Businesses operating within the sustainable food industry are attracting a growing amount of attention. Investors have flocked to partake and as a result, vegan companies are scaling up production and expanding around the world.
Here’s the latest in the vegan and cruelty-free business scene.
Next Gen Foods debuts vegan chicken in UAE, welcomes Tesla veteran to the board
Next Gen Foods has just launched its flagship product, TiNDLE vegan chicken, in the UAE. The product packs 17g of protein per serving and contains no GMO ingredients, antibiotics, or cholesterol.
The launch is the first time the product has been available outside of Asia. TiNDLE is already offered in around 100 restaurants in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Macau.
CEO Andre Menezes co-founded Next Gen just last year.
He said in a statement: “The UAE has become one of the world’s top restaurant destinations, with a cosmopolitan mix of international influences and globally savvy chefs who love to experiment.
“As the world begins to open up, people are venturing out to celebrate and socialize — and they’re looking for a big upgrade from boring chicken.”
It’s not the only landmark Next Gen has reached recently. The food tech startup just welcomed its first independent board member: forma Tesla and Impossible Foods executive Rachel Konrad.
Konrad serves as an advisor and board member for companies working to tackle the climate crisis. She was Director of Communications at Tesla in the US and Europe, where she reported directly to Elon Musk.
Most recently, Konrad spent five years as Impossible Foods’ Chief Communications Officer.
“We can’t solve our planet’s climate and extinction crises without radical changes to the food system — including a rapid shift away from animal agriculture,” she said in a statement.
“Next Gen Foods’ leadership team stands out for its passion and ambition to develop food that represents a categorical upgrade from Old Meat — and the company’s first product is an absolute blast to cook,” Konrad added.
CEO Menezes says that Konrad will help the team ramp up expansion to ‘every major market globally’.
Cultured meat company New Age to open 20,000 sq. ft. facility in California
New Age Meats, a cultured meat company based in Berkeley, has scooped up $25 million in a Series A funding round. The company has now raised $32 million to date.
Hanwha Solutions of South Korea led the recent round. Existing investors SOSV’s IndieBio, TechU Ventures, ff VC, and Siddhi Capital also participated.
New Age will use the funds to build a 20,000-square-foot pilot manufacturing facility in Alameda, California. Further, it plans to double the size of its workforce.
Founded in 2018, New Age produces hybrid meat products, containing plant-based protein and cultured meat.
The company plans to launch its first product line in the US next year. Specifically, a variety of pork sausages.
“We’re borrowing the best of what cell-cultured meat has to offer, which is the mimicry of actual animal based meat, right, combined with the other [plant-based] components that require us to build the full finished product,” New Age Founder Brian Spears told FoodNavigator-USA.
Hooked Foods to launch vegan shredded salmon after reeling in €3.8 million
Swedish vegan seafood company Hooked Foods has snagged €3.8 million in a recent financing round. Brightly Ventures, Oyster Bay VC, and musician Danny Saucedo participated in the round.
Hooked produces meat-free tuna out of ingredients like soybeans, sunflower oil, algae, apple extract, and beetroot powder.
The company, founded in 2019, will use the recent investment to ramp up its R&D. The company is also gearing up to launch plant-based shredded salmon, which Hooked claims is the first of its kind on the market.
Hooked also intends to introduce plant-based calamari and shrimp in the future.
Spudsy raises $3.3 million, plans to upcycle 1 million potatoes by end of the year
Vegan snack brand Spudsy has netted $3.3 million in Series A funding. KarpReilly and Stage 1 Fund led the round. Spudsy, which launched in 2018, has now raised $6.3 million in total.
Spudsy creates plant-based chips out of sweet potatoes. The brand offers puffs, available in five flavors, and fries, which come in four flavors. They are gluten-free, kosher, and contain no GMO ingredients.
According to Spudsy, 150 million pounds of sweet potatoes end up in landfills each year. This is because of imperfections or differences in size, color, or shape.
The company ‘upcycles’ these vegetables, and is on track to save 1 million sweet potatoes by the end of this year.