Cultivated Fish, Funding News, Plant-Based Seafood Trends, New Product Listings and More
Welcome to our round-up of plant-based news. We have been keeping across what has been happening in the sector over the past fortnight. We have and scoured newspapers, magazines, and digital platforms to bring you the most interesting plant-based stories. If you have news for us, why not get in touch? Please email us at [email protected] with your news.
Plant-Based Seafood Trend
Sales of plant-based seafood are showing signs of growth. Between 2019 and 2022, the category saw a 53% growth in unit sales. While plant-based meat may have plateaued, the few start-ups in the plant-based seafood space are attracting funding. Keerthi Vedantam at Crunchbase News explains the evolving trend.
Israeli food-tech company, Steakholder Foods, has made cultivated fish fillets from grouper fish cells from the Singapore company Umami Meats. Testers reported that the cultivated fish had an impressive taste and flakiness. The collaboration with Umami Meats received funding from the Singapore-Israel Industrial R&D Foundation (SIIRD). It aims to scale up the production of cultivated fish using 3D bio-printing technology and customised bio-inks. The companies are hoping to bring the food to market next year, first in Singapore, and then gain regulatory approval for sale in the US and Japan.
California-based Plant-based egg and meat start-up Every Co is partnering with Alpha Foods to develop meat alternatives using animal-free egg whites made with microbes. The EveryEggWhites will provide binding and gelling qualities to make products more meat-like. The product could eventually replace methylcellulose in plant-based food.
Abu Dhabi’s Switch Foods has a new 2,000-square-metre plant in the Khalifa Industrial Zone. The factory can produce 1000kg of plant meat per hour or 8000 kg per day and will produce plant-based kebabs, kofta, patties and mince. The products will be available in supermarkets across the country later this month. Switch CEO Edward Hamod said the factory will enable the region to reduce its dependence on imported plant-based food.
Chunk Foods Raises $15 Million
Israeli-based Chunk Foods has raised seed funding worth $15 million. The money will be used to build one of the world’s biggest plant-based whole cuts factory. The facility will be finished by the summer of 2023 and will be able to produce millions of steaks per year. . It is the biggest seed funding for an Israeli plant-based company. Investors include Fall Line Capital, the MIT E14 fund, and Robert Downey Jr’s Footprint Coalition
Mellody plant-based honey has partnered with Eleven Madison Home to make the product available direct to US consumers. Mellody is made without bees but tastes and performs like conventional honey. It was launched last month by MeliBio. The company raised $2.2 million last November. It is planning to launch in Europe through a partnership with Narayan Foods.
Meatless Farm New Range
Meatless Farm has launched four new products for UK retail. New items include plant-based meat-filled pasta, Chorizo-style Sausages and New York Style Cheeze Burgers. The new products are available in Sainsbury’s and Ocado.
Native Snacks in M&S
Native Snacks, the UK company making vegan prawn crackers, will be stocked in Marks and Spencer in the UK. Native Snacks Original Pr*wn Crackers are already in British supermarkets, including Ocado, Planet Organic, Whole Foods and Asda, as well as restaurants, including Yo! And Travelodge.
BettaF!sh in Vending Machines
Vending machines in offices, airports, railway stations and hospitals in Germany will offer BettaF!sh plant-based tuna sandwiches. They will be available in Foodji vending machines across the country. This follows BettaF!sh’s entry into European stores and on board Japan Airlines.
Ontario Universities Learn Plant-Based Cooking
Chefs from Ontario universities have been trained in plant-based cooking in order to offer more choices to students. The programme was a partnership with the Humane Society International’s Food Forward programme. The universities are boosting their vegan options in response to student demand. The universities’ goal is for 40% of the menu to be plant-based by January 2024 and 50% by 2025.