As plant-based foods continue to expand into the mainstream, the sector is attracting interest and investment from all quarters, including producers of traditional animal-based products, as well as generating an endless array of startups. Read on to find out more about the latest developments in this fast-evolving sector.
TRENDS & PROJECTIONS
- A new study in China indicates a 90% acceptance rate for environmentally sustainable cultured meat in the country.
- Deliveroo has experienced a 117% surge in searches for vegan food options since Veganuary 2021.
- Meanwhile, Veganuary 2022 celebrated over 600,000 sign-ups in January this year.
- Cultured meat passes the taste test, according to Time magazine.
- Aldi has launched a vegan cheese in the UK, underpricing major brands.
- M&S has expanded its vegan Plant Kitchen range to 175 products.
- Unilever’s The Vegetarian Butcher is now available at mainstream retail outlets in Singapore.
- As part of its commitment to go 50% meat-free by 2030, Burger King is now serving vegan nuggets.
- Starbucks has finally dropped its extra charge on dairy-free milk.
- Brand-new London pizzeria NXT LVL PZA is partnering with some of the biggest names in plant-based meat to create ‘secretly vegan’ pizzas in order to encourage omnivores to switch to a plant-based diet.
- McDonald’s vegan McPlant Burger is now available in all UK Outlets.
- Oatly’s Barista variant has become the first plant-based milk to be served onboard Germany’s national train line.
- ITC Limited – one of the biggest conglomerates in India – has announced that it will enter the plant-based-meat space.
- Danish Crown, Europe’s biggest pork producer and the largest beef processor in Denmark, has also entered the plant-based sector – with a range of plant-based food under its Den Grønne Slagter brand.
- Cauldron has become the first plant-based brand in the UK to achieve carbon neutral certification.
- French cheese brand Babybel and Korean cheese brand Yangyoo have both launched plant-based versions of their much-loved products.
INGREDIENTS SUPPLIERS/NEW TECHNOLOGIES
- NuCicer new super chickpea variety, developed using wild genetic diversity, boasts 75% higher protein content than conventional chickpeas.
- FoodIngredientsFirst looks at the development of algae with neutral taste and colour to enable more discreet plant-based fortification.
- Danone North America is partnering with Future Food Tech to launch an innovation challenge aimed at improving the properties of vegan cheese.
- FoodIngredientsFirst explores the question of whether biotech can offer an environmentally more sustainable alternative to egg-white protein.
- Fava beans could become the next big thing in plant protein, according to Food Dive.
ONES TO WATCH OUT FOR
- Mosa Meat eliminates fetal bovine serum from the cultured-meat equation without the use of GM.
- Cultured beef is set to land on US store shelves later this year, according to FoodIngredientsFirst.
- South Korea’s alt-protein industry is on fire, according to Green Queen.
STARTUP & FINANCIAL
- Plantish has unveiled a whole-cut plant-based salmon prototype.
- UK-based Omni (a ProVeg Incubator alumnus ) has secured £1.1 million in a first funding round for its plant-based dog food.
- The Live Green Co (also a ProVeg Incubator alumnus ) has raised $7 million in funding in order to make food cleaner and more sustainable using AI-driven plant-based ingredients.
- Scientists in Finland have developed a fungi-based egg white.
- Pearlita, the latest startup seeking to disrupt the seafood sector, has announced the opening of a new research lab to grow oysters using cellular agriculture.
- Remilk (another ProVeg Incubator alumnus ) is scaling up the production and availability of its dairy-identical milk protein.
- France and Austria have called on Brussels to develop a plant-based protein strategy for the EU.
- Doctors in the UK have claimed that a shift to plant-based diets would reduce public healthcare expenditure by at least £30 billion.