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Singapore’s Growthwell Foods has made good on its ambitions to launch a new plant-based brand. HAPPIEE! Has been developed to offer alternatives to conventional chicken and fish products. All items are manufactured at the company’s recently completed innovation and R&D centre in Senoko.
The first products to hit the market are soy-based nuggets and popcorn chicken. Konjac has been used for seafood alternatives, which include fish sticks and patties. All four products are reportedly free from trans fats. The HAPPIEE! range is available now through selected retailers. Collaborations with nine Singapore restaurants have also been confirmed.
Growthwell has already crafted a portfolio of multiple plant-based food brands. The confirmation of HAPPIEE! follows fundraising rounds and construction phases. Last year Growthwell secured $22 million in a Series A funding round. The investment was earmarked for company expansion and scaling its vegan meat production. R&D activities were also cited, with improvements to the HAPPIEE! product portfolio being a priority.
The launching of Growthwell’s new brand represents a significant step towards its ultimate goal to “feed 100 million across Asia with plant-based foods”. It will also support efforts to meaningfully contribute to the ‘30 by 2030’ initiative that underpins domestic Singaporean food systems.
The global rise in vegan chicken
Plant-based chicken alternatives are springing up everywhere right now. And not just because of Veganuary. As one of the most cost-effective proteins to produce, chicken meat is big business. It’s also one of the most unethical and damaging to the environment. As a result, growing numbers of startups and big conglomerates are looking to disrupt the industry with plant-based alternatives.
In just the last week, multiple new chicken launches came from leading chains. From Burger King and Neat Burger’s U.K. chicken nuggets to AMC theatres serving up Impossible chicken nuggets, partnerships are rife right now. Canada’s KFC and Mary Brown’s have both started working with Lightlife on permanent menu items and every KFC in the U.S. now stocks Beyond vegan chicken, at least for a limited time.
It’s not just the U.K., U.S., and Canada that are swimming in plant-based chicken. It was revealed in November last year that TiNDLE plant-based chicken, hailing from Singapore, will be served in Amsterdam restaurants. Shortly before, Daring Foods confirmed it has scooped $120 million in 12 months for its vegan chicken expansion plans.
In terms of fresh developments, HAPPIEE! finds itself in good company. Chile’s first unicorn company, NotCo unveiled its brand new chicken range just before Christmas. The company has reported that it tastes identical to real chicken.
“When I first tried it, it was hard to believe I was enjoying the crunchiness, juiciness, and flavor of a chicken made from fruits and vegetables,” Danny Meyer, Shake Shack founder and NotCo investor said in a statement. “NotCo has found a way to produce a product with plants that improves upon many versions of actual chicken.”
The AI-designed pea protein is hotly anticipated to enter into brand partnerships due to NotCo already working with Starbucks, Burger King and Papa John’s. Burgers, fillets and nuggets have all been confirmed as initial product launches.
All images courtesy of Growthwell Foods.