Growing Brand

This July saw Meati Foods, Boulder, Colo., roll out its eat meati™ product line to all Whole Foods Market locations nationally. Meati says it continues to scale its fully vertically integrated manufacturing capabilities to support rapid growth at both retail and foodservice. Its Classic Cutlet, Crispy Cutlet, Classic Steak and Carne Asada Steak—all using the brand’s trademarked MushroomRoot—will be available at Whole Foods Market locations in two-unit packages in the refrigerated plant-based protein sets.

“Consumers will jump on products that deliver delicious, clean and natural nutrition to their diets, and Meati Foods is clearly meeting those standards as we’ve established our leadership in the animal-free meat category over the past five months,” said Scott Tassani, president and COO of Meati Foods.

New Vegan Option

This May saw UNLIMEAT Inc., San Jose, Calif., introduce a vegan, plant-based sausage for Two Hands America Inc., a Los Angeles restaurant chain specializing in Korean-style corndogs.

Two Hands offers a diverse range of fillings, including sausage, spicy sausage, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, and a half sausage and half cheese combination. Customers can further customize their corn dog by selecting a batter coating. In response to growing demand, Two Hands introduced UNLIMEAT's vegan sausage as a new plant-based option.

Based in Seoul, South Korea, UNLIMEAT offers a broad line of plant-based sausages, pepperoni, tuna, pulled pork, and deli meats. It says it incorporates a diverse base of plant-based ingredients (“not just soy and pea protein”) converted from upcycled produce.

New Technology, New Products

Singapore’s Next Gen Foods, Inc. used the National Restaurant Association show to debut TiNDLE TrueCut™ technology and two accompanying plant-based new products: TiNDLE Chicken Wings and TiNDLE Breakfast Sausage.

Officials said the innovation behind TiNDLE TrueCut is the ability to perfect whole muscle meat texture with a base protein made of only five ingredients: water, soy protein, sunflower and rapeseed oils, natural flavorings, and salt. It also contains no GMO ingredients or cholesterol.

New TiNDLE Chicken Wings are crispy, boneless wings coated with a light breadcrumb. TiNDLE Breakfast Sausages come seasoned with hints of sage, black pepper, and other savory spices, the company says. Both new offerings were available starting in June through DOT Foods to all distributors nationwide.

Cultivated Chicken

Eat Just Inc., Alameda, Calif., said its GOOD Meat brand sold its first charcoal-grilled cultivated (cell-based) chicken this July at Chef José Andrés’ China Chilcano restaurant in Washington, D.C. Officials said the landmark dinner honored the late Willem van Eelen, widely known as the “godfather of cultivated meat” and would have celebrated his 100th birthday on July 4, 2023.

The dinner featured cultivated chicken marinated with anticucho sauce, native potatoes and ají Amarillo chimichurri. It came two weeks after GOOD Meat received full U.S. regulatory approval to sell its chicken to American consumers.

“I am proud that GOOD Meat is launching with José Andrés, beginning a new tradition of how Americans will eat meat in the many decades ahead. I am also humbled that our company can honor Willem van Eelen’s lasting legacy at this centennial celebration,” said Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of GOOD Meat and Eat Just.

Microalgae Base

Israel’s AlgaeCore Ltd., Ra'anana, said its SimpliiGood brand developed a breaded chicken cutlet analog composed primarily of spirulina microalgae. The plant-based version of a breaded cut of chicken not only takes on the appearance, flavor, and structure of real chicken breast but also possesses a naturally dense nutritional profile that could outpace that of real chicken, the company said.

“One-hundred grams of SimpliGood microalgae provides the equivalent of 200g of real chicken in protein load," noted Baruch Dach, SimpliiGood's founder and CTO. "Each cut packs in 30% highly bioavailable protein. Combined with its rich natural makeup of micronutrients, it offers a potent alternative to animal protein with exceptional nutritional value.”

The launch of SimpliGood's chicken breast analog follows the successful introduction of its vegan 95% spirulina based smoked salmon replica last year. The company projects that product will be rolled out commercially in the coming year.

Better Bite, Fewer Ingredients

Alpha Foods, Glendale, Calif., said it partnered with the makers of Eat Just and JUST Egg to reformulate Alpha’s products using high-moisture extrusion (HME) technology. Officials said HME uses a specialized cooking and stirring method at high heat and pressure, resulting in products with fewer ingredients while maintaining uncompromising nutrition, including higher protein content, lower carbohydrates, and fewer calories.

Alpha used HME technology for its plant-based Chik'n Strips, which offer 18g protein, 7g carbohydrates, and 160 calories per serving. Among other new product announcements, Alpha also introduced the Chik'n & Maple Waffle Sandwich, a plant-based twist on a brunch classic. Formulation updates also include Alpha's All-Day Burritos, Original Chik'n Nuggets and Alpha's Crispy Chik'n Patties.

"These partnerships with JUST Egg and EVERY Co., combined with our use of our new HME protein and enhanced formulations, will enable us to continue bringing innovative, craveable, and delicious products to our consumers, thus solidifying Alpha's position as a leader that continues to create the most craveable, convenient and accessible options in the plant-based market," said Cole Orobetz, CEO of Alpha.