Future Food Quick Bites: Crownless Pineapples, Spent Coffee Cookies & A Brat Summer

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In our weekly column, we round up the latest news and developments in the alternative protein and sustainable food industry. This week, Future Food Quick Bites covers Aldi’s zero-waste pineapples, a Charli XCX-inspired marketing drive, and an open letter to Florida’s policymakers.

New products and launches

In its bid to cut food waste, German discount retailer Aldi is trialling a crownless pineapple in the UK’s Midlands, Yorkshire and North East. The crowns will be used to cultivate next year’s crop or converted into animal feed, saving around 1,4000 tonnes of food manually if rolled out across all stores nationwide.

charli xcx brat
Courtesy: Field Roast

US plant-based meat brand Field Roast has kicked off a new marketing campaign inspired by Charli XCX‘s new album Brat. The company posted a photo of its sausages in a wrapper modelled after the album cover, asking the singer if this is what she meant when she said it’s a brat summer.

Mycelium meat maker Mush Foods, whose 50Cut innovation is used in blended meat applications, has partnered with New York-based fast-casual chain Fieldtrip for the latter’s new Jerk Meatball Bowl. It combines the mushroom root meat with ground turkey, served over a bed of rice, alongside vegetables and coconut yoghurt.

Canadian vegan seafood producer ProFillet has created a prototype of a whole-cut plant-based whitefish that is on par with the nutritional credentials of its conventional counterpart.

whole cut vegan fish
Courtesy: Doug McNish/LinkedIn

Following a successful launch in Europe last year, global food giant Bunge has released its BeLeaf PlantBetter butter for food manufacturers and bakers in North America. The spread is made from coconut oil, cocoa butter, rapeseed oil and lecithins.

Meanwhile, dairy-free artisanal cheesemaker Climax Foodsblue cheese is now available online grocer Good Eggs.

Also in the alt-dairy sector, US startup Credo Foods has introduced what it claims is the world’s first oat milk spray cheese, which is available on its website (and soon at HEB and Wegmans) in Cheddar and Smoky flavours.

vegan pizza spain
Courtesy: Väcka/Ditaly

Spanish vegan cheese producer Väcka, meanwhile, has teamed up with local pizzeria chain Ditaly for its new La Gazpacha pizza, which uses the former’s melon seed Mözza and nut-based Fraïs with Basil offerings.

In Japan, Misola Foods has launched what it calls the country’s first oat milk, which is suitable for both adults and children, given it matches conventional dairy on calcium (110mg per 100g). It comes in 196g cartons made from recyclable paper, with no straws included. A 24-pack costs ¥5,400 ($33.50).

Fellow Japanese company Spiber – fresh from a $65M fundraise – has inked supply chain partnerships and project deals with Italian mills Marzotto, RD Gruppo Florence, and Filatura Papi Fabio to make materials from its fermentation-derived Brewed Protein.

the moonbeam co
Courtesy: The Moonbeam Co.

And Singaporean upcycled food startup The Moonbeam Co. has rolled out Kopi Siew Dai Chocolate Chip Cookies made from spent coffee grounds exclusively at the Changi Airport‘s SATS Premier Lounge.

Funding and company updates

The Illinois Fermentation and Agriculture Biomanufacturing (iFAB) Tech Hub, which uses precision fermentation to turn corn and soy into high-value products, has secured a $51M Phase 2 implementation grant via the US Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration. It follows the $680M it received from public and private entities upon its establishment in March.

Denmark’s KMC, which makes potato-based food ingredients, has inaugurated a $14.5M, 5,000 sq m innovation centre to supply ingredients for plant-based foods.

future food quick bites
Courtesy: MATR Foods

Also in Denmark, Novo Holdings, the holding company that owns Ozempic and Wegovy maker Novo Nordisk, has made an initial investment in fungi-based meat maker MATR Foods to support its scale-up efforts.

Meanwhile, there’s change at the helm at Dutch meat analogue producer The Vegetarian Butcher, with CEO Hugo Verkuil taking a sabbatical. Global commercial director Rutger Rozendaal has been promoted to the top job at the Unilever-owned company.

the vegetarian butcher
Courtesy: The Vegetarian Butcher

British entrepreneur Heather Mills, who owns VBites, has acquired plant-based marketplace Alternative Stores, which lists a multitude of vegan products and supports family businesses in launching their own brands.

In more acquisition news, Ahimsa Companies – which recently acquired Wicked Kitchen, the parent company of Good Catch Foods – has bought a plant-based production facility from Gathered Foods, the former owner of Good Catch Foods.

Pulse protein manufacturer Australian Plant Proteins has gone into voluntary administration, with local organisation Food Frontier suggesting that this is a result of a lack of government support for plant proteins, as opposed to an individual company’s failure.

Policy and research developments

Boston-based biotech startup Foray Bioscience, which uses plant cell cultures to make ‘plantless plants’, has closed a $3M seed funding round led by Australia’s ReGen Ventures to expand its predictive platform for plant cell diversity, develop new products, and expand its team.

Germany’s federal court of justice, the Bundesgerichtshof, has ruled that confectionery company Katjes can’t call its fruit gummies ‘climate neutral’. The greenwashing ruling is expected to have a wider impact on food labelling and advertising, with businesses not allowed to use such terms without explaining why.

katjes fruit gummies
Courtesy: Katjes

The Vegan Society of Aotearoa and the NZ Vegetarian Society have jointly petitioned the New Zealand government to implement more stringent labelling regulations to prevent confusion stemming from the use of terms like ‘plant-based’ and ‘less dairy’ on products that contain animal ingredients.

How can cultivated meat become more sustainable? The answer may lie in using microalgae as a culture medium to provide glucose, instead of grains like corn and wheat, according to researchers at Tokyo Women’s Medical University‘s Institute of Advanced Biomedical Engineering and Science.

Austria is doubling down on its anti-cultivated-meat stance, railing against the innovation using a study commissioned by the Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry in the Carinthia region finding that 90% of respondents don’t want to eat these proteins, and 82% would support a ban.

lab grown meat austria
Courtesy: Alexander Tengg/Kleine Zeitung

Ahead of the Olympic Games in Paris later this month, welfare group Animal Equality has launched a petition calling for foie gras to be removed from the menu, which has gained over 42,000 signatures. At this year’s event, 60% of food is set to be meat-free.

Finally, with Florida having officially banned cultivated meat last week, Canadian cellular agriculture investor Cult Food Science has written an open letter to the state’s leaders, stating that the “harmful” move relies on “misinformation and trying to slant the public discourse in a negative way”.

Check out last week’s Future Food Quick Bites.


  • Anay Mridul

    Anay is Green Queen's resident news reporter. Originally from India, he worked as a vegan food writer and editor in London, and is now travelling and reporting from across Asia. He's passionate about coffee, plant-based milk, cooking, eating, veganism, food tech, writing about all that, profiling people, and the Oxford comma.

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