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Legendairy Foods, the Berlin-based food tech using precision fermentation to develop animal-free dairy proteins, has announced its rebrand to Formo. The new name is designed as a consumer-facing brand as the biotech’s team continues to grow and accelerate its mission to bring real dairy cheeses with its fermentation-cultivated animal-free dairy proteins to cheese-lovers all over the world.
Formo, the food tech that rebranded from Legendairy Foods on Wednesday (April 21), said that the name change comes as it moves to bring its animal-free products to consumers. The Berlin-based food tech is the first European startup to use precision fermentation technology to cultivate its dairy products, which are bio-identical to its bovine-based counterparts but requires no slaughter, no antibiotics and comes at a fraction of the environmental footprint.
“We started with Legendairy Foods as a brand to establish ourselves in the precision fermentation space. With the best talent on board and our first validated prototypes, it is the right time for us to launch a protectable consumer brand,” explained CEO Raffael Wohlgensinger, who co-founded the startup with Dr. Britta Winterberg in 2019.
“Our new brand communicates our vision and values: changing the food system through delicious animal-free products.”
Formo translates to “I mold, I form” in Latin, and its historical origins is closely linked to ancient Roman cheesemaking traditions. The food tech says the name better reflects its mission to bring consumers authentic, hedonistic European cheeses, but made ethically and sustainably.
“Our team wants to make the best of European cheese culture enjoyable to the whole world,” co-founder and CSO Dr. Winterberg explains.
Our new brand communicates our vision and values: changing the food system through delicious animal-free products.Raffael Wohlgensinger, Co-Founder & CEO, Formo
“We pioneer new ways of making the hedonistic cheese products we all love, but with better, more sustainable technology and a good conscience. Formo represents our ambition to remix the heritage by combining tradition with breakthrough science.”
“We identify ourselves as a purpose-driven company, and the Formo brand allows us to move beyond traditional dairy in the future as well,” added Roman Plewka, CFO at Formo.
Having already developed its initial precision fermentation dairy prototypes, Formo says the timeline to bring its first products to consumers will be around later this year. The startup is collaborating with a Michelin-starred chef to host an exclusive product demonstration event, as well as conduct a consumer acceptance study on cultivated dairy products.
Our team wants to make the best of European cheese culture enjoyable to the whole world. We pioneer new ways of making the hedonistic cheese products we all love, but with better, more sustainable technology.Dr. Britta Winterberg, Co-Founder & CSO, Formo
The technology that Formo uses to develop its dairy products is based on microorganisms, which are encoded with milk DNA sequences and grown in a fermenter until the protein can be harvested.
These milk proteins are then combined with plant-based fats and carbohydrates to form the base for cheesemaking, where traditional fermentation techniques are used to turn the product into a whole range of artisanal cheeses.
We identify ourselves as a purpose-driven company, and the Formo brand allows us to move beyond traditional dairy in the future as well.Roman Plewka, CFO, Formo
Formo is among the small but growing cohort of startups tapping fermentation to develop real dairy proteins, among them Bay Area-based first-mover food tech Perfect Day, Australia-U.S. startup Change Foods and Israel’s Remilk. The same technology is also being leveraged by Clara Foods, a startup making bio-identical egg proteins without chickens.
Since its founding, Formo has gained the backing of Agronomics, the British alternative protein firm whose portfolio includes some of the leading cell-based and plant-based startups, such as cultivated seafood maker BlueNalu, Dutch lab-grown beef pioneers Mosa Meat and vegan chicken nugget brand Rebellyous Foods.
All images courtesy of Formo.