General Mills Taps Israel’s Remilk for Precision Fermentation Dairy Category Expansion
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Remilk, the Israel-based precision fermentation startup, has announced a partnership with U.S. food giant General Mills.
General Mills has already begun using Remilk in its Bold Cultr cream cheese, which it first launched in 2021 made with Perfect Day’s precision fermentation whey as the base. The announcement will mark Remilk’s U.S. debut and its first commercial collaboration.
“We provide raw material that allows companies to produce a product with the same taste and texture [as dairy], and it will always be easy for the consumer to identify the product packaging that contains our raw materials,” Aviv Wolff, Remilk’s co-founder and CEO said in a statement. Remilk launched in 2019 and has raised $130 million in two fundraising rounds with a valuation of $325 million.
“The first product embodies our strategy: we connect with the largest companies in the world, and enter into the market in order to be able to reach every consumer in the world, and quickly,” Wolff said.
The first product is the Bold Cultr cream cheese, but Wolff says General Mills is also looking at producing additional products using Remilk’s protein. “With many partnerships on the table, we are looking at a number of products in various categories,” says Wolff. General Mills’ portfolio brands include Yoplait and Haagen-Dazs, two dairy category leaders.
Like Perfect Day, Remilk modifies microbes to produce dairy proteins without requiring any dairy inputs. It takes cow protein DNA and copies that into the fermented yeast. The result is a more sustainable product that tastes and performs just like conventional dairy.
“Our solids require one percent of land compared to regular milk, four percent of the emissions of pollutants compared to regular milk, and five percent of the water required to produce a liter of milk in the traditional industry,” says Wolff. “We produce dairy products with the same taste, texture and cost as the traditional dairy industry. We produce milk that is 100 percent identical to cow’s protein, without lactose, and without the negative environmental impact. Our product enables a full range of milk products, not just a one-off solution. Our goal is to change the milk market.”
The food industry embraces precision fermentation
General Mills was one of the first major food companies to explore precision fermentation technology. The category has since seen other industry heavyweights experiment.
Last summer, Mars launched milk chocolate bars using Perfect Day’s whey.
Industry leader Nestlé launched a range of ready-to-drink milk products under the Cowabunga label last month using Perfect Day’s precision fermentation whey.
And Unilever has also embraced the tech with plans to bring products made with the fermented dairy to market in the near future. Matt Close, Unilever’s ice cream division president, called dairy “problematic” saying tech like precision fermentation will be “significant trend.”