The Week In Plant-Based: 2Foods Raises $4.4M For Healthy Junk Food, Vegan Pet Food Co. Wild Earth Nabs $10M, Oatly Ads Banned
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The vegan news never stops! Each week, the Green Queen team dives into the latest developments for plant-based foods around the world so you can catch up on what’s happening across the industry. This week, Japan’s 2Foods announced a Series A funding round for its “healthy junk food,” while vegan pet food brand Wild Earth secured a credit facility in the millions. Elsewhere, a UK watchdog is after Oatly for possible greenwashing.
Japan: Plant-based food brand 2Foods raises $4.4 million
Kagome Corporation, Japan’s largest producer of processed tomato products, led the Series A round for Tokyo-based 2Foods. Together, the companies will develop joint products and build out a plant-based business for processed foods.
2Foods, which says it is based on the concept of “healthy junk food,” is a young company, having been established in April 2021. The company will also expand its retail concept with new stores in 2022 and collaborate with other companies for both food ingredients and plant-based processed foods.
US: Wild Earth secures $10 million credit facility
Espresso Capital provided the credit facility, which the plant-based pet food brand will use to accelerate growth.
“With the Espresso facility, we’re able to take advantage of that trend by investing in our digital marketing efforts as we look to ramp up customer acquisition and continue to accelerate growth in 2022 and beyond,” said Wild Earth CEO Ryan Bethencourt.
Wild Earth raised $23 million in Series A funding towards the end of last year and announced the possibility of cultivated pet food in the future.
US: NUMU dairy-free mozzarella takes over Whole Foods’ pizza
Brooklyn’s NUMU develops plant-based cheeses that have steadily been making their way around New York City restaurants. The company recently struck a deal with Whole Foods to provide a non-dairy cheese option for the latter’s pizzas.
NUMU’s cheese is a combination of coconut oil, potato and tapioca starches, and is nut-free and certified kosher.
UK: Britain’s advertising watchdog calls Oatly green claims ‘misleading,’ bans ads
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) launched an investigation into an Oatly ad campaign after receiving more than 100 complaints about claims the Swedish oat-milk brand made in the ads. ASA’s investigation found that Oatly “overstated” claims around emissions of the meat and dairy industry and made misleading claims about overall Co2 emissions of Oatly milk versus cow’s milk.
Last year, activist seller Spruce Point Capital accused Oatly of greenwashing and overstated revenue in a report.
Portugal: Plant-based nutrition startup Kencko raises $10m
Existing investor Siddhi Capital led the Series A round for the direct-to-consumer plant-based nutrition brand best known for its smoothies. Kencko uses freeze-dried technology to make smoothie mixes and also offers gumdrops formulated with fruits and vegetables. Up next, Kencko will launch heat-and-serve bowl meals.
Kencko said it will use the funding to accelerate growth and develop new products.
US: Abbot’s Butcher lands on Freebirds World Burrito menus
The Freebirds World Burrito chain will add Abbot’s Butcher’s plant-based chorizo to its 70-plus locations in the US. The chorizo is made with pea protein, paprika, and other spices.
The collaboration with the Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson-backed brand is the second partnership the Austin, Texas-based chain has done with a plant-based meat company. In 2018 it included Beyond Meat as a protein option.
UK: Pasty maker Ginsters’ adds new vegan flavor to its lineup
The Cornwall-based company is one of the largest pasty makers in the UK. The new Vegan Creamy Garlic Mushroom Slice is an effort to bring more vegan- and flexitarian-friendly options to the iconic Cornish food item.
The new flavor is limited edition and includes white and chestnut mushrooms in a vegan cream and white wine sauce wrapped in a vegan puff pastry.
US: Cutting Vedge launches plant-based meat made from artichokes
Plenty of plant-based options abound when it comes to those made of soy, pea, chickpea, and fungi. A new brand, Cutting Vedge, is looking to buck that trend with the launch of its plant-based meat analogues line made from artichokes.
New Jersey-based Cutting Vedge currently has a mix of burgers, meatballs, sausages, and crumbles made from artichokes along with a mix of spinach, bean, and quinoa protein. Speciality foods company Reese will distribute the items. The brand is now available in the US.
US/Canada: PlantPlus Foods acquires Sol Cuisine for $100m
PlantPlus, a joint venture created by ADM and Marfrig in 2020, has closed the deal to acquire vegan food manufacturer Sol Cuisine.
The deal will enable PlantPlus to aggressively expand across the Americas. Sol Cuisine was founded back in 1980 and has over the years become a major player in the alternative protein space in Canada.
Lead image courtesy of 2Foods.