Future Food Quick Bites: Cultivated Quail, MasterChef Pros & A Cheese Debacle

5 Mins Read

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 Vow’s Tippling Club collab, US bans on cultivated meat, and a climate change podcast.

New products and launches

Australian cultivated meat startup Vow, which recently became the fourth company to receive regulatory approval, has announced its first restaurant partner, Singapore’s Tippling Club, which will serve its Forged Parfait with cultured quail from May 3-14. The product debuted at Mandala Club earlier this month.

In the UK, Alpro has rolled out four new protein-centric SKUs: two original- and chocolate-flavoured Plant Protein drinks, and yoghurts in mixed berries and mango-banana variants. It has also introduced 500ml versions of its unsweetened almond and oat milks.

UK tofu maker The Tofoo Co has partnered with vegan restaurant Temple of Seitan to launch seitan in original and pepperoni flavours at UK retailers, which will be available at Waitrose and Tesco (only the original) from today.

Automotive giant Mercedes-Benz is working to align its German canteens with the Planetary Health Diet, and has pledged to serve predominantly plant-based food by the end of 2025. Last week, it linked up with Stuttgart restaurant Vhy! to showcase the potential of vegan food.

In the US, online grocery retailer FreshDirect has unveiled Foraged Mushroom Meat, which are available in nuggets and pulled formats and made from the stalks of mushrooms, alongside soy protein, tapioca flour and coconut oil.

Spanish seafood producer Angulas Aguinaga is entering the alternative seafood world via a collaboration with Catalan startup Vrave, starting with a konjac-based calamari to be sold under the former’s Aguinamar brand. They plan to roll out the calamari in the UK, France and Portugal next month.

future food quick bites
Courtesy: Heura/LinkedIn

Meanwhile, fellow Catalan vegan brand Heura‘s three-week veggie sandwich pilot at French bakery chain Boulangerie Ange last November has been made permanent, with the sandwich now vegan thanks to the use of Violife cheese.

Else Nutrition‘s soy-free vegan infant formula and toddler drink has made its way into the Asia-Pacific market, launching in Australia and New Zealand.

And BBC Springwatch host Gillian Burke has launched a new climate podcast called If I Ruled The World, where she interviews scientists, lawmakers, artists, journalists, activists and entrepreneurs about system change and their solution to the climate crisis.

Finance and policy developments

Berlin-based startup Cultimate Foods has raised €2.3M in a seed funding round to scale up production and expand commercial operations for its plant-based fat ingredient for meat analogues.

Likewise, France’s Edonia has bagged €2M in investment to produce plant-based meat analogues from microalgae like spirulina and chlorella.

UK venture capital firm CPT Capital has teamed up with Accenture, the Good Food Institute Europe and the Alternative Proteins Association to launch the third edition of its Coller Startup Competition for alternative protein companies, with the winner receiving £100,000.

milky plant
Courtesy: Milky Plant

Also in the UK, Milky Plant has turned over £2M in two years with its homemade alt-milk machine, with sales set to reach £10M by the end of the year.

In Alabama, the House of Representatives has voted in favour of a bill to ban the production and sale of cultivated meat by an 85-14 vote, which will now return to the Senate before being passed. The House amended the bill to say it would not prevent people from researching these proteins in the state.

Similarly, the Arizona House has voted for a bill requiring cultivated meat products to be labelled clearly to distinguish themselves from conventional meat, though this is a watered-down version of the original proposal, which sought to ban the use of meat-related terms on packaging labels for these products. The bill still needs Senate approval.

Partnerships, research and breakthroughs

Australian cultivated pork producer Magic Valley hosted a tasting event for its bao buns at John Gorilla Café in Brunswick, which received rave reviews from attendees.

magic valley
Courtesy: Magic Valley

Vegan certification body V-Label has collaborated with the Middle East Vegan Society to accelerate and advance the clear and transparent labelling of vegan and vegetarian products in the region.

In the US, animal nutrition company Wilbur-Ellius Nutrition and precision fermentation protein startup Bond Pet Foods have teamed up to develop ingredients for the pet food industry.

Californian startup Checkerspot has received a patent for its non-genetically-engineered high-oleic algae oil ingredient, two weeks after partnering with sustainable nutrition company Mara Renewables to develop omega-3 alternatives to fish oil.

masterchef vegan
Courtesy: Upfield

Violife Professional, the foodservice arm of plant-based dairy leader Upfield, has partnered with MasterChef: The Professionals winner Alex Webb to showcase foodservice kitchens how to best swap dairy for vegan analogues, curating six dishes using Flora butter and cream and Violife cream cheese.

Plant-based consumption is seemingly on the rise in Romania, up from 30% in 2022 to 39% in 2023, with taste the biggest driver, according to research by Danone Romania.

vegan casein
Courtesy: Climax Foods

Finally, vegan cheesemaker Climax Foods, which was set to become the first plant-based brand to win the Good Food Awards for its blue cheese, was disqualified on the eve of the ceremony, with its founder ascribing it to a pushback from the dairy industry and a retrospective change of rules.

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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