And it carries some risks. BCG found that the word vegan was associated with lower sales. As BCG’s Project Leader Ema Tanovic explained: “Vegan is an identity, and using an identity-based label can introduce a psychological barrier. A consumer will think – ‘I’m not vegan, so this product is not for me. Or if I consume this product, what does that say about me?’ Instead, use non-identity-based terms such as ‘doesn’t contain animal products’ to convey that same information.”  

Identify The Protein Source 

Consumers want to know what they’re eating. Evidence shows that specifying a protein source is associated with higher scores for sustainability, taste and health, and better sales. This is a great opportunity to use images of key ingredients on the printed pack. 

Highlight Sensory appeal 

For occasion-dependent food, where the consumer wants an indulgent treat, highlight the taste, not health claims. Ema Tanovic says: “If you have a product that delivers a sensory experience, like taste, texture, emotional enjoyment, fun or happy memories, say it on the front of the pack. A study compared plain descriptive labels to indulgent labels, for example, green beans and sizzling sweet beans. The frequency with which people chose the dish with the indulgent label was 25% higher. This holds true for plant-based meats as well as vegetable dishes.” 

Highlight Positive Health Benefits  

Consumers responded to health claims with positive rather than restrictive language. That means highlighting a good attribute rather than the lack of a bad one – so high protein rather than low calorie. Ema Tanovic said: “We recommend going beyond just sharing nutritional information. Instead of saying 10 grams of protein, say a great source of protein if your product delivers that. However, health is sometimes correlated negatively with other needs, like taste. So when you tell consumers a product is healthy, some expect it to taste less good, so on some occasions highlighting health is not the best approach.” 

This strategy has been used widely by alternative dairy, resulting in positive sales growth, reaching 8% penetration of the overall dairy category. Neera Ravi concludes: “An analysis of the top 25 alternative dairy brands found that 88% have implemented two or more strategies. The term vegan has been replaced with dairy-free. The source of protein is identified as soya, almond or oat. Brands highlight sensory attributes like rich and creamy. And many highlight health benefits such as calcium, vitamin A, and omega 3. With alternative meat, only half of the top 25 brands are using two or more of the strategies. This matters for performance as alternative meat brands using two or more of the strategies outperformed competitors by a wide margin of six to one. This analysis tells us there’s real value in applying these insights from behavioural science.” 

Transformed Salami Factory Now Makes Plant-Based Meat and Seafood

Transylvanian salami is world famous, with special protected status in the EU. The region has a tradition of meat processing. Sibiu Salami, a dry-cured pork sausage, covered with a thin layer of mould, is a local delicacy and has been produced since the late 1800s.  But in 2018, the heritage salami factory Salconserv was bought by two entrepreneurs with an ambition to make meat not from animals but from pea protein. 

Raul Ciurtin and Eberhart Raducanu founded a new company: Verdino Green Foods, and transformed the facility into Romania’s first plant-based factory based on pea protein. They began making pea protein salami, sausages, burgers, mince, bacon, mortadella, and breaded cutlets – all 100% plant-based. The company is now well-established in retail and food service and employs 135 people. What began as a start-up, with entirely Romanian capital scaled up in 2021, with finance from Black Peak Capital. The product range has grown continuously. In July 2022, Verdino took over the brands Unfished® and Green Course® from Prefera Foods, adding plant-based seafood and ready meals to their portfolio. With the new diversified range, Verdino became one of the main players in the sector in Europe. The products are available in all main retailers in Romania and in select supermarkets across Europe.  

Raul Ciurtin says: “By taking over Unfished® Verdino now has a plant-based fish and seafood range to reach more market segments. Unfished® is the most extensive plant-based fish range available internationally, with an impressive number of innovative products. We are talking about salmon fillets, white fish fillets, breaded fish sticks, breaded fillets, smoked salmon slices, and salmon and tuna sashimi for sushi – all plant-based and easy to prepare. The star of the Unfished® range is PlantZalmon® Smoked Slices. Not only is it eye-catching, but the salmon-like texture, colour, consistency, familiar bite, and unique taste also make it the perfect treat – with a clear conscience.”  

The dishes have received enthusiastic responses from consumers and clients across the globe. They have won awards for quality, taste, and impact, picking up trophies at the Plant-Based Taste Awards, V-Label Awards, Men’s Health Good Food Awards and PETA Deutschland’s Vegan Food Awards. The company is busy working on a new range of plant-based dairy and cheese and some new ready meals.  

Founder Raul Ciurtin said: “We’ve tried to constantly come up with new products and offer consumers healthier, sustainable food based on vegetable protein. Our ambition is to create a more sustainable and prosperous future for people and the planet and our long-term goal is to become a leading full-range European plant-based food company. We want to work with our stakeholders and help consumers make climate-friendly choices. That is why we produce tasty and healthy alternatives, out of love for consumers and the planet, with the vision of becoming a positive impactful global leader.”  

For more information about Verdino Green Foods plant-based products and company, visit and LinkedIn page

Naturli US Launch, Nestle Ends Plant-Based Brands in The UK and Oxford City Council Goes Plant-Based  

Welcome to our fortnightly business round-up. We have scoured the newspapers, magazines, and digital platforms for the most important plant-based news stories. If you have news for us, why not get in touch? Email us at [email protected] with your stories!  

Company News  

Naturli Butter Launching in US 

Danish plant-based food firm Naturli is launching its plant-based butter in the US. Texas-based retailer H-E-B will start selling the spread in June. US distributor Kehe will also take on the product. Naturli is also in talks about expanding its ice cream sales in the UK via supermarkets.  

Very Good Company in Receivership  

Canadian meat and dairy alternative company The Very Good Food has gone into receivership after failing to secure new finance. The Vancouver-based business will continue to operate while a buyer is being sought.

Nestle Ends Plant-Based Brands in UK and Irish Retail  

Nestle is removing its vegan meat-free Garden Gourmet and alternative-dairy Wunda brands from retail in the UK and Ireland. Garden Gourmet products will still be available for foodservice in the UK and Ireland.  

Market Reports 

Innova’s Top Trends  

Despite inevitable roadblocks, the future for plant-based is rich with innovation and opportunities, according to a report from Innova Market Insights. They list plant-based as one of the top ten trends for 2023. Consumers told Innova that they are concerned about nutritional value, sustainability, global food production, and competitive pricing. 

Sports Nutrition  

The sports nutrition industry is experiencing a trend towards plant-based products in line with more people switching to plant-based eating. The Business Research Company’s Sports Nutrition Global Market Report 2023 notes that manufacturers are introducing plant-based versions of protein bars, powders and drinks. For example, US brand Osage has launched SolvPro, a new line of plant-based protein blends.   

New Foods 

Cultivated Chicken Cleared by FDA 

A second US cultivated meat company has got clearance from the US Food and Drink Administration (FDA). Good Meat, the cultivated meat division of Eat Just, received a “no questions” letter for its cultivated chicken. This follows a similar result for Upside Foods. Good Meat is now working with the US Department of Agriculture to get further approval to enable it to be sold. Good Meat has already launched cultivated chicken in Singapore. 

Demolish Launches Chicken Whole-Cuts 

Indian start-up Demolish Foods has launched plant-based whole-cut chicken breasts. The Bangalore-based alternative-protein company has created protein fibres that mimic the texture and nutritional content of meat. The company was a finalist in the XPRIZE Feed The Next billion competition, where teams compete to make meat alternatives. 

Formo Announces New PF Cream Cheese  

The German precision fermentation company Formo has created an animal-free cream cheese. Formo announced on LinkedIn that the cheese is made with microorganisms instead of milk from cows, “perfect for elevating your bagel, pasta or cheesecake”. 

Chickpea Cheese  

An Israeli company has developed a chickpea isolate that can be used to make plant-based cheese. Green Queen reports that ChickP Protein Ltd is making an isolate that is 90% protein and has a neutral flavour. This follows a prototype creamer ice cream that was released last year. ChickP is currently working on producing Emmental, parmesan and mozzarella. 


Norwich Endorses Plant-Based Treaty  

Norwich has become the third UK city to support the Plant Based Treaty. The local authority will offer plant-based food in council spaces, including markets, events, and leisure centres. So far, over 20 cities and towns worldwide have endorsed the treaty. 

Green Standard Schools Signs Pp  

The Plant Based Treaty has also been endorsed by Green Standards Schools, a global association of language schools committed to protecting the environment. 

Oxford City Council Goes Plant-Based  

Oxford City Council has voted to serve plant-based food at councillor events. Plant Based News reports that the councillors voted unanimously to ban meat at internal catered events. 

Retail and foodservice  

Meat-Free Month at Burger King in Copenhagen 

A branch of Burger King in Copenhagen has ditched meat for a month. Meat items were taken off the menu at the Radhuspladsen restaurant from March 15. Plant Based News reports that patties and fillets from the Vegetarian Butcher will replace the traditional fillings. 

Julienne Bruno in Ocado  

Artisanal vegan cheese brand Julienne Bruno has secured a listing with UK retailer Ocado. The range is made from organic soya and coconut oil using a unique fermenting process that took two years to perfect. 

Plant-Based Food Alliance – We Need a Roadmap For The Plant-Based Food Industry

Uniting to promote the plant-based food industry at the top level is crucial to tackling the multiple challenges the sector faces. This was a strong message from the recent Plant-Based World Insider Talks – a forum for leading thought leaders in the sector. Marisa Heath is the Chief Executive of the Plant-Based Food Alliance, a UK non-profit coalition of organisations committed to driving forward plant-based. She told Insider Talks that lobbying government together is now vital to enable plant-based businesses to thrive.  

The overarching objective of the Alliance is to have a seat at the table for policy formation. Marisa Heath pointed out that recently plant-based was largely absent from policy forums and ignored from decision-making, compared to the huge influence that animal agriculture has in government circles: “We all know the livestock industry has been the main influencer of food policy. They have strong connections in the government and have been very effective in lobbying. There are also elements of resistance to plant-based food, with some narratives that we’re undermining British farming, telling people what they shouldn’t eat, and pushing highly processed foods that lack the nutritional value of meat and dairy. These false narratives have been built up by the animal industry.”  

This has led to specific threats for the plant-based industry: “Now that we are out of Europe, the reform bill is looking at what legislation to keep, bin or amend. This is a huge risk. The government are considering what to do about dairy descriptors. If they want to stop using phrases like plant-based alternative to mozzarella or misspellings such as Mylk that will be problematic. Changes to nutritional labelling could also have huge ramifications for our sector.”  

Despite these challenges, the Plant Based Food Alliance has a strategy for change: “When I started in government over 18 years ago, I worked in the environment and animal welfare arena. Back then, it was considered really niche, and we had very little influence. It’s changed recently. We’ve had strong outcomes: lots of new legislation, strong engagement with industry and the Department for Business and Trade, and new funding initiatives for alternative proteins from UK Research and Innovation. We’ve started to have positive conversations with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). I think it’s starting to happen because, as a sector, we are coming together. We also have NGOs who are putting pressure on the government to make changes to food systems.”  

Marisa Heath believes the best way to influence is to prove that plant-based food is of value to the government. “The more I’m in this arena, the more I think we solve so many problems for the government. We can solve issues around net zero, land management issues, air pollution, nature recovery, health, economic growth, and innovation. Plant-based food creates jobs and economic growth. We have some government funds for alternative proteins, but we need much more access to funding.”    

An important part of the Alliance’s strategy, and an immediate priority, is building a roadmap. Marisa Heath says it is time for the plant-based sector to up its game: “The meat industry has done very well in creating strategies and has a clear roadmap. We don’t yet have this in the plant-based industry. The government is influenced by those who know the system, and the animal industry does. It has benefited from the government having subsidised them and told the public to buy their products. I understand for plant-based businesses, government engagement doesn’t return quick money. But government influence will deliver big time in the long run. If we have a long-term vision, we can get immense returns.”     

One area where plant-based businesses would benefit from a roadmap is public procurement. The public sector spends about 2.4bn per year procuring food and catering services and the Alliance is calling for much more plant-based food purchased for offices, hospitals, prisons, and schools. They would also like to see land use shifted from livestock production to plant-based so that companies can get the ingredients they need from the UK. “We need the government to start nudging the public away from meat and dairy and letting them know that plant-based food is healthy and nutritious. We need to really push that into the mainstream.”  

Maris Heath also believes that better collaboration with the meat industry would be helpful.  

“I’ve worked across both sectors as I used to work in animal health and welfare in the meat and dairy industry. My view is that we should approach them and say we can solve your problems. You’ve just got to stop denying the problems and get down to the facts, and we can help you. We know that lots of companies are diversifying. Companies like Danone and Pilgrim are working across the space. We’ve got to have honest grown-up conversations with them. We’re all on the same side because it’s about the future of our planet. We need to work together. We’re very keen to have conferences on farming, for example, inviting the NFU and saying stop acting like we don’t exist. Come and speak to us because we’re producing food as well. We need to reach across and say let’s solve the problems together.” 

SPG Innovation: Shaping The Future of Plant-Based

SPG Innovation is a food tech company creating, scaling and marketing new foods. They have food grade research and development facilities and a focus on sustainable nutrition. They help start-ups make prototypes and scale up and enable bigger well-established companies to add innovations to their ranges. They support clients with navigating regulations, including writing novel food dossiers. They also offer grant writing and project management services. The team of food scientists and chefs work on various projects, some funded by Innovate UK and some privately financed.  

The start-up, based in Nottingham, UK, is the brainchild of chemist Dr Sarah Gaunt. She explains: “We want to create food that is healthy for humans and the planet. For example, we’ve recently worked with clients on re-using waste streams, reducing salt, sugars and fats, avoiding mono crops and using locally grown ingredients.” 

Sarah Gaunt works with business partner Rebecca McDowell, who has a background in chemistry, and with their team advises on a whole range of issues of relevance to plant-based food companies. The team are passionate about waste reduction. For example, they have researched into how bean hulls, a by-product of pea processing, can be returned to the food chain. They also use bacteria to ferment bread waste to make a new probiotic yogurt drink.  

In addition to serving the food industry, the founders have started a new plant-based food enterprise of their own. They have formed a separate spin-off company called Rootiful to produce and sell new foods. One product in development is a textured vegetable protein (TVP) that uses by-products from UK-grown ingredients. They also have something ready for market: New-fu, a tofu-like ingredient made from British-grown beans and pulses rather than soy. New-fu comes in three varieties: Tikka Lentil, Siracha Quinoa and BBQ Pea. New-fu was launched at Plant Based World Expo in London in November 2022. Their aim is to sell New-fu via food service and retail.   

Rebecca McDowell explains the idea behind Rootiful: It came about through a collaboration with the University of Leeds and Baker Perkins Ltd. Our market research identified key opportunities in the plant-based food market: firstly, a need to reduce dependency on the overseas imported protein isolates that are used in most plant-based products on the shelves, contributing to air miles and supply chain fragility; secondly, retailer shelves are full of products pretending to be meat, but lack diversity. Rootiful has developed a consumer range that uses local ingredients to create innovative centre-plate options that celebrate vegetables for what they are, rather than mimicking meat.”  

She adds that the New-fu launch at Plant Based World Expo was a catalyst for getting the product market-ready: “Our team pulled out all the stops to make this possible, and we received some amazing feedback from the event that motivated us to progress further.” The team are now sending out samples to retailers and foodservice. They are talking to universities, schools, leisure centres and restaurants about doing trials: “We’re starting to gather momentum. Everyone who’s tasted it was very positive and liked the concept and the price.”   

The company’s long-term goal is to be a leader in the plant-based sector and to shape its future. Sarah Gaunt is motivated by the desire to support the protein shift from meat to plants. “There are problems that we can sort out. We can’t just keep replicating meat, as the market is flooded with replacements to a point where we need new technologies and innovations and some radical thinking about what goes on our plates. We can support that concept generation. As the sector grows, there are also questions around ingredients, such as why are we importing ingredients and not using more locally grown crops? How can we texturise vegetable protein and make it interesting to eat without extrusion? Extrusion takes a lot of energy, needs protein isolates, and only works at scale. How do we reduce the ingredient list and make healthier, less processed products? These are things we’ve been working on. And we’ve got quite a lot of expertise around those issues.” 

Veganuary 2023 Results, Impossible Foods’ Leaner Meat and Eat Just Staff Lay-offs

Welcome to our fortnightly business round-up. We have scoured the newspapers, magazines, and digital platforms for the most important plant-based news stories. If you have news for us, why not get in touch? Email us at [email protected] with your stories! 


Veganuary Results  

Veganuary has published its review of its 2023 campaign. A record-breaking 700,000 people officially signed up, with participants in almost every country in the world. A YouGov survey found that participation was much higher than official sign-ups, with 4% of respondents in the UK, 9% in Germany and 5% in the US taking part. Over 1,610 new vegan products and menu options were launched globally during the campaign.  

You can read the full report here. 

Queen Mary University of London Votes for Plant-Based Food  

Following the Cambridge Students’ Union’s decision to go plant-based, Queen Mary University of London has voted to do the same. The Plant-Based university’s campaign calls on universities and student unions across the UK to adopt plant-based catering.  

Market Research 

Consumers Open to Precision Fermentation  

A new study has found that 77% of those familiar with precision fermentation are likely to buy products made with its ingredients. The survey of 2,500 US adults, by Hartman for Cargill and Perfect Day, found that most consumers had a positive opinion of the benefits of science and technology on our food system. More than half said they would be willing to drastically change their lifestyle to be more environmentally friendly. 

Chinese Attitudes to Plant-Based Food 

Chinese consumers reveal positive attitudes to plant-based meat in a report published in the Journal of Integrative Agriculture. The survey of 600 consumers in four cities in China found that 82% had purchased plant-based meat.  

Company News  

Nex Gen foods Acquire Mwah!  

The Singapore plant-based meat company Next Gen has acquired UK plant-based dairy start-up Mwah! The Mwah! cashew ice cream is currently available in two outlets in London. Next Gen Foods said it would look into expanding Mwah! in the UK, US and Germany.  

Tofurkey Acquired by Morinaga  

Leading US vegan brand Tofurkey has been bought by Morianga Nutritional Foods. Morinaga is part of the Tokyo-based dairy company Morinaga Milk Group, and was previously the tofu supplier for Tofurkey.  

Eat Just Laying Off Staff 

California plant-based company Eat Just has announced job losses in its Just Egg division. The company said the cuts do not affect Good Meat, the company’s cultivated meat division.  

Impossible Foods Launches Leaner Meat  

Impossible Foods has launched a leaner version of its mince. Impossible Beef Lite is designed to be leaner than its animal counterpart with 21 grams of fat and no trans fats or cholesterol.  

Ish and Dot deal  

Vegconomist reports that The ISH Company, a US plant-based seafood supplier has reached a deal with Dot Foods, the largest food distributor in North America. ISH says the deal will enable it to expand across the US.  

Konscious Foods Launch  

New Vancouver-based Konscious Foods™ has launched a range of plant-based sushi rolls, onigiri, and poké bowls at the Expo West in California. The brand, created by Gardein founder Yves Potvin, aims to make plant-based seafood price-equivalent to its fish-based counterpart.  

SunOpta New Factory  

US plant-based dairy company SunOpta has opened a new $125 million manufacturing factory in Midlothian, Texas. The 285,000-square-foot facility will make plant-based milk in different-sized packages for food service, retail and e-commerce.   

Cabbage Protein  

UK company Naylor Nutrition is upscaling its operation that turns cabbage trimmings into protein. The company has got finance worth $37 million from Invest International to build a factory with Dutch company Colubris.  


Hershey’s Launch Vegan Reece’s Cups 

The Hershey Co has announced the arrival of Reece’s Plant Based Peanut Butter Cups. The oat chocolate confectionery will be the company’s first to be sold throughout the US. A second offering: Hershey’s Plant Based Extra Creamy with Almond and Sea Salt will follow in April.  

PlantX Deal With Affirm  

Plant-based shopping app PlantX has announced a partnership with the payment network Affirm. Affirm offers different payment options such as fortnightly or monthly instalments.  


Plant City X Opens at Bryant  

Plant City X has opened a new outlet at Bryant University in Rhode Island, USA. It is the third location for the plant-based fast-food eatery.  

MyGovindas Expansion Plans  

Dubai-based Indian vegetarian chain MyGovindas is expanding throughout the UAE and beyond. Director Sanjit Advani told Arabian Business that the company want to cater to the growing number of customers seeking more sustainable and plant-based meals. MyGovindas is also looking at launching US and European franchises.  

Second Plantude in Seoul 

A second Plantude restaurant is opening in Seoul, South Korea. The eatery, owned by plant-based food company Pulmone, will be in Seoul’s central Yongsan district.  

Mr Meat Goes Meat-Free  

In Eindhoven, NL, the Mr Meat BBQ restaurant has taken meat off the menu. The eatery has rebranded as Mr No Meat and will serve only vegetarian and vegan dishes

Precision Fermentation Alliance – Championing a Resilient and Sustainable Food System

Nine precision fermentation companies have united to form the Precision Fermentation Alliance (PFA). A new trade group to champion the process as a reliable and sustainable food system. The founding companies (Change Foods, The EVERY Co, Helaina, Imagindairy, Motif FoodWorks, New Culture, Onego Bio, Perfect Day, and Remilk) say it will be an industry voice and global association for the sector. 

Irina Gerry
Irina Gerry CMO at Change Foods and Vice Chair of the PFA.

Irina Gerry is Chief Marketing Officer at Change Foods and is Vice Chair of the PFA. She told Plant Based World Pulse that setting up an alliance was an obvious and necessary step: “We decided we need to join forces because we’re all commercialising similar applications of this technology. We have a lot of work to do presenting it to consumers, retailers, manufacturers, and regulators. We feel this is very much needed.”   

The idea of a joined-up approach is not new. The main precision fermentation companies have been discussing the need for a common nomenclature, description, and approach to regulation for several years. Irina Gerry explains: “We knew we needed to join forces. The only question was how quickly could we organise something. We have start-ups in different parts of the world with different worldviews, but ultimately, we are one industry and category. As sector leaders, we are engaged in a revolutionary development, and we need to be upfront and lead the conversation.”  

Precision fermentation offers a brand new consumer benefit – the experience and nutrition of animal products made without animals. The PFA recognises the need to communicate overtly, explain how it works, and answer questions. They also need to communicate to consumers with allergies, such as milk or egg proteins, about the potential for allergic reactions, given that the proteins made via precision fermentation are molecularly identical to those from animals. 

The PFA is envisaged as an accelerator that can help reduce barriers to market category entry. Irina Gerry explains: “A lot of developments are happening. Many companies, whether start-ups, large companies, or ingredient manufacturers, want to commercialise this technology, but we need regulatory pathways, investment, and a common language. Failing to sort those could slow down progress to market and consumer adoption. The PFA can prepare the road and give companies a smoother path, so they don’t have to tackle everything independently.”  

The PFA has identified three key pillars with work streams for these key priority areas. The first of these is marketing and communications. Irina Gerry says: “We need the basics: What do you call it? How do we label it? We need to be clear and upfront with consumers about what it is and isn’t.  Retailers need to know where it goes in the store. Manufacturers need to know what to tell consumers. It is a massive undertaking, starting with the basics of what we call it and how we position the category to the industry and consumers.”  

The second pillar is regulatory. Irina Gerry continues: “Food is regulated, so we must follow the requirements within each market. We want to ensure that companies commercialising these ingredients follow the regulations and that the regulators understand the technology. So we need to engage with regulators in different territories and ensure that we are as cohesive as possible.”  

The third pillar is advocacy and policy – engaging with policymakers and government institutions to reinforce the technology’s environmental benefits.  Irina Gerry adds:   “When you think about the huge transformation we need in our food system, many governments see it as a major contributor to climate change. One of the ways to address the problem is to scale this technology which is much more sustainable. But we’re competing with animal agriculture, that’s very well developed. There’s almost no infrastructure for precision fermentation. It hasn’t been used at the scale that we need it to be. So there is a tremendous role for government institutions in building infrastructure and for us in promoting policies. Individual companies can only do so much. The PFA can be a unified voice to help bring this forward with policymakers.”  

The PFA is actively recruiting new members. They are finalising their membership structure with tiers for different types of organisations, including companies and NGOs. Irina Gerry concludes: “We absolutely want to collaborate with companies across the food ecosystem, including plant-based brands. Some might end up using ingredients made via precision fermentation to boost nutritional value or functionality. Impossible Burger is a perfect example of such fusion. It is a predominantly plant-based product that uses heme made via precision fermentation to give it a meaty flavour and colour. Today, I would not characterize products made with precision fermentation proteins as plant-based, given the allergen considerations and consumer understanding of what plant-based means. They’re not the same as plant-based because they contain molecularly identical animal proteins or fats. But they’re made without animals. So it’s a new category.” 

Plant-Based Deliveries – Deliveroo’s Head of Vegan Elena Devis on the Success of the Category

It has been a challenging year for online food deliveries, but the vegan category may prove to be more robust than others. In the UK, as consumers cut their spending, restaurant delivery and takeaway sales have dropped. Delivery and takeaway sales in the UK have fallen over the past 15 months as consumers rein in spending. However, the vegan category is still a growth area. At the recent Hostech conference, Uber Eats reported that the two categories to show the biggest growth on the platform were vegan and coffee.  

Deliveroo now offers more than 15,000 plant-based and vegan-friendly restaurants across the UK. The platform went all out for Veganuary with exclusive limited edition offerings from top restaurants and bakeries.   

Elena Devis is Head of Vegan Category at Deliveroo. She is one of the main drivers behind Deliveroo’s pioneering and enthusiastic approach to vegan online deliveries. At the recent Plant Based World Insider Talks webinar she shared her views on why the vegan category has been relatively successful. She accepted that online delivery is facing challenges, with the double-digit growth seen over the past three years now slowing down. However, she believes that the company has worked hard to support plant-based choices by making it easier for consumers to find more of the options they want.    

She described three pillars that she believes have been crucial to the category’s success.  

Pillar 1: Availability of Vegan Products. “I started at Deliveroo in 2018. I remember it was pretty much impossible to find vegan options on the platform. And the ones there didn’t have the right labels, which was very confusing. We’ve come a long way from that. We now have more than 50,000 menus, restaurants and grocers offering vegan options. Availability has been arguably the number one driver of the category’s success. I think what’s important is that we now have options across different times of day and for all occasions. It’s not just vegan burgers. We have tofu scrambles for breakfast, Buddha bowls for lunch, and kebabs, pizzas, and curries for dinner. The growth across cuisines has been amazing.”    

Pillar 2: User Experience. “This is incredibly important for online sales. It includes menu tabs, filters, banners, and item labels. Last year we released a new feature that allows restaurants to add dietary labels to each item. We’ve got vegan, plant-based, gluten-free, keto, and paleo, so not just dietary requirements but also lifestyle choices. How we display these options on the platform is so important. If the options are there, and consumers can’t find them, we’ve got a problem.”   

Pillar 3: Emotional Connection. “A few years ago, we weren’t really talking about this, but now we include plant-based, health and sustainability messages in marketing campaigns, newsletters, and social media. We need to get the platform to a place where we build an emotional bond with consumers because that’s what will keep them coming back.  

We need to understand the different types of people buying into plant-based, or not buying. We need to understand their motivations, or lack of motivation, and tailor our content to those needs. We need super-bespoke content for each consumer audience, whether that’s price, health, or sustainability.” 

“I want to open my Deliveroo app and see exactly what I’m looking for. I want a platform that understands my needs and gives me the correct information and options. For example, if I’m on my period and want something sweet, I want Deliveroo to understand that. Customers want that level of personalisation. When you log in to Spotify and Netflix, you feel they know you. That’s what differentiates them. Everyone can find food online. But if they can also find content that helps them achieve their goals or feel better about themselves, they’ll choose you.” 

As well as making it easier for consumers to find food that aligns with their tastes, lifestyle choices and values, Deliveroo has worked closely with suppliers. Elena Devis shares: “We worked hard to show restaurants the commercial value of selling plant-based food. Some brands will sell those products as a branding decision and a commitment to sustainability without necessarily considering the commercial implications. If that is the case, it is amazing. But 99% of brands need some justification to invest in plant-based. So we did a lot of engagement to get brands on board. It is a big challenge because many restaurants are not in a position to invest in innovation. So we need many more successful case studies to continue to move the needle. We know that about 31% of our audience is either vegan, vegetarian or into plant-based eating. So it’s a no-brainer. If they don’t offer at least one plant-based option, they’ll miss out on those orders.”  

Brand Stories: Captivating Meat Lovers With Plants

At Plant-based World Expo Europe, Redefine Meat™ was noticeable for the constant queues for its signature new-meat and the look of deep satisfaction on the faces of those who’d sampled it.   

Redefine’s new-meat is very realistic. The creators have managed to produce bloody fibrous steaks with creamy marbling that mimics animal flesh and fat. Not only is the product different, so are the intended outlets. The company has focussed on capturing the meat market.  

Redefine Meat is already in nearly 1000 locations in Europe and Israel including steak houses, restaurants, and even butchers’ shops. Before serving Redefine Meat™, most of these outlets had never offered plant-based options.  

Redefine Meat is an Israeli company with offices in Israel, NL, Germany, and the UK. It was founded in 2018 by Eshchar Ben-Shitrit and Adam Lahav. It was funded by leading investors in the food tech and alternative proteins space. The company has around 300 staff. It is currently available in foodservice and from wholesalers in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, France and in foodservice and retail in Israel. All products are 100% vegan.  

CEO and Co-founder Eschar Ben-Shitrit explains that their products are designed with meat-lovers in mind: “A key difference between Redefine Meat and other companies is that most of the existing alternative-meat companies appeal to vegetarians and vegans. These two categories of consumers already follow a plant-based diet. Therefore, their environmental impact is limited. Redefine Meat, on the other hand, targets flexitarians and omnivores, giving them a viable, delicious alternative to traditional meat, and helping decrease its consumption – a step urgently needed in the fight against climate change. In the case of our premium cuts, they are the only product in this category in the market, replacing beef or other livestock cuts from the dish – and not competing with others on market share.”  

Since launching in 2021, the company has quadrupled its points of sale and launched another seven products. Today, Redefine Meat offers a portfolio of 13 products for foodservice, spanning beef, lamb, and pork. Eshchar Ben-Shitrit adds: “We are working hard on all fronts but also in a very structured and strategic way, expanding our product portfolio with items that answer the needs of local markets, reaching new countries together with local distributors and partners, and scaling a production facility in Best, Netherlands, to support our growth.”  

The founders are on a personal quest to create plant-based meat that appeals to non-vegans and non-vegetarians. They both came from business leadership roles in global tech companies. They brought to Redefined Meat their broad background in tech and innovation and a passion for good food and for the environment and a desire to tackle one of the most pressing problems of our time.  

Eschar Ben-Shitrit defines what drove the entrepreneurs: “We founded the company out of a passion for meat and a devotion to our planet. We love the experience of cooking and eating meat but are concerned about its environmental effects.  We searched for a way to continue enjoying great meat without harming animals and producing the environmental pollution that occurs in traditional meat production.”  

He continues: “From the beginning, we set our sights on creating new-meat that mimicked traditional meat across all five senses. We studied meat down to its tiniest components and then used advanced food and manufacturing technologies to replicate its behaviour using plant-based ingredients. This enabled us not just to launch a portfolio of minced products but also pulled beef and, most significantly, the world’s first commercially available premium cuts of plant-based meat – long considered technologically impossible. The best response is the wide acclaim by chefs, critics, and diners. Today, new-meat is proudly on the menu of top restaurants, in steakhouses, speciality caterers hundreds of other establishments that, until now, had not offered plant-based meat.” 

Redefine Meat has just released a Bratwurst and a new category of pulled meat: lamb, beef, and pork. They are gearing up to release the next version of their flank cuts and have the additional product in the pipeline.  

Recipes, tips, news, and updated locations can be found on The company’s website and digital channels Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and TikTok. They would love to hear from diners and industry experts with feedback, requests, or questions. So reach out if you would like to know more.  

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Plant Based World Pulse is a go-to resource for the plant-based industry. Offering high-value insights, educational content, and the latest information year-round, it compliments the annual industry events Plant Based World Expo North America in New York City and Plant Based World Expo Europe in London.