Future Food Quick Bites: Vegan Kraft Dinner, Falafalcinis & Oat Milk Reese’s

7 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 nutrition wins for plant-based meat, a ton of alt-dairy announcements, and an all-vegan fest coming to the UK.

New products and launches

A week after announcing the launch of plant-based Oscar Mayer hot dogs, the Kraft Heinz Not Company is now bringing its vegan Kraft mac and cheese to Canada under the KD brand. It’s available in original, white Cheddar, and gluten-free variants.

oatly yogurt
Courtesy: Oatly

As outlined in its year-end earnings report, Oatly‘s revamped Oatgurts are now on shelves in German supermarkets. The lineup includes unsweetened vanilla, blueberry, strawberry, and mango-peach-passionfruit, and the 350g pots can be found at Rewe, Edeka and Kaufland stores.

It’s a big week for alt-dairy launches. Canadian plant-based cheesemaker Daiya has announced a range of powdered vegan and gluten-free mac and cheese in Cheddar, white Cheddar and aged Cheddar variants, which will be rolled out to Walmart, The Fresh Market, Loblaws and Metro ON from April (the latter flavour is only available in the US).

Meanwhile, Califia Farms has rolled out a line of organic almond milk coffee creamers in lavender, brown sugar and cinnamon flavours at Whole Foods, Sprouts Farmers Market, and specialty stores at $7.99.

British oat milk maker Minor Figures has expanded its North American presence, with its gluten-free milk now available at all Whole Foods stores in the US and Canada, and over 280 Sprouts locations.

In yet more North American alt-dairy news, plant-based milk brand MALK Organics is launching a cashew milk and shelf-stable oat and almond milk SKUs this quarter, after closing an internal investment round. They’ll be rolled out at Whole Foods exclusively in March, and are being previewed at Expo West this week.

Courtesy: Malk Organics

The Students’ Union of the University of Cambridge – which has already removed beef and lamb from its catering menus in 2016 – has voted to make all catering options across the institute fully plant-based, following a similar move for certain catering services last year.

Speaking of universities, Beyond Meat is debuting at the University of Massachusetts, which has one of the country’s largest plant-based dining initiatives in the country. Its burger and mince products will be offered across all UMass campuses.

Meanwhile, Beyond Steak is coming to Belgium, with the ‘heart-healthy’ beef analogue now stocked at over 250+ Delhaize stores nationwide.

In the US, whole-food plant-based meat company Abbot’s has launched a mushroom-based Whole Burger SKU to its lineup, containing superfoods like spinach, chia and flaxseeds, and boasting 22g of protein per patty. It’s available at select Whole Foods stores nationwide.

vegan peanut butter cups
Courtesy: 7th Heaven

Dairy-free chocolate company 7th Heaven, meanwhile, has unveiled its take on Reese’s with new oat-milk-based peanut butter cups, which you can buy from its website from March 25.

US cult-favourite plant-based burger chain Slutty Vegan is opening a store in New York City, which will be its third location. The 1,870 sq ft Bleecker Street eatery will open on March 23.

Next Level Burger and Veggie Grill are launching limited-edition vegan truffle honey chicken sandwiches and burgers to raise awareness about bees and pollination, with the companies making a donation to the Pollinator Partnership.

Fancy a Falafacini? UK plant-based small bites maker Gosh! has introduced a falafel-arancini hybrid in basil pesto and vegan ‘nduja flavours as part of its new Street Food range. They will retail at Ocado and Tesco for £3.50 per 240g pack. (Although I think ‘falancini’ is a far better name.)

Chinese company Marvelous Foods has launched its Yeyo coconut yoghurt range in Ole, the country’s biggest supermarket chain, with 100 stores across 31 key cities and over 10 million members.

future food quick bites
Courtesy: Marvelous Foods

In the cosmetics world, American actress and Masked Singer host Jenny McCarthy has launched a new line of cruelty-free 3D Faux Mink Lashes under her Formless Beauty label.

Likewsie, Canadian cosmetics company Druide Laboratory has rolled out a vegan Druide Biolove personal care collection for babies and young children.

And US-based vegan festival Vegandale is launching in the UK, with events in London’s Clapham Common as well as Manchester in July. It has also expanded its stateside presence to Philadelphia. Early bird tickets are available now.

Finance and manufacturing developments

CPG giant Nestlé is investing CHF 80 million ($91M) to open a new factory dedicated to plant-based food production in Serbia, which will sit next to its existing 18,440 sq m facility. The plant will create 220 new jobs and support the manufacturing of Garden Gourmet products.

Meanwhile, Illinois-headquartered food producer Primient has committed $700M across five years to bolster its plant-based ingredient manufacturing capabilities and strengthen its market position.

Researchers in Italy have embarked on a project to produce meat alternatives from wood, leveraging byproducts like lignin (from the paper industry) and wheat bran, and converting them into amino acids.

German biotech company ProteinDistillery has raised $15M in a seed funding round to support the production of its biomass-fermented Prew:tein ingredient – which is made from upcycled brewer’s yeast and can replace the properties of egg whites – and set up an industrial-scale facility.

Copenhagen-based Swan Neck Bio, a spinoff from White Labs, has gone live. The startup provides fermentation solutions to food companies facing high costs and congestion in traditional biomanufacturing channels, with its FlexCell tech able to run controlled fermentations from five to 1,000 litres.

Courtesy: Koralo

In yet more fermentation news, German alt-seafood startup Koralo has scaled up its co-fermentation technology to a 5,000-litre industrial scale in South Korea – three months after launching in the country. It has also partnered with the Korean government on the latter’s plant-based national plan.

Montreal-based cultivated milk startup Opalia has received C$2M ($1.48M) in financing to support the launch of its first product.

As for cultivated meat, by the way, there’s a new company in this space from Slovenia, established by the founder and former CEO of aircraft maker Pipistrel and biotech firm CO BIK Institute. Called Tech4Meat, it hopes to bring its products to market in the next few years.

UK companies BSF Enterprise (parent of cellular agriculture business 3D Bio-Tissues) and Ivy Farm Technologies have teamed up to help the latter fundraise, launch and scale its cultivated meat in China.

In another alt-protein partnership, Indian plant-based meat maker GoodDot has linked up with Dubai culinary school the International Centre for Culinary Arts, to help chefs gain specialised certifications in vegan dishes.

After shutting its services in several countries, The Body Shop has confirmed that it has ceased trading in the US too.

In the UK, Borough Broth has acquired vegan curry startup SpiceBox, with all of the latter’s products to now be developed in the former’s organic production kitchen in west London.

Courtesy: OGGS

Having witnessed a 42% year-on-year growth, UK plant-based egg startup OGGS has now launched a crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs, which is open for pre-registration.

Policy and awards

Meanwhile, Aussie precision fermentation producer Fermify is now offering samples to B2B partners for its liquid animal-free casein, which can be used to make dairy alternative products.

Germany’s MicroHarvest has become the first biomass fermentation company to join the Food Fermentation Europe alliance.

In India, Supplant Foods has received a patent for its novel chickpea flour processing technology, which enhances the functionality of chickpea protein that can be used in plant-based dairy, meat and bakery products.

superbrewed food
Courtesy: Superbrewed Food

In yet more regulatory news for fermentation-derived protein, Superbrewed Food has received a ‘no further questions’ letter from the US FDA. The GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status allows it to sell its bacteria-derived biomass ingredient, called Postbiotic Cultured Protein. The company has also filed for approval in the EU, UK and Canada.

In Singapore, some hospitals are offering plant-based options for patients after evaluating them to be healthy and nutritionally balanced, with Alexandra Hospital and Ng Teng Fong General Hospital having completely replaced beef and mutton with soy protein, and KK Women’s, Children’s Hospital and National University Hospital too providing vegan food for some time now.

Finally, there were a few vegan wins at this year’s Men’s Health Food Awards, in a nod to the category’s growing health focus. Impossible Foods‘ BBQ Pork Bowls was named the Best Plant-Based Meal, Beyond Meat‘s Italian-Style Meatballs the Best Meatless Meatballs, and Wholly Veggie‘s Buffalo Cauliflower Wings the Best Plant-Based Wings.

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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