Food Tech Roundup: Plant-Based Protein Eaters Still Want It To Taste Like Meat


If you’re a food enthusiast or simply interested in keeping up with the constantly evolving food tech industry, here’s a summary of recent news and notable stories from TechCrunch.

Key Takeaway

Plant-based proteins, particularly those that closely resemble animal-based meat, are gaining popularity in the foodservice industry. However, taste remains a significant challenge that companies like Black Sheep Foods are addressing. Funding is also flowing into companies like Enough and Meatable, which are utilizing innovative technologies to meet the growing demand for plant-based protein. Additionally, exciting developments in sustainable seafood, baby nutrition, fermentation processes, and cow plasma extraction are worth exploring.

Plant-Based Protein Ruling the Foodservice Industry

The Good Food Institute recently shared some intriguing insights regarding the use of plant-based proteins in foodservice. Here are the highlights:

  • Strong Growth in 2022: Sales of plant-based proteins in the US reached $304 million in 2022, showing an 8% increase from pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
  • Preference for Meat-like Alternatives: Analog plant-based proteins, which closely mimic the taste and texture of animal-based meat, accounted for 53% of pound sales in 2022, up from 39% in 2019.
  • Loyalty of Plant-Based Protein Buyers: Consumers who purchase plant-based meat products tend to be high-value buyers, making approximately 30 more visits to foodservice establishments per year and spending about $400 more than the average buyer.

While the demand for plant-based proteins is growing, taste remains a significant challenge. Several companies have made significant strides in enhancing the flavor of plant-based meats over the past year, including Black Sheep Foods, Rebellyous, Planetarians, Chunk Foods, and the ISH Company.

Black Sheep Foods Secures $12.3M for Tastier Plant-Based Meats

Black Sheep Foods, featured on TechCrunch, recently raised $12.3 million in funding to further enhance the taste of their plant-based meats, addressing the ongoing taste challenge.

Enough Raises €40M to Scale Mushroom-Based Protein Production

Scotland-based company Enough received €40 million ($43.5 million) in funding to expand its production capacity for mycoprotein, a protein source derived from mushrooms. Enough aims to capitalize on its scalable technology to meet the growing demand for plant-based protein.

Meatable’s Cultivated Pork Products Funded with $35M Investment

Meatable, another European company, secured $35 million in funding to accelerate the development of its cultivated pork products. Meatable’s cutting-edge technology allows them to significantly reduce the production time of fat and muscle cells, ultimately expediting the manufacturing process.

Other Exciting Reads

Here are some other interesting articles worth checking out:

  • Discover sustainable seafood startups like Bluu Seafood and Aqua Cultured Foods, and find out what investors have to say about them.
  • Learn about Maolac, a company combining AI with breastmilk to soothe babies’ tummies.
  • Get the latest updates on New Culture, a company successfully scaling up its fermentation process for manufacturing volumes.
  • Read about Omeat’s innovative cow plasma extraction farm as they emerge from stealth.

If you have any exciting tips or news about the venture and food tech industries, please reach out to Christine Hall at or signal her at 832-862-1051. Anonymity requests will be respected.

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