Future Food Quick Bites: Vegan Earthshot Prize, Dr. Praeger’s Turns 30 & A Neat Rebrand

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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 Dr. Praeger’s new veggie-forward offerings, Applewood Vegan’s reformulated cheese, and a landmark legal ruling for veganism in Denmark.

New products and launches

In Canada, Danone has launched a Silk Greek yoghurt made from locally sourced pea protein in vanilla and key lime flavours. The new products contain 12g of protein per 175g pack.

silk greek yogurt
Courtesy: Danone

Championing the same ingredient, fellow Canadian manufacturer Louis Dreyfus has announced the construction of a pea protein isolate production plant for its Plant Proteins business at the site of its existing industrial complex in Yorkton, Saskatchewan

Protein Industries Canada, meanwhile, has partnered with Konscious Foods, Avena Foods and Canadian Pacifico Seaweeds to improve the nutritional credentials of existing vegan seafood products and develop new offerings.

In the US, Plant-based meat giant Impossible Foods will soon begin serving its new beef hot dogs to the Blue Devils basketball team and dining halls on Duke University’s campuses.

Next Level Burger and its now subsidiary Veggie Grill have launched a new limited-edition Classic Steak sandwich with Meati’s mycelium meat.

Mycelium bacon producer MyForest Foods has expanded its flagship MyBacon into 57 Whole Foods stores in the northeast, which comes on the heels of a listing at MOM’s Organic Market. It means the product is available in over 350 locations across eight states.

dr praeger's veggie fries
Courtesy: Dr. Praeger’s

Dr. Praeger’s is celebrating its 30th anniversary with two new ranges spotlighting vegetables: Crunchy Burgers and Veggie Fries. The former is available in Southwestern Sweet Potato and Cauliflower variants, made with six vegetables in a gluten-free rice coating, while the latter is offered in California and Cauliflower Broccoli options.

In Israel, bioprinting startup Steakholder Foods has partnered with tofu producer Wyler Farms to use industrial-scale 3D printing tech to make plant-based steaks, with the former’s printer set to be installed at the latter’s facility between Q4 2024 and Q1 2025.

There could be an all-veggie KFC in India’s religious city of Ayodhya, where tourism is exploding after the unveiling of the Ram Mandir last month, with a local government official indicating the city would allow KFC to set up a fully vegetarian location, as it has done with Pizza Hut and Domino’s.

German brand ChoViva‘s cocoa-free chocolate is part of private-label products by retail giant Rewe and its subsidiary Penny, with the innovations now available in select stores.

Barcelona-based plant-based butchery chain El Vegans has opened a new branch in Málaga, a first-of-its-kind butcher in the southern Spanish cities.

In the UK, Applewood Vegan has reformulated its plant-based smoked cheese ahead of its fifth anniversary, with the new recipe rendering a “creamier” product that better replicates conventional cheese.

swiss airlines vegan meal
Courtesy: Swiss International Air Lines

And if you’re flying business on Swiss International Air Lines, you can now get a vegan pumpkin and chestnut goulash with spaetzli (egg noodles) dish, made in collaboration with local plant-based egg producer EggField and Zürich vegetarian eatery Hiltl.

Funding and finance news

The US Department of Defense has announced a new funding opportunity for food tech companies to apply for biomanufacturing grants worth up to $2M under the new Distributed Bioindustrial Manufacturing Investment Program.

Netherlands’ Future Food Fund II has closed with a total of €40M, with the European Investment Fund investing €20M in the final close. It has already invested in precision fermentation and cultivated meat businesses like EV Biotech and Extracellular, respectively.

Austrian 3D-printed seafood producer Revo Foods is crowdfunding, offering a discounted valuation until Sunday, February 18. The startup has already raised €850,000 of its €1.5M goal.

3d printed salmon
Courtesy: Revo Foods

Ontario-based vegan ramen company Borealis Foods – which counts Gordon Ramsay as brand ambassador and shareholder – has commenced trading on the US NASDAQ exchange under the ticker ‘BRLS’.

US vegan shrimp producer New Wave Foods has ceased operations, with its assets now set to be liquidated and distributed after the company was unable to pay its debts in full.

In similarly sad news, fellow US plant-based seafood company Ordinary Seafood has wound down its operations and let go of its staff, with founder and CEO Anton Pluschke blaming the bleak funding landscape for food tech.

Meanwhile, after closing half of its UK stores last year, Lewis Hamilton-backed vegan fast-food chain Neat Burger has rebranded to Neat, dropping the latter word as it diversifies its offerings and prioritises health-focused options.

neat burger
Courtesy: Neat

In New Zealand, Bruce Craig, owner of the county’s rights to Aussie vegan fast-food chain Lord of the Fries, has put the company up for sale for $1.2M after experiencing sales drops post-pandemic.

Research and manufacturing developments

Chicago-based Believer Meats has expanded its leadership team, appointing Heather Hudson as chief product and growth officer, Frida Grynspan as chief science officer, and Marc Shelley as chief legal officer. The company expects its commercial-scale facility in Wilson, North Carolina to be operational later this year.

Danone has completed the conversion of its dairy-based yoghurt plant in Villecomtal-sur-Arros, France to oat milk production for Alpro, in a €43M move that will see workers retain their jobs. It will be capable of producing 100,000 litres of oat milk daily, eventually rising to 300,000 litres.

Israeli startup ProFuse Technology has launched non-GM bovine cell lines optimised for muscle growth, demonstrating high efficiency in proliferation and differentiation and targeting cultivated meat manufacturers.

Fellow Israeli company Redefine Meat has revealed the technology and science behind its 3D-printed plant-based meat products in a new paper published in the Frontiers journal, focused on its tissue engineering approach.

redefine meat
Courtesy: Redefine Meat

A report by the European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change has advised that funding should be redirected from animal agriculture towards “lower-emitting products and activities”. Currently, farmers in the EU receive 50% of their income directly through government subsidies.

A new interdisciplinary study will assess the societal impact of cultivated meat, including production costs, commercialisation, safety and regulation. Funded by the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society with support from the Leverhulme Trust, the research has been selected for an APEX award.

In New York, UPSIDE Foods hosted an exclusive tasting for its cultivated chicken, which received a rousing endorsement from TED head Chris Anderson, who also took a shot at a New York Times piece targeting the industry.

Policy progress and awards

With Plant Based Universities launching in the Netherlands, over 200 Dutch academics have backed calls from students at several universities to transition towards fully plant-based catering. Total signatories – including academics, healthcare professionals, politicians and other public figures – number 1,200.

In Denmark, a lower court in the city of Hjorring has recognised veganism as a protected belief under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, in a case that sparked from a school denying a kindergarten child the right to plant-based meals and refusing to allow her to bring a packed lunch too.

hungry planet
Courtesy: Hungry Planet

Plant-based meat brand Hungry Planet has been nominated for Prince William’s Earthshot Prize, which added vegan experts to judge its 2024 awards, to be announced in November.

French whole-cut plant-based meat maker Umiami has achieved B Corp certification, ahead of inaugurating its factory in Alsace, eastern France later this year.

Finally, McDonald’s says it has reached its 2025 goal of 100% cage-free eggs ahead of time, with all locations in the US now featuring these eggs.

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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