February 21, 2024

According to statistics, the sales of the global plant-based food industry in 2022 will be 8 billion US dollars, and 1.2 billion US dollars of investment will be obtained. New data from the Good Food Institute.

Recent funded companies include No Meat Factory, Planetarians, ISH Company and bulk foodwhich is developing a plant-based alternative protein that mimics the texture and taste of traditional meats, starting with steak and eventually pork, lamb and poultry.

Chunk Foods founder and CEO Amos Golan told TechCrunch that while the plant-based market is about $8 billion, the conventional meat market is about $1.4 trillion, meaning “we haven’t even scratched the surface of the potential market.” He founded the company in 2020 while at MIT.

Israel-based Chunk Foods raised $15 million in seed funding in November, which Golan said was “the largest seed round ever raised by an Israeli plant company.” Fall Line Capital led the new investment, MIT E14 Fund and FootPrint The Coalition follows suit. Chunk Foods previously raised $2 million in pre-seed funding.

The company uses fermentation technology and food-grade microorganisms to convert soy and wheat into protein, developing whole block alternative proteins. And, yes, Chunk Foods does have some products in the pipeline, but none of those two ingredients are available for consumers with allergies. Its steak products contain no preservatives, additives, cholesterol or GMOs and contain 25 grams of protein.

What sets his company apart from other plant-based companies, Golan said, is that Chunk Foods’ proprietary fermentation technology mimics the texture, color and taste of traditional meat, as well as the direction and thickness of the fibers and the juiciness of the cut. It also does this with a shorter and cleaner ingredient list, without the gums and stabilizers typically used to thicken and keep foods in shape.

Its technology has also helped the company bring costs down to about $5 per steak, which Golan says is close to the price of a traditional sirloin. “Economies of scale have not been fully realized” as imports must also be made to the US.

Like others in the industry, Chunk Foods is still in its infancy. It begins a pilot phase in the fourth quarter of 2022 and still has no revenue, but its steak products are already available at New York City restaurants, including Coletta, Anixi and The Butcher’s Daughter.

Chunk Foods is pouring fresh money into a new factory in Israel that Golan claims will be “one of the largest plant-based whole chunk factories in the world.” Golan added that construction is expected to be completed in June and, once completed, it will be able to produce “millions of steaks” a year.

As mentioned earlier, the company has yet to start selling its product, but it has already completed enough pre-sales that Golan said it will keep the new facility busy for the first few months. Funding will also be used to expand its current employee base of 25, including an R&D team in Israel and a commercial team in the US. There’s another, bigger factory under construction as Chunk Foods eyes retail.

Meanwhile, the plant-based meat alternative industry has been on a rollercoaster ride over the past year, with layoffs at Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, both first-generation companies in the industry, production dilemma Oatley and other frustrations were felt.

Referring to speculation that plant-based alternative proteins are coming to an end, Golan noted that what has happened is that dozens, if not hundreds, of companies have quickly launched products in the space to grab market share, often with products that “are not enough.” good”.

Despite the layoffs earlier this year, Golan pointed to Impossible as a company that can grow quickly while the plant-based market is slowly developing. In 2023, Impossible will launch four new products, including Three Plant-Based “Chicken” Products and a A lite version of its “beef” product.

“Some companies don’t exist for very long,” Golan said. “They’re either absorbed by other companies or they disappear. The third generation of plant-based companies are offering better products and leading the way. Chunk is with them at the moment. Our products are more reasonably priced and our relationship with consumers Communication is better too.”

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