Future Food Quick Bites: Million-Dollar Whoppers, Korean Vegan Tours & Plant-Based Cordon Bleu

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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 South Korea’s vegan tourism drive, a new hybrid cultivated beef rice, and plant-based meat brand THIS’s financing plans.

New products and launches

Nordic dairy giant Arla has relaunched its JÖRĐ brand of plant-based dairy products in Sweden, comprising oat milks and flavoured oat yoghurts.

jord oat milk
Courtesy: Arla

In the US, Califia Farms has introduced a new Complete plant-based milk to its portfolio, a blend of chickpea, fava bean and pea protein boasting all nine essential amino acids and vitamin B12, alongside half the sugar content.

British producer MYCO is working on a line of burgers with Hooba, a protein mince made from oyster mushrooms. It comes after a funding round of £1.5M, with a launch date set for the end of March.

In the Netherlands, The Vegetarian Butcher has launched three new SKUs: vegan alternatives to cordon bleu, bratwurst and battered fish fillet.

Swedish mouldable plant-based meat producer Havredal has entered the US market through an agreement with Virginia-based distributor Performance Food Group. Its fava-bean-based beef and chicken burgers and mince will soon be available in East Coast states including Virginia, New York and Massachusetts.

future food quick bites
Courtesy: Havredal

Also in the US, Delaware-based Superbrewed Food has partnered with Döhler for commercial-scale fermentation capacity to produce its Postbiotic Protein, which will be part of products launched by multiple CPG companies this year.

Vegan gelato maker NuTTi, which makes clean-label ice creams from cashews and maple syrup, has landed on the shelves of over 80 retail stores in the US, and is now in talks with Whole Foods and another leading national distributor.

And UK vegan dog food brand HOWND has expanded its Plant Powered Superfood range with a high-protein, low-fat dry food lineup in pumpkin, quinoa and moringa flavours, which contain Phytodroitin an algae-based alternative to chondroitin, to support joint health.

Finance and markets

New York-based VC firm Big Idea Ventures has changed the name of its new fund from New Protein Fund II to Global Food Innovation Fund II to emphasise that its thesis area covers proteins, fat, ingredients, sweeteners, and more.

In its bid for profitability, UK plant-based meat player THIS is set to begin its final crowdfunding campaign later this month, ahead of a larger eight-figure financing round later this year.

Indian plant-based milk startup The Alt Co appeared on the ongoing season of Shark Tank India, but couldn’t manage to get a deal with the investors.

Speaking of, the plant-based milk market was estimated to be worth $20B in 2022, and will expand annually by 10% to reach $51.9B in 2032, according to a new estimate.

Cultivated meat news

Cultivated meat pioneer Upside Foods has paused construction of its commercial-scale facility and has conducted a few layoffs as it doubles investment in its existing EPIC plant in California.

After a rough year for alternative protein and food tech as a whole, preliminary data by AgFunder has revealed that investment in cultivated meat startups dropped by 88% Deon 2021 to 2023, with producers in the space raising $177M.

In more positive news, Brazilian cultivated meat ingredient company Cellva has raised R$6.5M ($1.3M) in funding to support R&D and scale-up for its cultured pork fat.

Australia’s Vow Food, which is in the advanced stages of regulatory approval for cultivated meat in its home country, hosted a tasting of its cultured Japanese quail in collaboration with Iceland’s ORF Genetics in Reykjavik.

lab grown beef rice
Courtesy: Yonsei University

In a new front for cellular agriculture, scientists at the Yonsei University in South Korea have created a hybrid rice variety with cultivated beef and cow fat cells.

Policy, manufacturing and awards

If you feel like becoming a millionaire, all you have to do is come up with the next concept for the Whopper at Burger King – and you can participate by using Impossible Foods‘ beef too.

impossible whopper
Courtesy: Impossible Foods

Finnish brand Oddlygood’s vanilla-flavoured barista oat milk has been chosen as the Best Plant-Based Milk by 8,000 Brits in the 2024 Product of the Year awards.

Researchers at Finland’s Lund University are hoping to make better plant-based meat by replicating muscle fibres through the extrusion of a combination of ingredients – they found a combination of hemp protein and gluten to be the most suitable.

Singapore’s Float Foods, which makes vegan eggs under the OnlyEg line, has received a food safety certification for its Halal-certified facility, allowing it to offer its tech to other food producers looking to eliminate eggs from their lineup.

Spanish plant-based meat maker Heura has partnered with food industry giant Upfield on a tech agreement to to accelerate innovation in the vegan sector.

In Austria, Revo Foods landed a legal victory after a judge dismissed a case against the 3D-printed seafood maker filed by the City of Vienna, which accused the startup of misleading consumers with its ‘vegan’/’plant-based’ product label for its whole-cut salmon.

south korea vegan tour
Courtesy: Green Earth Travel

Looking for a nice holiday? Green Earth Travel is organising an eight-day vegan food tour across multiple cities in South Korea on behalf of the Korea Tourism Organisation to explore what the country has to offer in terms of plant-based cuisine. The $4,120 package includes accommodation and 15 meals.

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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