Future Food Quick Bites: Delicious Salads, Vegan Lidl & EU Support

6 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 a vegan salad partnership, a plant-based cheese rebrand and EU funding for cultivated meat.

New products and launches

UK fast-casual chain The Salad Project has partnered with Deliciously Ella on a new limited-edition menu, which will feature a Miso-Maple Aubergine Bowl, a DE Classic, a Super Green Salad, and a Little Plants Bowl (for kids).

sheese vegan cheese
Courtesy: Sheese

Scottish vegan cheese producer Sheese has had a complete rebrand – a new logo, new orange packaging, and a new recipe – to make its products look and taste more like their conventional counterparts.

Fellow plant-based cheesemaker I Am Nut OK has secured its first nationwide listing, with its cashew-based parmesan, feta and buffalo mozzarella now available on online retailer Ocado.

Also in the UK, plant-based food brand Squeaky Bean has launched a hoisin duck pancake meal kit and a new snack range – comprising Southern Fried Straws, Duck and Hoisin Style Bites, and BBQ Pork Style Rolls – at select Tesco scores this week.

Starbucks UK has collaborated with Nestlé on its new Mexican-Style Wrap for the summer menu, which features the latter’s Garden Gourmet pulled fillet, alongside a chilli-tomato sauce, peppers, spinach and vegan mozzarella.

Another British startup, Myco, will roll out the first 10,000 burgers and 20,000 sausages made from its Hooba protein (made using vertically farmed mushrooms). It has agreed listings with several suppliers, including artisanal and plant-based wholesalers.

lidl belgium vegan
Courtesy: Lidl

Lidl Belgium has followed its German counterpart in lowering the prices of its own-label plant-based alternatives to match the rates of meat and dairy, in a bid to double its vegan sales.

Across the Atlantic, US fermented protein producer Calysta has joined forces with German pet food startup Dr. Clauder’s to debut air-dried dog treats using the former’s vegan FeedKind Pet protein, which will first launch in Europe.

Meanwhile, Next Level Burger and Veggie Grill have rolled out the second phase of their Birds & Bees pollinator protection campaign for National Egg Month, with two new vegan egg sandwiches featuring Just Egg and WunderEgg.

future food quick bites
Courtesy: Next Level Burger

Fellow American company Mighty Yum has reformulated its vegan Munchables lunch kits in response to demand for more allergen-friendly options, with its Turkey and Cheese and Ham and Cheese varieties no longer containing soy or gluten.

Seafood giant Thai Union will unveil two new vegan shrimp SKUs at the THAIFEX-Anuga Asia event in Bangkok later this month. These include breaded shrimp and a shrimp patty.

alma resort vegan
Courtesy: Alma Resort

And in Cam Ranh, Vietnam, Alma Resort has introduced a vegan menu in its Asiana restaurant as part of its sustainability goals and in response to growing demand for meatless food. Highlights include chicken katsu curry, crispy California sushi rolls, and mushrooms and tofu in oyster sauce. Its other eateries have also expanded plant-based options.

Finance and company updates

Indonesian plant-based meat brand Green Rebel has temporarily suspended its D2C operations in South Korea to improve management efficiency amid ongoing financial losses.

Canadian vegan hot dog maker Sensible Foods has launched a strategic review that could result in a change in the company’s business strategy, with Shawn Balaghi replaced as CEO by Chris Jackson (on an interim basis).

Fellow Canadian company Else Nutrition, which makes vegan infant formula and cereal products, has closed a second tranche of a private placement worth $1M for clinical trials related to the FDA and general working capital.

Also in Canada, plant-based seafood startup Save Da Sea has netted C$650,000 ($475,000) in seed financing – led by a state fund for women-led startups – to expand the distribution of its products.

save da seafood
Courtesy: Save Da Seafood

Cultivated meat company ProFuse Technology has received a €2.4M grant from the European Innovation Council (EIC) Transition programme, a recognition of policy support for alternative proteins in the EU.

Isreli alternative protein company Steakholder Foods has inked a deal with Wyler Farms, which will manufacture its 3D-printed burgers, meatballs and minced meat at commercial scale and drive the startup towards profitability.

Research and policy developments

Berlin-based food tech startup Nosh.bio has opened a new factory in Dresden that can produce 1,000 tonnes of mycelium protein each year, with its first production run expected in the next four to five months.

US commercial kitchen equipment manufacturer Waring has launched the Planit POD Fermentation System, allowing chefs to ferment and pasteurise up to eight lbs of custom-built plant proteins within 24 hours.

According to analysis of Circana data by animal rights charity Wakker Dier, meat sales in the Netherlands have fallen by 16.4% since 2020. Last year, supermarkets sold 2.3% less meat than in 2022.

Czech startup Bene Meat Technologies released the first samples of its cultivated pet food at Interzoo 2024 in Nuremberg, Germany, and is now on the lookout for an industry partner to put the product on shelves by year-end.

bene meat cultured meat
Courtesy: Bene Meat Technologies

There are concerns that the UN’s Bonn Climate Change Conference (June 3-13), an intersessional event that will lay the groundwork for November’s COP29 in Azerbaijan, will return to a meat- and dairy-heavy menu. But ProVeg International is urging the UN to keep two-thirds of the catering plant-based – similar to the predominantly meatless menu at COP28 – to continue progress.

In the US, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors have slated a citizen-led petition to ban factory farms for the ballot on November 5, a move that could have nationwide implications – although the board is opposing the initiative based on an inaccurate economic evaluation of a potential ban.

Over in the UK, a historic ban on live animal exports for slaughter or fattening has passed the final stage in parliament, meaning it will soon become law – 50 years after campaigners first started protesting the move.

lee hsien loong may day
Courtesy: Lee Hsien Loong/X

The Singapore Food Agency and the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment have proposed a bill outlining new requirements for the pre-market approval of novel foods, which may now be subject to additional provisions before being imported or sold in the island nation.

Researchers in Singapore have developed a cultivated meat prototype by co-culturing pig muscle and fat cells in a decellularised asparagus scaffold, which could unlock large-scale manufacturing of these foods.

Finally, ethical pantry startup Voyage Foods has won the food honour in Fast Company’s 2024 World Changing Ideas Awards for its peanut- and hazelnut-free spreads. Cultivated meat producer UPSIDE Foods, precision-fermented egg startup The Every Company, and home compost bin Mill were among the other finalists.

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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