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Better Bioeconomy Weekly - Sep 4th 2023
Make the UK great again 🇬🇧
Happy September! This week felt pretty packed, with a lot of news and developments to cover.
I'm not sure if it’s a sign that things are picking up for the future food space or if I’m not doing a great job at managing my time. Probably both.
Alright, enough about me. Let’s dig in!
🤝 CellRev and Saint-Gobain Life Sciences partner to create an industry-first cell media rejuvenation process to slash cultivated meat costs
The aim of this joint development agreement (JDA) is to design a solution to recycle cell media, reducing waste and costs for cultivating cell-based products like meat.
The cell culture media is a costly component of the cell culture process. Reducing its cost and waste is essential for producing cell-based products at lower prices.
CellRev will contribute to the development of a process for detoxifying and replenishing cell media, while SGLS will design and manufacture the fluid system components for recycling the rejuvenated cell media into the cultivation platform.
Read full article - vegconomist
📉 Oatly: Can a once-thriving oat milk empire weather the storm of stock crashes, supply chain nightmares, and seven other challenges?
Stock crash: Oatly's stock initially soared after its US IPO in May 2021 but has since crashed by as much as 94%. The stock is hovering at just under $3, and if it falls below $1 for over 30 days, it could be delisted by the NYSE.
Supply chain issues: Oatly faced supply chain challenges due to extreme heat, droughts, and low oat yields in Canada and the US. The shortage was made worse by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a major exporter of oats.
Asian decline: Oatly saw a significant decline in revenue in Asia, with a nearly 15% drop in quarterly sales. Despite expansion efforts in Asia, domestic competitors and a slower post-Covid-19 recovery in China led to the decline.
Read all nine issues - Green Queen
🥛 Perfect Day's Ryan Pandya reflects on a decade of precision fermentation-based dairy
The pioneer in precision fermentation-based dairy has witnessed increasing demand for animal-free and sustainable products, driven by ESG considerations and major players like Starbucks.
Initially labelling their products as "animal-free," Perfect Day has now shifted their focus to 'whey protein from fermentation,' recognizing its appeal for companies transitioning to animal-free offerings.
Perfect Day's objective is to reduce reliance on venture funding and transform into a robust public company. Its impressive unit economics and shift to a B2B model have enabled collaborations with major food and beverage companies, making consumer brands (The Urgent Company) less necessary for its mission.
Read full article and watch full interview - AgFunder
🐟 Squeaky Bean is launching its first-ever plant-based seafood products made out of 100% plant-based ingredients
According to the British plant-based meat company, these products (Tuna Style Flakes and Beechwood Smoked Salmon Style Slices) are the first vegan smoked salmon-style slices to be available in major retailers. The products will initially launch at Waitrose, followed by Sainsbury's.
The ready-to-eat products are low in saturated fat and offer a realistic taste and texture. The Tuna Style Flakes product offers a similar nutritional profile to canned tuna, including omega-3.
The introduction of these fish alternatives responds to a growing demand for plant-based fish, driven by health and environmental concerns as well as the desire of vegans and vegetarians to enjoy fish-like options.
Read full article - vegconomist
🦀 Vegan Zeastar introduces plant-based king crab in response to declining king crab populations due to overfishing and climate change
The plant-based king crab product offers a similar taste and texture as traditional king crab, making it suitable for various dishes like sushi, poke bowls, crab cakes, salads, and toast.
It provides a more affordable alternative to traditional king crab, which has seen price increases following a ban on harvesting in Alaska. It also lacks a shell for easy handling and is free of palm oil and GMOs.
Vegan Zeastar is actively innovating in the plant-based seafood market, offering a wide range of seafood alternatives, including sushi and poke bowl products, plant-based shrimp made from soy and wheat, and alternatives to cod and tuna.
Read full article - vegconomist
🍄 Fotortec partners with A Better Future AB and Xylo Sweden AB to introduce food waste upcycling technology and ingredients to Sweden
The Chilean biotech's scalable technology cultivates mushrooms using food waste. These mushrooms can be transformed into various valuable products, including flavour enhancers, protein isolates, fertilizer, energy-boosting methane gas, animal feed, and packaging materials.
Fotortec franchises its technology to Better Future AB and Xylo Sweden AB. The two companies will promote Fotortec's sustainable and circular solutions in Sweden.
Fotortec's versatile platform can be installed in various locations and offers a flagship vegan protein product rich in essential amino acids.
Read full article - vegconomist
🇬🇧 GFI Europe's new report: UK's route to global sustainable protein leadership
UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) allocated £43 million for R&D in plant-based, fermentation-based, and cultivated foods, with 65% of funding distributed between January 2022 and May 2023. This indicates the UK's growing commitment to this sector.
Cultivated meat in the UK is thriving, with over 23 domestic businesses attracting more private capital in 2022 than all of Europe combined. In comparison to plant-based or fermented meat, UKRI has invested more money in cultivated meat, including a new £12 million research hub.
In addition to creating the future's sustainable protein businesses, British universities are conducting a wide range of research on plant-based, fermented, and cultivated meat. Much more could be done to tap into the UK’s latent strengths in relevant scientific fields and institutions.
Read full report - GFI Europe
🏭 Pros and Cons: Should startups use existing manufacturing equipment or invest in building their own facilities?
Pros: Cost efficiency, faster time-to-market, access to expertise.
Cons: Limited customization, dependency on third parties, limited scaling potential.
Investing in new:
Pros: Tailored to needs, long-term investment, scalability.
Cons: High initial costs, extended time-to-market, operational challenges.
Startups should carefully consider these factors to make informed choices that align with their goals and resources.
Read full article - Stray Dog Capital
🚃 Railcars to bioreactors: Infrastructure’s role in reinventing meat
In the late 19th century, the introduction of infrastructure like the refrigerated railroad car transformed beef production in America. It helped make meat abundant and affordable, fundamentally altering the relationship with meat.
The innovation in infrastructure, specifically the refrigerated railroad car, revolutionized the meat industry by enabling efficient, large-scale meat production at an affordable price. This marked a significant turning point in the history of meat consumption.
The emergence of better bioreactors has the potential to revolutionize meat production again, addressing the current environmental and ethical concerns associated with conventional animal agriculture and ultimately offering affordable and sustainable meat options for the future.
Read full article - Ark Biotech
🎣 Could alt seafood be the answer to the impending crisis of an 80% increase in fish consumption by 2050?
The global seafood industry is worth over US$257 billion. The global fish consumption will increase by 80% by 2050. Over 90% of fish stocks are overfished or exploited, posing threats to food security, the economy, and the environment.
The alternative seafood industry is growing rapidly, with a +40% increase in pound sales from 2019 to 2022. Investments in alternative seafood companies grew by 92% from 2020 to 2021.
Alt seafood is expanding globally, with new companies emerging in various countries. Spain leads in consumer packaged goods (CPG) for alt seafood, while Singapore has a strong foodservice market. Conventional seafood businesses and retailers are also entering the alt-seafood sector.
Read full article - Proveg International
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🇯🇵 UMAMI Bioworks partners with Japan’s largest seafood company to build Japan's cultivated seafood industry infrastructure
The seafood giant, Maruha Nichiro Corporation, will invest in UMAMI Bioworks to gain access to its cell cultivation platform for producing and selling cultivated seafood. The partnership also involves collaboration to scale UMAMI Bioworks’ process.
The collaboration represents Maruha Nichiro's first foray into foreign cellular agriculture companies. The company will leverage this partnership to improve its R&D capabilities and speed up the commercialization of cell-cultivated seafood products.
The partnership aims to address seafood supply shortages in Japan, where domestic wild-catch volumes have decreased by ~65% over the last 30 years. The global economy, consumers, the Japanese seafood sector, and fishermen are all at serious risk as a result of these low fishing rates.
Read full article - vegconomist
🥚 Umami United secured ¥240M ($1.64M) in pre-Series A to develop egg white replacer and expand into the US and Europe
The CEO, Hiroto Yamazaki, verified that some significant players in the plant-based meat industry are currently testing Umami United's products for potential use as binding agents.
Umami United uses konjac flour, bittern, and wood ear mushrooms in its plant-based egg powder. A proprietary fermentation-based technique is used to enhance egg flavour and replicate the texture and sensory qualities of traditional eggs.
The avian flu outbreak in Japan has led to egg shortages, making Umami United's egg alternatives more appealing to consumers and food manufacturers alike.
Read full article - Green Queen
Two Umamis in a row? What a coincidence!
💰 Eat Just has secured a new financing round led by The Ahimsa Foundation, with reported funding of $16 million
According to founder and CEO Josh Tetrick, the capital will allow Eat Just—which had previously raised $850 million, including about $270 million for its GOOD Meat subsidiary—to "continue improving the quality and profitability of its products."
Just Egg, a dominant player in the plant-based egg market, achieved a 51% repeat purchase rate and expanded its distribution to 48,000+ retail points and various food service partnerships this year.
The funding reflects continued investor confidence in Eat Just's mission to remove animals from the food supply chain, underscoring its growth and influence in the alternative protein industry.
Read full article - AgFunder
📈 Plant-based protein sales are making a comeback in the US foodservice industry
Sales of plant-based meats sold to restaurants and other food service institutions reached $730 million in 2022, an increase of 7.8% from the previous year.
Retail sales of plant-based meat in the United States, which remain the largest overall category, were flat at $1.4 billion last year.
Despite having popular plant-based items on their menus, fast food chains like Burger King, Chipotle, KFC, and McDonald's have not fared all that well. However, the food service sector is still a lucrative market for businesses in the space.
Read full article - Food Dive
🎓 JUST Egg has experienced significant growth in the US college and university food service sector
The company saw a 45% increase in accounts and 40 new campus partners added in 2023. The total number of higher education institutions offering JUST Egg now stands at 120.
Distribution of JUST Egg has increased by 14% in other US locations, and its food service business has seen substantial growth, with a 15% increase in Q1 and a 39% increase in Q2 of 2023.
With catering giant Sodexo planning to make 50% of its university meals plant-based by 2025, the popularity of plant-forward food in higher education is clearly on the rise. This initiative is supported by a study showing that 81% of students choose plant-based meals when they are the default option.
Read full article - vegconomist
📊 Q1 & Q2 highlights: Vevolution's state of fundraising for animal-free economy based on 100% user-generated data
Deal flow on Vevolution has declined by 26%, while average valuations across all sectors dropped significantly from Q1 to Q2 (from $12.7M to $8.2M). This suggests a challenging investment climate and possibly signals a market bottom.
Alternative dairy has shown strength, with a 21.65% increase in valuations during Q2 (from $6.7M up to $8.6M), potentially due to a quicker time-to-market compared to cultivated meat.
Investor attention has shifted towards biotechnology and ingredient companies, with a notable increase in direct interactions (61% and 44%, respectively), reflecting a growing interest in these sectors. Meanwhile, investor interest in plant-based seafood has declined by 21%.
Read full report - Vevolution
And speaking of Vevolution…(A very smooth transition)
🚀 Are you ready to propel your startup to new heights?
💸 Don't miss the chance to join the $50M+ success story at Vevolution's upcoming pitch event on October 5th!
If you're a startup in the food tech, cultivated foods, or biotech space, you have until September 15th to apply. Whether you're at the Angel or Series A round stage, this is your opportunity to shine.
With over 6,000 users, 1,600 startups, and 1,000 investors in its global network, Vevolution has already helped startups secure more than $50 million in capital since its launch in January 2021. Vevolution has held several pitch events over the last two years with nearly 1,000 investor attendees.
🤔 Should alt protein companies explore hybrid products (50% non-animal-based product + 50% animal-based product)?
Combining non-animal alt protein with real animal products is gaining attention due to cost-efficiency (commodity meat prices are low), guaranteed impact on reducing meat consumption, and improved taste that can attract meat eaters.
Established companies like Tyson Foods and Perdue Farms have introduced blended products, and several startups are also exploring this concept, including Mush Foods, Momentum Foods, The Better Meat Co., and 50/50 Foods.
Some meat eaters see potential health, sustainability, and cost benefits, while others are not interested. Vegans may not consume such products, but some appreciate the idea of encouraging meat eaters to reduce meat consumption.
Read full post and the insightful comments on LinkedIn - Steve Molino
💎 The parallels between cultivated meat and lab-grown (cultivated?) diamond
Read original tweet and the discussion on X - Liz Specht
🚫 Ever wondered why VCs reject most pitch decks? Here are three mistakes you want to avoid
Team focus is crucial. Understanding the team behind a startup is important to early-stage VCs. Many decks make the mistake of providing insufficient information about the team, which can be a huge factor in securing investment.
Define your Total Addressable Market (TAM) accurately. It should reflect the market you have the potential to replace, not the entire industry. Avoid overestimating your market size.
Avoid using overly complex language. Use small paragraphs and keep each slide concise to make it more accessible and engaging for investors. Investors often skim through decks like scrolling through a social media feed.
Read full post on LinkedIn - Alex Shandrovsky
🥩🖨 Biokraft Foods is using 3D bioprinting to create the meat of the future
The Mumbai-based biotech startup is focusing on developing cultivated chicken using in-vitro cell culture and 3D bioprinting, on a mission to feed the growing population without compromising the planet's well-being.
By using its 3D bioprinting technology, the company can precisely replicate the textures and flavours of traditional meat, aiming to make it easier for consumers to switch to cultivated alternatives.
Biokraft Foods stands at the intersection of two rapidly growing industries:
Cultivated meat market: Projected CAGR of 51.6% (2023-2030)
3D food printing market: Projected CAGR of 57.3% (2022-2027)
Biokraft Foods recently secured incubation at ICT-NICE, one of India's esteemed incubators, providing the necessary infrastructure and collaborative support. The company has set its sights on establishing an independent R&D and manufacturing facility by the end of 2025.
Biokraft Foods has already developed the Proof-of-Concept (PoC) and anticipates having a viable prototype and MVP by mid-2024. Looking ahead to early 2025, the company’s focus will shift to initiating regulatory filings, pre-commercialization efforts, and conducting trials.
Read more about Biokraft Foods - Better Bioeconomy
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🎙 Oatly's hiccups, Superlatus' steal of a deal, and the climate change awareness gap
Show: Green Queen Alt Protein Weekly
Host: Sonalie Figueiras, Steve Molino
Oatly is going through a tough time. Oatly initially pursued an aggressive growth strategy but faced lower-than-expected demand and is having difficulty capturing market share in Asia. Oatly has other troubles too, as covered in the Bio Buzz segment of today’s newsletter. Scroll up if you missed it!
Superlatus acquired Perfect Day’s D2C brand, The Urgent Company, for $1.25 million (from my understanding, the amount has not yet been confirmed by Perfect Day). Which, according to Steve, is “free” for a CPG “conglomerate”. This could set a very low benchmark for the industry's M&A deals in terms of valuations.
A striking 74% of Americans do not believe that eating meat and dairy products has an impact on climate change. The discussion raises questions about whether alternative protein companies are doing enough to educate consumers about the environmental effects of their food choices.
THAT’S ALL FOR THIS WEEK!
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Take care and have an awesome week! 🙌🏾